Skip Navigation


Public Library Per Capita and Equalization Grants

Application Guidelines  |  Application and Expenditure Report Forms |  Supporting Resources |  Legal Authority  |  Program Impact


The Public Library Per Capita Grants Program was established to assist public libraries to improve and increase library services within their service areas. Grant amounts of up to $1.25 per person served are available, on an annual basis, to all Illinois, local public libraries.

The Equalization Grants Program was established to help public libraries with a low library tax base. By providing additional funding, these grants help ensure a minimum level of funding for library services.

Application Guidelines

Applications for either the Public Library Per Capita Grant or Equalization Grant programs must be submitted via email to on or before January 15. All required supporting documentation, including the Per Capita and Equalization financial expenditure reports, must be attached as separate documents and submitted with the application. The Illinois State Library is not responsible for, nor obligated to fund, any grant application that has been assessed as unacceptable due to the following reasons:

  1. Received with an email time stamp after January 15;
  2. The application was not completed or missing components;
  3. The application does not meet the requirements established by the Illinois State Library as indicated in 23 Ill. Adm. Code 3035.115 and 23 Ill. Adm. Code 3035.135;
  4. The application was sent by a public library that has previously submitted delinquent grant reports, lapsed grant funds from any Illinois State Library administered grant program, and/or failed to submit a current Illinois Public Library Annual Report (IPLAR).

Paper copies of the application and reporting forms will not be accepted. Other than supplying requested information, grant applicants may not alter the original form as issued by the Secretary of State/Illinois State Library. Scanned copies of grant applications are not allowed; and any applications that are not submitted on the required form may be eliminated from consideration for funding.

Note:  Please retain an electronic copy of the application for the library's files. As it is incumbent on the part of the applying library to prove timely submission, be sure the copy includes the email date/time stamp.


Expenditure Report Forms

Financial reports of expenditures must be attached as separate documents and submitted with the application.

Supporting Resources

Informational Webinars

Legal Authority

Program Impact

Grant Recipients


For more information on Public Library Per Capita or Equalization Aid grants, please call 217-524-8836.