Thanks to my friend Laura Barnes and other librarians who love social networking for plastering that last post all over Facebook et al.
I received a phone call from an Illinois State Library staff member. Unfortunately, I was busy bailing water out of my basement at home, not in the office to take the call but that's another story. The State Library wanted to clarify that LSTA grants and construction grants are separate. The State funds the construction grants. Apologies if I was unclear about this. It is the State's funding of construction grants that has dried up in recent years. They are, however, working on funding a new round of construction grants late this year or next fiscal year.
So my statement that there are no construction grants for Illinois public libraries this year may not be true. The State may yet fund some. Keep your fingers crossed!