SPRINGFIELD – Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White has awarded FY21 Illinois Public Library Per Capita and Equalization Aid Grants totaling $18.1 million to 638 public libraries serving almost 12 million patrons.
Several southern Illinois libraries will receive a portions of the grant money, including the Benton Public Library District ($15,000.75), the McCoy Public Library in McLeansboro ($4,252.43), the Marion Carnegie Library ($10,926.80), and the West Frankfort Public Library ($12,068.45).
“Public Act 102-0039 allowed my office to award these grants at $1.475 per capita, an increase from the previous rate of $1.25,” White said. “I am extremely proud of the outstanding service Illinois’ public libraries provide to all residents. I truly believe libraries are cornerstones of our communities, and I am pleased to provide this increased funding to help them serve the public.”
Some of the valuable services public libraries provide with grant money include the following:
- Large print material for aging patrons
- Books, magazines, newspapers, CDs and DVDs
- Audiobooks and eBooks
- Home visit book delivery service
- New computers, iPads and printers
- Spanish and dual language materials
- Expanded access to online resources
- Adult programming
- Newsletters, postcards and other promotional materials
Per Capita Grant funding is authorized under Illinois library law for public libraries, which allows resources for expenses such as materials, personnel, equipment, electronic access, telecommunications and technology. Equalization Aid Grants help qualifying public libraries with a low library tax base ensure a minimum level of funding for library services.