Continuing Education Event Grant


To support continuing education (CE) for member library staff throughout our service area, RAILS is pleased to offer training grants of up to $2,000 for libraries, networking groups, or library consortia.

To qualify, CE events must be made available to all RAILS member libraries and of interest to a wide range of library staff.  In addition to prioritizing geographic diversity and training for multiple library types in evaluating grant applications, RAILS will also prioritize events focused on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Accessibility.  Funding is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

If you have questions about this grant offering, contact Joe Filapek, RAILS Director of Consulting and Continuing Education, at 630.734.5132 or


The maximum grant award is $2,000.  Partial funding of grant proposals may be considered.  Grants will be awarded and funds distributed approximately four to six weeks after the application deadline.

Application Deadline

Grant applications are currently closed. Check back in late summer or early fall for the Fiscal Year 2025 Continuing Education Event Grant application.


Examples of qualifying CE topics include but are not limited to:

  • Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Accessibility
  • Marketing (including promotion, advertising, graphic design, exhibits/displays, etc.)
  • Public relations
  • Advocacy
  • Social media
  • Digital media
  • Evaluation of library programs/services

Those interested in applying should review the conditions described below to ensure eligibility. Priority will be given to applicants that have not received a grant in the past 12 months and to events that introduce new topics and presenters to RAILS members.

Conditions and Requirements

Please review the following requirements to determine the eligibility of your organization for a RAILS CE Event Grant. All conditions must be met to be considered for a RAILS CE Event Grant:

  • Library applicants must be RAILS members.
  • Networking groups must include at least 75% RAILS members and meet at least twice a year
  • Consortium applicants must be comprised of at least 95% RAILS member libraries
  • RAILS will consider both geographic diversity and equity across library types when reviewing grant applications
  • Any event supported in full or in part by a RAILS CE Event Grant must be made available and widely promoted to all RAILS members
  • This event must be listed on Library Learning (L2) and must be promoted through RAILS E-News and/or other RAILS promotional channels
  • Grant recipients are required to acknowledge RAILS financial support of their event in any promotional activities. This may include flyers, e-mail blasts, online promotion, etc.
  • The anticipated date of the proposed event must be at least four weeks after the application deadline to allow time for grant review and event promotion
  • Grant recipients must submit a formal grant report, including attendance numbers and relevant receipts, within 30 days of the program completion (RAILS will send a grant report template to the primary contact before the event)
  • Any unused funds must be returned to RAILS upon completion of the event. Failure to return unused funds within 30 days after invoicing will impact consideration of future grant applications
  • RAILS will NOT assist in funding costs associated with items deemed nonessential to the content of the program, including but not limited to food, incentives, gifts and prizes
  • Grant recipients may be asked to speak at a RAILS member update or other system event to share a summary of the training event
  • Grant funds must be expended by December 31, 2024

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