Back to Books Grant Program Illinois State Library
The 340 funded applications support the efforts of public and school libraries to develop their collections and engage readers of any age or ability in formal and independent reading or research. This offering allows for through the purchase of books to support the reading and research needs of children, youth and adults. Applications are no longer being accepted.
Grant recipients will meet the purpose of the grant offering and address Goal 1 of the LSTA Five Year Plan: Position the Illinois library community to extend library services for all Illinois residents by providing access to information and ideas.
- School Districts (public and private) and Public Library Agencies are eligible to apply.
- The applicant agency must have completed the 2018 Annual Certification and be recognized by the State Library as a full member in good standing of an Illinois library system.
Range of Awards
- Requests from $1,000 to $4,999 will be allowed. The intent of the grant is for the purchase of books in tangible formats (not electronic).
- Budget based on your agency’s capacity to expend or encumber 100 percent of the grant award by September 30, 2018.
- Projects will be funded using Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds (CFDA 45.310), provided to the State Library by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).
- The timeline is short. Purchase orders must be issued, expending or encumbering grant funds, no later than September 30, 2018.
Appropriate Use of Grant Funds
Fiction and/or nonfiction resources in multiple print formats may be budgeted but must be justified by your target audience's need.
Eligible formats include:
- Books – any reading level(s), any topic(s), any language(s)
- Large print books
- Graphic novels
Multiple copies of the same title, preprocessing and shipping are acceptable if justified. All library materials must be accessible to your library users and made available, as your agency normally would, for resource sharing.
Ineligible Use of Grant Funds
Do not propose use of grant funds for any of the following:
- Consultant Fees
- Entertainment, refreshments or social activities and associated costs
- Gift cards, prizes, reading incentives and giveaways
- Subscriptions including E-books
- Accelerated Reader tests or Reading Counts tests
Budgeting ineligible items will result in your application not being funded. If you have any questions about whether an item is appropriate, contact the State Library at ISL_grants@ilsos.net.
Application and Reporting Forms
- Grant Application Deadline to submit grant application was March 30, 2018.
- Grant Reporting Forms
- Instructions for Completing Fillable PDF Grant Forms
- Library Data Entry Guidelines
Applications will be ranked based on the date/time stamp. Date/time of receipt will be a primary determining factor in recommendations for funding. Please retain an electronic copy of the email submission including the application for the library's files. As it is incumbent on the part of the applying library to prove timely submission, be sure your copy includes the email date/time stamp.
If you do not receive an "application received" response in 2 working days, call the State Library at 800-665-5576 ext. 2.
The review process is competitive. Each application must stand on its own merit and will be evaluated based on complete information provided in the application.
This is a competitive grant offering. The State Library is not responsible for, nor obligated to fund any grant application that has been assessed as unacceptable due to the following reasons:
- The funding source has been exhausted, or the application is received with an email date/time stamp after March 30, 2018, whichever comes first.
- Paper copies of the application are not acceptable. Scanned copies of grant applications are not allowed; and any applications that are not submitted in the required fillable PDF format may be eliminated from consideration for funding.
- The application narrative is not complete; inappropriate items are budgeted.
- 20 U.S.C. Chapter 72, Subchapter II
- 2 C.F.R. § 200 OMB Uniform Guidance for Grants and Agreements
- 15 ILCS 320/7 (g)
- 23 Ill. Adm. Code 3035. Subpart G
- Administrative Manual
- Five Year Evaluation on Use of LSTA FY 2013–FY2017
- Illinois' Long Range Plan for the Use of LSTA 2018–2022
- IMLS Guidance on Reaching Persons with Limited English Proficiency
- IMLS Guidance on Making Museums and Libraries More Accessible
- Post Instruction Survey of Learners
For more information on Back to Book grants, please call the Library Development Group at 217-524-8836; 800-665-5576 ext. 2; or email ISL_grants@ilsos.net.