Workshops Start Next Week for Public Library Construction Grant Programs

Applications are now being accepted for the new Public Library Construction Act Grant Program and the annual Live and Learn Construction Grant Program. Applications and all other information concerning these two programs can be found on the Illinois State Library ‘s website.

The Illinois State Library will conduct a series of statewide in-person, videoconference and online workshops to discuss the two programs and answer questions on the following dates:

  • November 2 — 10 a.m.– noon
    Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS), Burr Ridge, Main Meeting   Room
  • November 3 — 10 a.m.– 12 p.m.
    RAILS, East Peoria, Valerie Wilford Room
  • November 9 — 10 a.m.– 12 p.m.
    Illinois Heartland Library System, Edwardsville, Large Meeting Room
  • November 10 — 10 a.m.– 12 p.m.
    Videoconference in Wheeling, Kankakee, Decatur, Champaign, East Peoria and Springfield (more locations to be announced later)
  • November 15 — 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

Registration is recommended but not required. Log on to L2 Library Learning. For questions concerning either program, please contact Mark Shaffer, 217-524-4901 or H. Neil Kelley, 217-782-1891.

Two Survey Deadlines MONDAY!

If you are one of the 109 Illinois public libraries receiving a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Opportunity Online Hardware Grant, you MUST complete this important survey no later than MONDAY, October 31.

The Illinois State Library needs to know how you use participatory technology tools, sometimes referred to as Web/Library 2.0 tools. They are interested in your comments to develop possible new continuing education opportunities. Please take a moment to complete this simple eight-question survey by NEXT MONDAY.

Literacy Spotlight: John Wood Community College in Quincy

This week the Illinois State Library spotlights John Wood Community College in Quincy!

Although she dropped out of high school, this 59-year-old adult learner always intended to obtain her GED. In fact, when she was in her 20’s, she attended a GED class in another state. The woman overheard her tutor saying that she was a “low-level reader,” which hurt her feelings so much that she quit the class.

Recently, the woman moved to Quincy to care for her ailing mother. She was able to transfer from the Indiana pharmacy she worked at to one in Quincy; however, the company now required all employees to have a high school diploma or GED. She worried that she wouldn’t be able to pass the GED test at age 59. She visited the literacy program at John Wood Community College, and was matched with an experienced tutor. She studied hard and successfully obtained her GED.

She is now studying for her pharmacy tech certificate and says her life would be quite different if she hadn’t been part of the John Wood literacy program.

The Big Read

The National Endowment for the Arts is now receiving applications for The Big Read. Seventy-five organizations in communities of varying sizes will be selected to participate in the program that runs September 2012 – June 2013.

Applicants must be 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, a division of state, local, or tribal government or a tax-exempt public library. Eligible applicants include literacy centers, libraries, museums, colleges and universities, and arts organizations. Grants will be awarded in varying amounts, from $2,500 to $20,000.

Community organizations participating in The Big Read will develop and produce a well-planned, well-attended, community-wide read with innovative, diverse programming, and widespread community involvement and participation. Grant activities last for up to one month and focus on a book or poet from The Big Read Library.

To access the guidelines and application, visit The Big Read website.

A Small But Powerful Webinar for Winning Big Support for Your Rural Library

Wednesday, December 14, 2011 ♦ 2 pm Eastern / 11 am Pacific ♦ 60 min

Join us for an introduction to the revised edition of the popular “Small But Powerful Guide to Winning Big Support for Your Rural Library,” a new toolkit from the American Library Association’s Committee on Rural, Native, and Tribal Libraries of All Kinds, Office for Literacy and Outreach Services, and the Association for Rural and Small Libraries.

This webinar will introduce you to the tips and strategies presented in the toolkit, share the experiences of a rural librarian who has built support for her library, and introduce you to some of the additional advocacy tools and resources from the American Library Association.

Go to the Early Registration Page >>

ILEAD U on Twitter and Facebook

Follow ILEAD U on Twitter and Facebook for real-time updates on Oct. 25-27.
The keynote for the third in-person session presented by Aaron Schmidt will be tweeted about at 8:45 a.m. CST on Oct. 25.  Schmidt is the director of the North Plains Public Library, near Portland, Oregon. He is the author of the Walking Paper, a library design consultancy blog.

Literacy Spotlight – Howard Area Community Center

This week the Illinois State Library spotlights Howard Area Community Center in Chicago.  A young mother who gave birth to her daughter at age 19 was very isolated after coming to the United States.  Her husband worked all day and she had no family or friends for support.  She began taking ESL classes at the Adult Education Program at Howard Area Community Center.

As a young mother, she was invited to participate in the family literacy program that included parenting classes, parent and child together activities and field trips.   She was very reluctant to participate since she was extremely shy and very cautious.

After a few months, she became friends with another adult learner who encouraged her to attend the family literacy program.  She started out slowly by attending a field trip and then began participating in other activities with her daughter.  She was recognized at the annual Student Recognition Ceremony as an exemplary family literacy participant.   She has made strong connections with other families in the program and can access more community resources for her child.

Calculating the 2010 U.S. Census Population Webinar Archive Now Available

An archived recording of last week’s webinar on Calculating the 2010 U.S. Census Population is now available. Instructions on determining the population of a public library service area are demonstrated using the U.S. Census Bureau’s Tract and Block Maps and its Web site, American FactFinder.

For additional assistance, please contact Robert Jones at or 217-785-1168.

Go to the archived webinar>>

Teaming Up With Teens @ Your Library

Tuesday, October 25, 20112 pm Eastern / 11 am Pacific ♦ 60 min.

What is the absolute best avenue to getting teens involved and engaged at your school or public library? How can you encourage them to be peer reader advisors and library advocates in the community? Ultimately, if you want to encourage your teens to become lifelong readers, learners, and library users/supporters—and possibly even choose library work for their future career path—there is no better way to go than offering opportunities for active and involved teen library participation. In this webinar, you will explore ways teens can take part in your library, such as advisory groups, volunteering, short-term projects that use teen’s special skills, and partnering with adults. You’ll also get tips on planning, organizing, conducting, and evaluating teen participation. When you team up with teens at your library, it’s win-win! WebJunction is pleased to host this webinar in collaboration with the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA).

Presented by: Kelly M Johnson, Office Manager & T.A.G. Staff Liaison, Ketchikan Public Library (AK); and Diane Tuccillo, Teen Services Librarian, Poudre River Public Library District (CO), author of Library Teen Advisory Groups (Scarecrow, 2005) and Teen-Centered Library Service: Putting Youth Participation into Practice (Libraries Unlimited, 2010).

Go to registration page »