IHLS Announces New Surplus Vehicles Grant, Offering Unneeded Vehicles to Member Libraries for Community Outreach

Published 12/21/2020 4:25 PM CT; updated 2/2/2021 3:25 PM CT

IHLS Surplus Vehicles Grant

Sponsored by Illinois Heartland Library System                   

2017 Ford Transit T-150 Cargo Vans
Each of the available cargo vans are 2017 Ford Transit T-150s like the one above with between 162k and 199k miles. All vans have been well cared for.


Illinois Heartland Library System (IHLS) is retiring five well-cared-for surplus delivery vans at the end of 2020. To further portions of our mission, including supporting member libraries of all types in providing quality library services, facilitating access to shared resources, promoting innovation, and developing community partnerships, IHLS plans to grant these vehicles to member libraries to assist in their community outreach projects, especially those that expand Wi-Fi access within their communities. Up to five awards will be granted, with recipients being transferred ownership of one or more IHLS surplus cargo van(s). Vehicles are to be used for the development or expansion of mobile library services and outreach. 

Expected Number of Awards 

Five (5) 

Cost-sharing or cost-matching requirement:  


Application Timeline: 

Application period opens: December 22, 2021 
Submission deadline: February 1, 2021 
Recipients notified: February 5, 2021 
Recipients announced: February 8, 2021 



Applicants must be a member library of Illinois Heartland Library System. All library types qualify (public, school, academic, and special). Library must be in good standing with IHLS.  

Applicants must also agree, should the library be granted a vehicle, to: 

  • Promote the award to community members, acknowledging Illinois Heartland Library System as the grantor,  

  • Provide IHLS updates and photographs of project development, and 

  • Allow IHLS to use those photos and updates for publicity and promotional purposes, including but not limited to use in IHLS emails, web pages, and social media.  


Desired Outcomes 

  • Extend the reach of IHLS-member libraries through community outreach programming and engagement, especially to under-served populations; 

  • Promote ties between IHLS-member libraries and their communities through the promotion of mobile library services and the development or strengthening of community partnerships; and 

  • Offer community members, and remote learners in particular, enhanced Wi-Fi access outside of the library. 



Illinois Heartland Library System will evaluate the grant application based on the following criteria: 

  • The description of a sustainable project which uses one or more cargo vans for the development or expansion of mobile services. The primary use of the vehicle must be to establish or expand a service that cannot be supported by existing vehicles already owned by the member library. 

  • Project scope should touch upon one or more of the following: 

    • outreach to underserved populations 

    • development of community partnerships to broaden library services 

    • providing service to students that could include access to technology, educational enrichment and robust Wi-Fi Access 

  • Project timeline must include an implementation start date of no later than June 1, 2021 

  • Demonstration of the ability of the library to undertake and sustain the mobile service (be sure to address this in your grant application) 

Once the award has been transferred and the project implemented: 

  • Successful reporting of project status to IHLS, including photographs and written descriptions, on a timeline dependent on the library’s project timeline. 

Grants will be awarded to those applicants that display the most significant impact on their service areas.  


Application Submission Information 

Applications must be submitted online through our electronic application using the button below. The application will be available on this page from December 22, 2020, through February 1, 2021. 


The Application Period is Now Closed.

Thank you for your interest.



If you have additional questions, please contact Susan Palmer, 618.656.3216 ext. 409.