Women in a meeting, applauding.

Helping Illinois Libraries Tell Their Story

The Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS) developed the My Library Is… campaign to help member libraries tell your stories and prove your library's value to stakeholders, including: current and potential library users, funders, governing boards, parent institutions/companies, colleagues, elected officials, and more.

On this website, you'll find tools and resources created or curated by RAILS and others, for all sizes and types - academic, public, school, special - of libraries. You can also share your library's (and see other libraries') best practices, ideas, tools, templates, media, and experiences in the Sharing Showcase area.

We can accomplish so much by working together to increase visibility and support for all types of libraries.

Questions? Contact us at communications@railslibraries.info.


As part of the campaign, you can subscribe to receive a regular newsletter with links to blog posts, templates, and resources. Anyone who is interested in telling the story of the library and proving the library's value to stakeholders is encouraged to subscribe. This email arrives the first Monday of every month. 


The My Library Is... logo is available for download as a JPG or PNG format.

My Library Is... logo.

My Library Is... Advisory Team

Thank you to the following members of the My Library Is... Advisory Team. These individuals help help publicize the campaign and make people more aware of resources on the My Library Is... website. Their blog posts appear regularly on the My Library Is... site.

 Victoria Blackmer.

Victoria Blackmer
Assistant Director
Robert R. Jones Public Library

Inventive library and information management professional driven to find new creative solutions through the development, implementation, and improvement of innovative programs, resources, technology, and services in order to enhance learning while ensuring access of information to all.

 Kirstin Finneran.

Kirstin Finneran
Public Relations & Outreach Manager
Fox River Valley Public Library District

Kirstin has been guiding FRVPLD’s public relations efforts since 2009. Her love of libraries started at a very young age and her claim to fame was a spot on the 1977 St. John the Evangelist Elementary School Battle of the Books Championship Team. Kirstin’s professional work experience has spanned the corporate, nonprofit, and publishing industries. She earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English at Augustana College.

Donna Forbis.

Donna Forbis
Marketing & Events Coordinator
Illinois Prairie District Public Library

Donna is the Marketing & Events Coordinator for Illinois Prairie District Public Library in Woodford County, IL, and the Circulation Manager for IPDPL's Roanoke branch.  Her love of books, reading, and learning began at birth.  She comes from a long line of educators, and her grandfather ran a publishing house that specialized in academic textbooks.  Her husband and teen son keep her busy when she is not at work, and her spare time is devoted to reading and LEGO.

 Gail Graziani

Gail Graziani
Assistant Director of Adult Services
Lisle Library District

Gail enjoys engaging with the wider library world through volunteer opportunities where she is able to work with other information professionals to get the word out about all that libraries offer to their communities.

 Gwen Gregory.

Gwen Gregory
Associate Dean for Collections Management
Northern Illinois University Libraries

Gwen Gregory is a librarian committed to helping all our libraries serve all our users. She has worked in academic, special, and public libraries in four states. She has been involved with RAILS since its founding.

 Nora Jimenez.

Nora Jimenez 
Adult Services Associate
Warrenville Public Library

Nora is an aspiring librarian who provides active engagement and library outreach via creative programming and art. Her research interests include diversity issues, curation and the preservation of heritage collections, particularly Latin American arts and literature.


 Jessica Parker.

Jessica Parker
Library Media Specialist
Kaneland High School

Jessica is a high school librarian who believes that there is a library service for everyone.  Beginning her work in libraries as a high schooler she has come full circle to work with them now. She is excited to show students and teachers what libraries can offer them by expanding beyond traditional services.

Shandi Greve Penrod 

Shandi Greve Penrod
Marketing Coordinator
Illinois Heartland Library System

Shandi Greve Penrod has served as the marketing coordinator for Illinois Heartland Library System in Edwardsville since March 2019, where she Creates and maintains all marketing content for IHLS while giving support to the tasks of the communications and membership departments. She has worked for nonprofits in public relations and marketing for 15 years, including a public library, academic library, academic-special library, and other nonprofits. Shandi holds a B.S. Mass Communication-Public Relations from Southeast Missouri State University, an M.A. Communications Management from Webster University, and a certification in digital marketing through the Digital Marketing Institute.

  Samantha Rusk.

Samantha Rusk
Business Manager
Vespasian Warner Public Library District

Samantha is the Business Manager for the Vespasian Warner Public Library District in Clinton. She is responsible for the library’s marketing, finances, facilities operations, and grant writing. Like many other library professionals, Samantha wears numerous hats in her position and understands the feeling of wishing for more time and resources. She hopes to share tools and tips that everyone can use to improve marketing efficiency and effectiveness. In her spare time, Samantha enjoys cooking, crafting, and watching way too much reality television. 

 Charlene Snelling.

Charlene Snelling
Assistant Professor and Chair, Library and Instruction Services
Chicago State University

Charlene has a long career and has served in public, academic and special libraries. She is learning many new facets of the changing landscape of libraries in this COVID environment.  

 Laura Turner.

Laura Turner
Technical Information Specialist
Caterpillar, Inc. 

Laura is a librarian at Caterpillar, Inc. and works primarily with engineering, scientific and non-fiction literature. She also is active in Caterpillar STEM and STEM literacy outreach activities.

Do you have suggestions for resources to add to this page? Contact us at communications@railslibraries.info.