If You Build It, They Will Come…

12 July 2022

Well not necessarily…That’s the lesson we learned at Palatine Library. We went through a full renovation on both floors of our Main Library during Covid shutdowns – the only silver lining to that challenging time. Like many libraries, door counts and program attendance went down drastically, but when we began seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, we wanted to see that reflected in our attendance.

So, our staff began to ask an important question: how do we get people back in the building?

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: https://www.rebeccacrownlibrary.org/

A Lovely Library Engagement

11 March 2022

River Forest Library is the final destination for an elaborate marriage proposal.

On Sunday, February 20, 2022, the Library was fortunate to be part of a very special event. Christopher had planned an ambitious adventure for his girlfriend Allison - that included scavenger hunting, puzzle solving, and exploring - all leading up to the final event of the day at the River Forest Public Library: a marriage proposal for Allison.

Do You Want Fries with Your Bestseller?

24 February 2022

That wasn’t quite the tagline for our Welcome Back to the Library campaign last fall, but we did offer a chance to win McDonald’s and Target gift cards!

As the summer of 2021 approached, Warrenville Library was starting to plan for a fall return to pre-pandemic hours and services. We were hopeful about resuming in-person programming, returning seating and tables to our public spaces, opening study rooms and offering our usual amenities.

Small Towns. Big Conversations.

24 January 2022

The Exhibitions

The Vespasian Warner Public Library District in Clinton has been looking forward to this month (January of 2022) for almost two years. The library was selected by Illinois Humanities to be one of six host sites for Voices and Votes: Democracy in America, a travelling exhibition from the Smithsonian Institution. The exhibition is on display now through February 5, 2022 and admission is free and open to the public.

Connect with a Community Conversation

22 November 2021

Are you looking for a new way to gather input and spark ideas in your community? Try a community conversation.

The Vespasian Warner Public Library District in Clinton held a community conversation in August thanks to grant funding from Libraries Transforming Communities (LTC): Focus on Small and Rural Libraries, an initiative of the American Library Association (ALA) in collaboration with the Association for Rural & Small Libraries (ARSL).

Advance Planning and Flexibility Makes Outreach a Success

11 October 2021

Back in June, it was with cautious optimism that I emailed our staff to say “we’re getting the band back together!” It was time to dust off the prize wheel, order tchotchkes, air out the tent, and get back out into the community for some personal interaction with residents. We received a number of invitations to fests and gatherings, and I said yes to as many as I thought we could handle. We had great fun, meaningful conversations, and new experiences. Here are some bullet points to consider as your outreach schedule comes back to life:


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