Fox River Grove Library Unveils Grant-Funded Videos

9 December 2020

The Fox River Grove Public Library District has created two videos to promote the Library and the Fox River Grove community. The videos were funded by the My Library Is… Grant from the Reaching Across Illinois Libraries System (RAILS). The videos are available on the Library’s YouTube channel, social media, and website, as well as the RAILS My Library Is... website.

Recommendations for Makerspaces During a Pandemic

4 December 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has radically changed how patrons and library staff utilize and learn in makerspaces or within their maker communities. Beyond topics of public health and politics, this pandemic has shown the importance of the skills and sense of community that one may gain in makerspaces. A perfect example is masks and other PPE supplies. In many ways, programs and classes where patrons have learned to sew are lifesaving! Let’s review some best practice suggestions to reopening a makerspace safely during this or any pandemic!

The Festive Readers’ Advisory We Need Now: Teen and Adult Book Boxes

30 November 2020

After Lisle Library’s Adult and Teen Focus Librarian, Noelle Spicher, started hearing about the success of teen book box programs in other libraries, she began crafting a procedure to try out the program at LLD and it went live in January 2020.  A few months after the launch of the teen program, adults began asking if they could have book boxes too, and Noelle went to work figuring out the logistics. The adult program has been running alongside the teen program since October 2020. The steps involved are: 

SRP Already? Lessons from the Pandemic

16 November 2020

Yes, it’s November. Yes, many of us are still recovering from the Summer Reading Program that wasn’t (or almost wasn’t). No, we don’t want to think about Summer Reading 2021, but like it or not, planning time is here.  Normally, libraries base their coming programs on participation and response rates of the program that just ended, but with a global pandemic raging, nothing is normal. Now is the time to make decisions for 2021.  Do you hope for the best and plan based on your 2019 B.C. (before COVID) program? Were you able to pivot and still provide an SRP in some form in 2020?

Effective Library Marketing Campaigns

26 October 2020

At the 2020 ILA Annual Conference, I had the privilege of co-presenting a program, Effective Library Marketing Campaigns, with two colleagues, Burgundy Hill from Quincy Public Library and Ann Reeves from Eureka Public Library District. Our presentation focused on how libraries can promote themselves through stronger coordination of communication channels, better brand building, and campaign planning tools that are easily available through the My Library Is... website. Here's a description:

Get Out the Vote at your Virtual Library

19 October 2020

The Lincolnwood Public Library Junior Justice League, a community service club for 3rd-8th graders, works throughout the school year to highlight kids’ voices and interests to provide activism and agency. They choose the causes and projects to focus on - ranging from supporting animals in shelters to civic engagement. Their interests have driven the program’s events and projects; if you create a similar group at your library, start by asking your kids & teens what they care about and want to do!

My Library Is... Conversation with Sasha Vasilic

30 September 2020

RAILS Member Engagement Manager Dan Bostrom speaks with Sasha Vasilic, the Public Relations and Marketing Supervisor, Niles-Maine District Library about the Best. Deal. Ever. campaign. This campaign won the Niles-Maine District Library a John Cotton Dana Award from the American Library Association for excellence in library public relations and strategic communication.

Learn more about this award. 

Virtual FanFests: Taking the Superhero Size Event into a Virtual Space

21 September 2020

In 2019, the Matteson Area Public Library District organized its first comic-con event, MAPLD FanFest, in April. Initially, we weren’t sure  how our community would receive the idea of a FanFest. We hoped for at least 300 attendees but were pleasantly surprised that we had close to 1,000.

Examining Our Controversial History: Deerfield Public Library's Award-Winning Fight to Integrate Project

10 September 2020

In 1959, a housing developer began work on new, upscale homes in Deerfield, with a difference--the development would be racially integrated. Many residents immediately opposed the development. In the weeks that followed, residents passed a park referendum to condemn the developer’s land. The crisis became a national story, attracting the attention of Martin Luther King Jr., James Baldwin, Eleanor Roosevelt, and years of protest. The land has remained parks. In the years since, many residents were unaware of this important struggle for civil rights in their community.

Finding Our Voice: Storytime and Summer Reading in the Time of COVID-19

31 August 2020

Colona District Public Library’s Youth Services assistant, Bailey Hager, had a very busy spring and summer. Bailey began a Virtual Story Time in March which will continue indefinitely. She purposefully chose books to match crafts she was demonstrating using items easily found in a home. She used different voices to act out the parts of various characters in the books. Bailey majored in theater and art in college so I think this was more fun than work!

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