Public Library Per Capita and Equalization Aid Grants Illinois State Library


The Public Library Per Capita Grant assists public libraries in providing library services that meet or show progress toward meeting Illinois library standards. Grant amounts of up to $1.475 per person, based on the population of the library’s service area, are awarded annually to qualified Illinois public libraries.

The Equalization Aid Grant provides additional support to help public libraries with a low library tax base to ensure a minimum level of funding for library services.


To be eligible for a Public Library Per Capita and Equalization Aid Grant, a public library must meet the requirements of 75 ILCS 10/8.1, 23 Ill. Adm Code 3035.115, 23 Ill. Adm. Code 3035.135. This includes providing library services which either meet or show progress toward meeting the Illinois library standards as outlined in Serving Our Public 4.0: Standards for Illinois Public Libraries © Illinois Library Association, 2019.

The applicant must have submitted the most recently required Illinois Public Library Annual Report (IPLAR), 75 ILCS 5/4-10 or 75 ILCS 16/30-65.

Application Guidelines

On the application, the public library confirms if each Illinois library standard is met. The library explains the objectives and priorities to be undertaken during the ensuing year to improve performance levels where standards are not met or where the library is making progress toward meeting those standards.

Submit the application and the required expenditures report(s) by January 30 and email

The Illinois State Library is not responsible for, nor obligated to fund, any grant application that has been assessed as unacceptable or does not meet the eligibility requirements.

Paper copies of the application and expenditure report 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. Any application not submitted on the required form may be eliminated from consideration for funding.

Note:  Retain an electronic copy of the application and expenditure report(s) for the library's files, which includes the date/time stamp of the sent email to show timely submission.

Application - Deadline January 30

Illinois Public Library Per Capita and Equalization Aid Grant Application

Expenditure Report Forms - Deadline January 30

The Expenditures Report documents how grant funds were used to help the library meet or make progress towards meeting the specific standards under which grant funds were disbursed.

Document disbursement of the library’s FY2021 grant award. Submit the required FY2021 Expenditures Report(s) with the FY2023 grant application.

FY21 grant funds must be expended by December 31, 2022.

Only submit an Equalization Aid Expenditures Report if the library received an equalization grant award.

Amending the Use of Grant Funds

If a library determines it is necessary to expend grant funds in a manner other than what was in the Planned Use of Grant Funds section of the approved application, submit an amendment request on library letterhead to The request should state how the funds were originally to be used and the reason for the change. The request should also explain how the new intended use of grant funds align with Serving Our Public 4.0: Standards for Illinois Public Libraries.

Supporting Resources

Legal Authority

Program Impact

Grant Recipients


For more information on Public Library Per Capita and Equalization Aid Grants, contact the Illinois State Library, Library Development Group by email or by telephone 1-800-665-5576 extension 2, or 217-524-8836.