Interview with Hao Phan, Curator of the Southeast Asia Collection at Northern Illinois University Library

9 May 2022

Northern Illinois University is a Carnegie 2 research institution tucked away in DeKalb. It has the distinction of being home to Illinois' only Center for Southeast Asia Studies.  The Founders Memorial Library holds a distinctive collection of materials to support the work of the Center. In addition to his responsibilities as the collection's curator, Hao Phan, has made significant contributions to preserving and providing access to primary research materials in Southeast Asia. I talked with Hao about his work with the Southeast Asia Collection at NIU.

My Library Is...Finals Week Activities in the Library: Helping Our Students De-Stress

2 May 2022

Study Week and Finals Week can be a hectic time for everyone on college and university campuses. At Illinois Institute of Technology’s Paul V. Galvin Library we remain open 24 hours a day for 12 days straight during this period. It’s become a rite of passage for some of our students, individually or in groups, to study all night in the library at least once during their time with the university. In addition to providing our regular library services the last two weeks of the semester, we also offer de-stress activities for students using the space.

My Library Is... Conversation with Estevan Montaño

1 April 2022
RAILS Member Engagement Manager Dan Bostrom speaks with Estevan Montaño, University Librarian at the Rebecca Crown Library at Dominican University. This year, the Crown Library will celebrate its 50th anniversary. Estevan talks about the celebration and all of the events planned. To learn more, please visit:

My Library Is...Coloring Our Collections at NIU!

8 February 2022

Northern Illinois University has just released its 2022 entry for #ColorOurCollections, an annual social media festival hosted by the New York Academy of Medicine Library between February 7-11, during which libraries, museums, archives, and other cultural institutions around the world share free coloring content featuring images from their collections.

The My Library Is… Survey Results Are In!

25 January 2022

Thanks to all who filled out the recent My Library Is... survey!

In November 2021, RAILS conducted four separate surveys targeted at our four library types (academic, public, school, and specialized) to measure awareness of the My Library Is... campaign and to determine what changes to the website/campaign could help libraries more effectively demonstrate their value to different stakeholders, justify the need for continued or increased library funding, and more. 

Help Us Help You Get More Support for Your Library

3 November 2021

Do you need help demonstrating the value of your library to different stakeholders? Want to know what to say to justify the need for continued/increased library funding or staffing? Would you like to attract new library users? Want advice on how to promote the library’s role in identifying fake news or why libraries are needed more than ever in the internet age?

#FundLibraries Challenge Update!

5 August 2021

Thank you to all of the libraries that have already participated in the #FundLibraries Challenge! We've seen some incredible creations from libraries who want everyone to know how they make a difference in their community. Who knew you could make such wonderful things out of books? 

It really demonstrates the energy and passion our libraries have for the work they do for their patrons. Below, we've linked you to the social media posts from our participating libraries:

Upcoming My Library Is... Online Roundtables

6 July 2021

Are you interested in graphic design for your library? Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a newbie to the topic, there are two events coming up that can help you unlock new possibilities! Both of these events are open to any library staff from any Illinois library.

My Library Is Online Roundtable: Canva for Libraries
Tuesday, July 20
10:00-11:00 a.m.
Presenter: Samantha Rusk, Business Manager, Vespasian Warner Public Library District


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