My Library Is...Presenting an Amazing Exhibit of Mexican Art

27 May 2024

On January 29, 2024 Northern Illinois University Libraries opened a new exhibit displaying large Mexican sculpture pieces known as alebrijes. The exhibit, which will remain open until November 8, presents a collection of 23 pieces created by six artists from Mexico City. The DuPage Mexican Cultural Center in West Chicago selected the pieces and provided them to the library. Several of the pieces are quite large, over twelve feet in height. Others are smaller, about the size of a library table.

Making a Makerspace: A Library-Win Fable

26 December 2022

Once upon a time, there was a library nestled amid farm fields in Central Illinois.  Now, this library was not big, but its patrons loved the library, and the library loved all the people that came to visit.  The kind people who ran the library wanted to do everything they could to provide materials and services to their patrons that could not be found elsewhere.

Helping Start a New Business

8 December 2022

Business Librarian at the Crystal Lake Public Library here.  I had a patron come in for a one-on-one reference appointment shortly before the COVID-19 lockdown went into effect.  She and her partner were looking to open a bookstore and needed help gathering information.  I showed her our collection of business books, worked with her to find resources on writing a business plan, and demonstrated a couple of databases that would help her in her quest. 

My Library Is... A Place for Fresh Produce

10 October 2022

Cool, autumn weather and… gardens? It may not seem like the two go hand-in-hand, but now is the perfect time to start thinking about library programming and services for next year. One great way to get started is with a Garden Table.

Started in 2018, the Vespasian Warner Public Library District Garden Table encourages local gardeners to bring their surplus fruits and vegetables to share with the community. Then, library visitors are invited to take home whatever items they can use. This is a great way for the community to receive free produce that may otherwise go to waste.

Fostering Community Partnerships: 10 Easy Steps!

1 August 2022

As costs rise across the entire economic playing field, libraries are feeling the squeeze on their budgets.  One way to help mitigate a tight programming budget is to foster and maintain community partnerships.  Working with the businesses in your community is a winning solution for everyone involved.  Libraries get exposure to potential new card holders, while businesses get “free advertising” to prospective customers.  Often, the business community does not think about the library as a potential partner, so it is up to the library’s marketing or programming lead to initiate these relation


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