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Public Library Construction Act Grant

Grants to Illinois Public Libraries for
Rehabilitation and Expansion Projects

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Illinois State Library

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Grants to Illinois public libraries for building repairs and facility upgrades to meet local needs. Eligible expenses include but are not limited to equipment costs, professional fees, land acquisitions, remodeling, rehabilitation, and technology. Priority will be given to projects intended to repair buildings damaged in man-made or natural disasters, to increase accessibility, to renovate unsafe or older buildings, to expand to meet growing local populations, and to meet other facility needs.

Priority ranking for construction grant projects shall be assigned if the funds available for any fiscal year are insufficient to fund grants for all eligible applicants. In this case, an eligible public library construction project shall be qualified for a construction grant award based on the following priority ranking order:

  1. Replacement or reconstruction of a public library facility that has been destroyed or damaged by flood, tornado, fire, earthquake or other disasters, either man-made or produced by nature.
  2. Projects that are designed to address population growth or to replace aging public library facilities.
  3. Replacement or reconstruction of public library facilities determined to be severe and continuing health or life safety hazards.
  4. Alterations necessary to provide accessibility for qualified individuals with disabilities.
  5. Other unique solutions to facility needs.

Project costs that grant funds may be expended on include but are not limited to:

  • Buildings constructed to the five foot line.
  • Design and construction contingencies to include architect and engineering fees.
  • Building fixed equipment.
  • Site improvements, including related architectural/engineering fees and reimbursements.
  • Land acquisitions and associated legal and other fees.
  • Durable movable equipment.
  • Utilities including service lines, both on-site and off-site.
  • Special foundation construction and related architectural/engineering fees deemed necessary as a result of unusual sub-surface soil conditions.
  • The cost of a Library Building Consultant.
  • Joint use facilities (funding may only be used for the library portion of the project).
  • Off-site improvements only if they directly impact the facility.
  • Remodeling and/or rehabilitation costs.
  • Technology expenditures.
  • Planning expenditures related to the public library facilities plan.
  • Maintenance and upkeep expenditures made beyond the regular, normal repair of physical properties.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 137614

Estimated Size of Grant:

The State Library has established the maximum acceptable cost of the eligible expenditures in which grant funds may be expended:
- New Facility and/or Addition to include design fees and fixed equipment – a maximum of $225 per square foot.
- Remodeling/Renovation to include design fees and fixed equipment – a maximum of $140 per square foot.

In addition, the maximum acceptable costs for the following project components are as follows:
- Furniture and Movable Equipment – $35 per square foot.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligibility Requirements:
- A public library must be a full member of a regional library system, have a bibliographically organized collection, permit intrasystem reciprocal borrowing, and meet the eligibility criteria to qualify for an Illinois Public Library Per Capita and Equalization Aid Grant.
- Libraries may not apply for both a Public Library Construction Act Grant and a Live and Learn Construction Grant in the same award year.
- Neither construction nor the letting of competitive bids for construction may commence before a grant award contract has been executed.

For a list of project costs not funded by the grants, see the URL for Full Text, below.

Pre-Application Information:

Applications are due April 15

Proof of local cost share will be required by the State Librarian prior to a grant award.

Grant awards will be no greater than 75% and no less than 35% of the recognized eligible project costs as determined by the Illinois State Library.

These awards are based on each individual library’s Grant Index which is calculated using a mathematical formula included in the legislation.

Additional information:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply Online:

For more information about public library construction grants, you may call 800-665-5576, Option 2 or email

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Illinois

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