Bill Extending Cards for Kids Act Passes Both Houses
Senate Bill 3497 has passed in both the Illinois House of Representatives and the Illinois Senate. The bill allows a public library board to choose to waive the nonresident fee for all persons under the age of 18. The bill will go to Governor Pritzker next. If he signs it, the Illinois State Library will develop rules to guide the implementation of the legislation and the bill will become law.
RAILS has been working on this initiative with our RAILS Board Universal Services Committee for about two years, and considers the bill passing both houses to be a major accomplishment. Universal service and the importance of children having access to library service also frequently came up as a priority for members from all types of libraries during the development of the new RAILS strategic plan. The legislation will help get library cards into the hands of many more kids in Illinois, no matter where they live or the income level of their parents. It will encourage kids to read and to use the public library. If these children see the benefits of public library service early on, they will be more likely to advocate for and support libraries as adults.
RAILS will keep members informed of the continued progress of this bill via this E-News. We thank Senator Laura Murphy and the other sponsors of this bill, as well as the entire Illinois legislature for recognizing the importance of children having access to full library service and for bringing Illinois one step closer to achieving universal library service.
Specialized Libraries Needed!
We are looking for specialized libraries to participate in the My Library Is... Specialized Library Spotlight. These interviews are highly viewed and a great way to get information out about your library. Please consider talking to us about what a Spotlight would mean for your library. Contact RAILS Communications with questions.
Specialized Library Spotlight
In this recent Specialized Library Spotlight video, RAILS Acting Member Engagement Manager Debbie Baaske speaks with Laura Turner, Librarian at the Technical Information Center at Caterpillar Inc., located outside of Peoria. Laura talks about this highly specialized engineering library that serves all worldwide employees of Caterpillar. They also act as the company’s repository of internal reports and technical documentation for the entire history of Caterpillar.
Each spotlight focuses on a specialized library and how they make a difference in their organization. If you'd like your specialized library featured in the Spotlight, please contact RAILS Communications.
More Libraries Get on Board with Find More Illinois
Find More Illinois is growing quickly, which makes it a better resource for all participating libraries. The current incentive program allows new libraries to join without paying the usual setup fee or any annual fees until July 2023. This includes current library participants as well.
We're happy to welcome libraries that are in the process of joining, including all six libraries from Pinnacle and other shared online catalogs, and several standalone libraries:
- Antioch Public Library District
- DeKalb Public Library
- Fountaindale Public Library District
- Highwood Public Library
- Joliet Public Library
- Knoxville CUSD #202
- Lemont Public Library District
- Ohio Public Library District
- Plainfield Public Library District
- Shorewood-Troy Public Library District
- Skokie Public Library
- Waukegan Public Library
- Wheaton Public Library
- White Oak Library District
Library patrons can quickly search the catalogs of all Find More Illinois libraries in a single search. Patrons and staff at participating libraries can also place interlibrary loan requests in the same search session. All Illinois libraries are eligible to participate, regardless of their size, type, or library software. Visit the Find More Illinois website to learn more about joining.
Revised Delivery Label
You may have noticed RAILS Delivery has introduced a slightly modified sticky delivery label. This change was made in direct response to feedback from our member libraries.
The new version of the label includes an option for libraries to indicate whether an item is a Hold or a Return, facilitating more streamlined processing at receiving libraries. If you choose to utilize this option, simply circle “Hold” if the item is to fill a hold, or circle “Return” if the item is being returned to the owning library. Whether or not you utilize the Hold or Return option, please continue to fill out the rest of the delivery label as usual. Contact RAILS Delivery with any questions about the delivery label or delivery service in general.
Join the RAILS Board, Deadline April 13
RAILS seeks candidates for the RAILS Board that reflect the diversity of the RAILS membership. The open positions include two at-large representatives, two current members from a public library board of trustees, and one special library seat. Terms for all positions begin on July 1, 2022, and end on June 30, 2025. Visit News from RAILS on our website for details on duties and responsibilities, and the application. The deadline for nominations is 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 13. Questions? Contact Mary Witt, RAILS Marketing and Communications Director.
Get RAILS Invoices via Email, Deadline April 6
Would you like RAILS invoices sent via email for group purchases, eRead Illinois, Find More Illinois, HR Source, Electronic Content Consortium, etc.? This will help to improve efficiency for your library and RAILS, as well as reduce mailing costs.
If you choose to receive invoices by email, your library will no longer receive hard copies of the invoices through the mail after July 1. Submit your email contact information to register to receive invoices by email. Please respond by end of day on April 6.
ALA Advocacy Alert: FY 2023 #FundLibraries Campaign
On March 28, President Biden released his proposed budget spending requests for FY 2023. Your help is needed now until the budget is signed in order to ensure libraries are fully funded next year.
ALA has launched its annual #FundLibraries Campaign for FY 2023. Celebrate National Library Week (April 3-9) by taking these steps:
- Bookmark the #FundLibraries web page and share these with your elected officials and library community:
- Take action now:
Directors University Is Now Accepting Applications!
The sixth annual Directors University will be held June 6-10, 2022, at the Illinois State Library in Springfield. This week-long University is intended for first-time directors and directors new to Illinois from public libraries of all shapes and sizes. Approximately 50 participants will be selected to attend, with preference given to new directors who have not previously attended Directors University or the Statewide Public Library Management Institute. Applicants must have been named the permanent director of the library by May 1. Applications will be accepted until April 22 and notifications will be sent out by April 29.
“MARC 21 Standard: An Introduction” Moodle Training Course
This is a four-week course using a Moodle-developed site and runs from April 25 through May 22. Each week will include an introduction to that week’s content, a few readings, and assignments or quizzes. A discussion forum will be available for each week, and participation is considered essential.
This is an asynchronous course, so you will not need to log in at a specific time, but you are expected to complete assignments and quizzes by the end of each week. This course is NOT designed to focus on any specific ILS or local practices of any library or consortium. Learn more about the course.
Registered participants will be e-mailed Moodle login instructions before April 25. Register. Contact Nincy George with questions.
"Halfway to Halloween" Webinar, April 19
Join authors and librarians from the Horror Writers Association as they discuss the 2022 Summer Scares titles and how to promote horror in your library. This webinar is being offered in partnership with the Adult Reading Roundtable, and will be held on Tuesday, April 19 from 2 to 4 p.m. Register via L2.
"The Ultimate Instagram Workshop" Webinar, April 28
This webinar will help you strategize so that you can have a sustainable and powerful Instagram brand for your library. Attendees will learn how to create a new and improved Instagram bio/photo, insight into how to make Instagram stories/highlights your best friend, content ideas, and more! Join Barbara Alvarez as she guides you through the process. This webinar is on Thursday, April 28 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. See more details and register on L2.
Program Change for April's Online with the CMC
"By Any Other Name: NAF Ins and Outs" is on April 21. This presentation will cover the Name Authority File (NAF) including how NAF records operate in cataloging, what NAF record creation entails, insights on NACO training, and examples of name authority records.
The previous topic, "Show and Tell: Strategies for Basic Book Repair and Preventive Care," was going to be presented by a previous CMC staff member. Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.
RAILS Online Roundtable: "Go-To Data Resources," April 7
Join us for a new RAILS Online Roundtable: "Go-To Data Resources" on Thursday, April 7 from 2 to 3 p.m. Grant Halter, RAILS Data Analysis Manager, will discuss how libraries can use publicly-available data sets like maps and the IPLAR in their own work. We encourage attendees to share their own go-to data resources that help them in their jobs. This conversation will be for staff from any public library who wants to integrate more data tools into their work.
Webinar Recording Available: eRead Illinois Axis 360 Dashboard Reports Overview
eRead Illinois members, you can now view a recording of Axis 360 Dashboard Reports Overview. This webinar provides training on the Axis 360 admin portal, with a focus on statistics and reports including new Interactive Dashboard Reports. If you or your staff are interested in statistical information that can be used for grants, reporting, and more, this hour-long webinar is for you. View the recording here to discover and utilize the analytics of your community’s eReading habits!
Join eRead Illinois!
Now is a great time to join eRead Illinois Axis 360. Membership provides your library with access to a shared collection of over 62,000 e-books and audiobooks.
We are once again waiving the prorated FY 2022 membership fee for libraries that sign up for eRead Illinois between now and July 1. Your patrons will gain access to the eRead Illinois Axis 360 shared collection for May and June at no additional cost to the library. Libraries will be invoiced for a full year’s subscription (July 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023) to eRead Illinois Axis 360 after July 1. This only applies to new sign-ups. Visit eRead Illinois for information on joining.
Deals & Discounts
For pricing and more information on all offerings, visit the Deals & Discounts page and log in using your L2 email and password.
Auto-Graphics Product Demos for RAILS Libraries
RAILS members are eligible for discounted pricing for Auto-Graphics’ VERSO Express, an ILS tailored for smaller libraries with less than 150,000 annual circulation. Register for an Auto-Graphics group session demo on Tuesday, April 19 at 10 a.m. or Thursday, April 21 at 10 a.m.
Swank Webinar for RAILS Public Libraries
Join Swank Copyright Manager Joe Swift for a refresher on how the Swank movie license works and to learn about the latest updates and promotional tools. Joe will host a live webinar, “Swank: Resuming Movie Programs for Public Libraries” on Thursday, April 7 at 2 p.m. No registration is required.
My Library Is... Grant for School Libraries: Office Hours
Interested in applying for the My Library Is... Grant for School Libraries but have some questions? RAILS is hosting an hour-long office session to answer any questions about the grants. This is your opportunity to discuss the application process, kick around ideas, or hear about what other libraries are doing. No registration is necessary. Drop in for as long as you need to get your questions answered on Monday, April 11, noon - 1 p.m.
These grants are designed to help school libraries tell their story and advance projects for maximum visibility in their schools and communities. The deadline is April 18. Apply.
RAILS CE Event Grant
The RAILS Continuing Education Event Grant supports CE events for RAILS member libraries towards the development of library staff and trustees. The maximum grant award is $2,000. Applications are due by April 22. Read the grant guidelines and apply online.
RAILS at Conferences
RAILS Presentation and Exhibit Table at Reaching Forward South, April 8
Anna Behm, RAILS E-Content Specialist, and Jessica Barnes, RAILS Special Projects Librarian, will present “Yours for the Taking: Freely Available Statewide Services” at the Reaching Forward South Conference in Champaign on Friday, April 8. The presentation will focus on Inkie.org and Explore More Illinois, and how these two statewide projects can complement libraries’ existing collections and programming. For additional information, please visit the Reaching Forward South conference web page.
Stop by RAILS' exhibit table at Reaching Forward South and learn what RAILS can do for you! We are a Platinum Partner sponsor of Reaching Forward South and will sponsor the morning coffee break.
RAILS at Reaching Forward, Rosemont, May 6
If you are planning on attending the Reaching Forward Conference at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont on May 6, make sure to stop by the RAILS booth! We'll have plenty to share with you and you'll have your chance to spin our famous wheel!
We are a Platinum Partner of Reaching Forward and are sponsoring the morning coffee break. Watch this E-News for more details.
Other Conferences News
Deadline Extended for AISLE Proposals
The new deadline is Friday, April 15 to complete the Proposal to Present at the AISLE 2022 Conference. AISLE asks you to share your ideas and your professional experiences. The conference theme is Advocate, Collaborate, Teach.
There are three options for presentations:
- Three hours - Thursday professional development session, November 3
- 45 minutes - Friday or Saturday concurrent session, November 4 or 5
- Poster session/idea showcase - passive programming (a display or a hands-on activity)
Save the Date for 2022 SLA Midwest Symposium
The 2022 SLA Midwest Symposium: Transformation of Librarianship takes place on Friday, June 10 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Co-hosted by SLA Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, and St. Louis communities, the 2022 SLA Midwest Symposium will feature:
All sessions will take place virtually. A call for speakers and registration will be shared soon.
- 10-minute lightning talks
- 30-minute presentations
Jesse White Awards More than $1.4 Million in Grants to School Libraries
Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White awarded more than $1.4 million in FY 2022 School District Library Grant Program awards to 672 public school districts. More than 1.5 million Illinois students served by school library media programs will benefit from the grants. The School District Library Grant Program is used for:
Find more information about the grant program.
- Fiction and/or non-fiction books
- Educational CDs and DVDs
- Library subscriptions
- Electronic resources
- New computers
- Wi-Fi connectivity improvements
Unique Entity Identifier Required for Federal Grant Funds from the State Library
Libraries applying for FY 2023 grants that are funded with federal funds may receive an email requesting their agency’s Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) if it is not currently on file at the Illinois State Library. The UEI, provided through SAM.gov, is positioned to take the place of the DUNS Number starting in April 2022. If your library is registered in SAM.gov, a UEI has already been assigned to your agency. If your agency is not currently registered on SAM.gov, there is an option to request a UEI.
The UEI is required to be eligible for grants from the Illinois State Library. More information. If you have questions, please contact the Illinois State Library, Library Development Group at 800.665.5576, ext. 2.
Public Library Construction Act Grant Deadline
The Illinois State Library is accepting applications for the Public Library Construction Grant program due April 15.
To be considered for funding, applications and all required supporting documentation must be submitted electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org. Information on the required supporting documentation and more can be found at Public Library Construction Grant Program.
For more information on the program, please contact email@example.com or 800.665.5576, ext. 2.
2022 Manuscript Finalists Announced
The Soon to Be Famous Illinois Author Project committee announced the finalists for the 2022 Manuscript Project contest. Congratulations to these three Illinois authors and their libraries. Next, judges evaluate the finalists' submissions to determine this year's contest winner.
Here are the finalists (in alphabetical order by author's last name).
Details about our Manuscript Project can be found here.
- How to Spot A Fake by Rachelle Dio (Cook Memorial Public Library District)
- House Call by Sarah Roots (Chicago Public Library)
- A Girl with a Knife by Alina Rubin (Niles-Maine District Library)
Library News, Director Updates, Member Question, Fast Facts Surveys
RAILS Library Director News
Do you have library director changes to share? Let RAILS Communications know of library director changes (and the effective date of the changes) so we can officially welcome new directors to the RAILS community and say goodbye to retiring directors.
To post your library news, sign into the RAILS website with the email address and password used for L2. Click on your name to view posting options.
Fast Facts Surveys
To post a brief Fast Facts survey to poll other libraries about a narrow topic, sign into the RAILS website with the email address and password used for L2, visit the Fast Facts Surveys page, and click on Add New Survey (top right).