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.


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.

Mary Burns

Mary Burns
Special Collections Catalog Librarian, Associate Professor
Northern Illinois University

"Mary Burns worked in academic and special libraries in Cleveland for twenty-eight and a half years cataloging rare books, rare botanical books, music and audiovisual materials. She moved to the Land of Lincoln in 2014 to serve Northern Illinois University. She enjoys practicing piano and working on assignments for a Latin translation class with her yellow tiger cats Jonah and Samson.

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
Head of Resource Services
Indian Prairie Public 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.

Anna Kim.

Anna Kim
Library and Digital Media Specialist
Chicago Public Schools

Anna was a CPS school librarian for 10 years. In her new role as a Library and Digital Media Specialist on the Libraries and Instructional Technology Team, she supports CPS school librarians with professional development and resources. She is a former AISLE President who is currently working on setting up a statewide mentorship program for new librarians through AISLE. When she has time, she loves to travel and is always thinking about her next trip.

Nichole Novak

Nichole Novak
Head of Reference and Instruction Services
Paul V. Galvin Library
Illinois Institute of Technology

Nichole provides reference and instruction services to a diverse community of online and on-campus users at a STEM university. In her spare time she enjoys cooking, reading mysteries and watching British television shows.

 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.

Leanne Pavel.

Leanne Pavel
Circulation Associate
Linda Sokol Francis Brookfield Public Library

I have worked on and off in public libraries for over ten years, mainly in circulation.  Listening to people is a big part of my day.  In my spare time, I like to cook, craft, read (of course!), and speak at my local Toastmasters club.  

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.

Jen Rockey

Jen Rockey
Technical Services Coordinator
Melick Library, Eureka College

Jen Rockey oversees all aspects of technical services at Melick Library at Eureka College. With over a decade of experience in various academic library departments, Jen currently manages the physical and electronic collection development for the library, as well as serving as a library systems administrator and coordinating social media outreach.

  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. 

Catalina Shin

Catalina Shin
Community Engagement Liaison
Arlington Heights Memorial Library

Catalina is an Outreach and Community Engagement professional with a passion for connecting communities to the services and resources that they need. Originally from Colombia, Catalina moved to the Chicago area 13 years ago seeking a career in nonprofits and social services organizations. Working for a public library fullfills her love for serving others. Especially when there's so many people out there who still don't understand or benefit of what the world of public libraries has to offer. Her goal is that through community outreach and strategic parnerships we can close the gaps and barriers that prevent underserved communities to access library sevices. 

 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.