Catalog Membership Grants

To foster resource sharing and make a library management system affordable for any interested member library, our goal is to support the shared catalog consortia in our service area. This grant aims to increase membership in RAILS Local Library System Automation Program (LLSAP) consortia by funding startup costs for any RAILS member library that isn't currently an LLSAP member. RAILS LLSAPs are: CCS, Pinnacle, PrairieCat, RRLC, RSA-NFP, and SWAN.

Funds will be awarded for projects with expenditures beginning in FY2022 (July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022). Refer to the eligibility criteria, grant priorities, and application checklist in the attached application document as you plan your project, and carefully review each section of the application to ensure a successful submission.

Application Deadlines

  • Award Period 1: October 15, 2021
  • Award Period 2: April 15, 2022

Timing of award announcements and disbursements will be dependent on final approval of the RAILS budget by the Illinois State Library and subject to changes in system funding levels.

Basic Criteria

Libraries of all types that also meet the following basic criteria may be eligible for RAILS LLSAP Membership grants:

  • RAILS membership
  • Ability to meet the membership requirements of the specific LLSAP
  • Commitment to sustain membership in a RAILS-supported Local Library System Automation Program (LLSAP) for at least five years
  • Grant recipients must submit quarterly reports to RAILS until all project activities have been completed and all funds expended

For more information about eligibility and our funding priorities, see the attached application document.

Application Checklist

Before submitting your application, please ensure you have completed all of the following steps:

  1. Carefully review the application document, including eligibility requirements
  2. Identify the LLSAP you wish to join
  3. Contact the LLSAP's Director to discuss membership costs and requirements, and project timeline and parameters
  4. Download and save the application to your computer before completing any fields
  5. Complete the application. This includes:
    1. Work with the LLSAP Director and library staff to create a project plan
    2. Work with the LLSAP Director and any necessary vendors to obtain pricing for applicable sections of the application
    3. Nonautomated libraries: Work with your board or administrative body to create a plan for sustaining the ongoing costs of LLSAP membership for at least five years
    4. Complete the narrative sections of the application. All components requested in the description of each section must be addressed
    5. Complete the budget section for all relevant expenses
      1. If you are requesting funding for an equipment purchase, you must complete the Equipment and Supplies section of the budget chart (p. 13 of the application), as well as the Equipment Detail section on page 14. We cannot consider your request if this information is not supplied.
  6. Work with the LLSAP Director to ensure your application is accurate and complete. Obtain their sign-off (included as part of the application form).
  7. Submit completed application (with LLSAP Director sign-off and any attachments) to Anne Slaughter via email ( on or before the deadline
  8. Upon receipt of funds, submit quarterly reports to RAILS until all project activities have been completed and all funds expended
  9. Upon go-live, update the L2 directory ( with your new automation information and any other new information

To Apply

  1. Save the application form attached below (PDF file) to your computer; in Windows, right-click the link and select "Save As" or "Save Link As"
  2. Complete all information on your saved copy of the application form
  3. Save your completed application form
  4. Send a copy of your completed grant application form to Anne Slaughter ( at RAILS

Please work with the director of the LLSAP you wish to join to complete the relevant sections of the application.

If you have questions or need help identifying which LLSAP you should join, contact:

Anne Slaughter
RAILS Director of Technology Services