Member Connection - March 15, 2018

By now you have seen information on our announce list or on social media regarding the threat to federal library support. Library advocates need to contact their U.S. House Representatives this week and ask them to sign Dear Appropriator letters by the March 19 deadline.

Contact your members of Congress today and urge them to protect library funding. Let them know how important these centers of literacy, access, lifelong education and learning are to your community.

The time to act is now. Speak up! Here are some tools to help:

  • ALA’s #FundLibraries Campaign: find out if your House Representative has signed Dear Appropriator letters to fully fund Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) programs.
  • Contact your Representative: use a handy widget to quickly draft a message to your elected federal reps regarding the preservation of federal library funding.
  • Media Toolkit: additional tips and suggestions for getting the word out in your community.
  • The new appropriations infographic illustrating the entire process and where citizen input is most needed and effective.

We all realize that libraries are the vibrant hearts of the communities we serve. Let’s do our best to keep those hearts strong.

Recently we’ve learned of three grants available for our libraries. The staff at IHLS wants to make sure that all our members have the information and the deadlines.


Recorded Books is excited to offer academic and public libraries in the Illinois Heartland Library System an exciting, cost-effective, system-wide purchase of RBdigital. Content available on the RBdigital service includes eMagazines, eAudiobooks, eBooks, Streaming Video on Demand, eComics, and digital educational products (language learning, tech courses). Participating in this group purchase is a great way to add these digital products to your collection and give patrons access to thousands of digital titles anytime, anywhere.
Informational webinars are being provided for IHLS members during the month of March. Register here to pick the date and time that works best for you!
Recorded Books will also be happy to provide a cost estimate for any library that is interested. Pricing is dependent on how many libraries choose to participate and your library does not need to be a member of SHARE. Simply fill out this brief form by April 1, 2018 to receive an estimated quote.

Congratulations to Sara Zumwalt, Library Director, and the staff at Litchfield Public Library District. On Monday, February 26, the library opened for business in their beautiful, new building. Sara shares more of the story below.

This has been my dream.  I worked with the board, the architects, the staff, the patrons...all to provide what I hoped would become a phenomenal library. I think we won!

Sara Zumwalt, Litchfield Public Library District

The second annual Directors University will be held June 4-8, 2018, 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. The deadline for application is March 23. Attendees will be notified of their selection by mid-April. Learn more or submit your application.

The Soon to be Famous Illinois Author Project congratulates the 2018 semi-finalist authors  that will move to the next round. The winner of the 2018 contest will be announced on April 26 at 1 pm at Fountaindale Public Library.  Find out more at

Reaching Forward South (RFS) is an annual professional development conference for library support staff in central and southern Illinois. This year RFS will be May 11, 2018, at the Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville.

Hot topics this year include:

  • The special guest is Phil Lenzini.  He will be there to talk law and libraries, as well as hosting some office hours.
  • Disaster Panel: Helping a community recover after tragedy or disaster. The San Juan Community Library in Puerto Rico will be joining via teleconference to talk about what their library has experienced in the major disaster from which their community is still recovering.
  • Beyond Books and DVDs to other things they check out (i.e., sewing machines, robots, tables, telescopes etc.).
  • Attracting Teens & Adults to library programs.

Tickets are $75 per person and include breakfast and lunch. They can be purchased online at Sales are open now, and program lists will be updated as things get finalized.

Ensure your library’s programs and services are meeting patrons’ needs and exceeding expectations by using evaluation techniques that demonstrate results. Webjunction's three-part webinar series on user-centered assessment and evaluation will help you go from gut instinct to data-supported proof. More Information

The 2018 Targeting Autism Forum will be held on May 17-18, 2018 in the atrium of the Illinois State Library, Springfield, IL.  (See full agenda). To register, simply send an email to Suzanne Schriar,, with a subject line that reads Registration for the forum.  Please include your name, job title, name of your library or other professional affiliation and a brief statement about your interest in the topic of autism and libraries.  As in previous years, there is no registration fee to attend.  Lodging for May 16-17 will be provided at no additional charge at the Wyndham Springfield City Centre. Breakfast and lunch on May 17-18 will be provided.  Registrations will be accepted now through Friday, April 27th.

It’s time to send in your nomination for the TBS, Inc. Technical Services Award!  The award committee is looking for a librarian who demonstrates a commitment to leadership, programming and professional development in the Technical Services field.  The nominee must be a personal ILA member or work at a library with an institutional membership.

Volume 2, Issue 1 (Summer 2018)
Marketing Libraries Journal (MLJ) is a peer-reviewed, independently published, open access scholarly journal that focuses on innovative marketing activities that libraries are engaged in.

Deadline for Submissions: April 1, 2018 (peer-reviewed manuscripts)
Deadline for Submissions: May 1, 2018 (practical articles)

In this new PSA, Jason Reynolds calls school libraries 'places of recognition for young people'.

March 16 Call for Programs, ILA Conference
March 20-24 PLA Conference, Philadelphia, PA
March 23 Application Due, Directors University
March 27 IHLS Board Networking Event, Decatur Public Library
March 31 Annual Library Certification
March 31 ILL ILLINET Traffic Survey
April 3 Members Matter Meeting at Carbondale Hub
April 8-14 National Library Week
April 10 National Library Workers Day
April 28 Elevate Leadership Program at Lincoln Public Library in Springfield
May 7 National Library Legislative Day
May 11 Reaching Forward South at SIU-Edwardsville
May 17-18 Targeting Autism Forum, Springfield, IL
May 22 IHLS Board Networking Event at Carbondale Hub
June 4-8 Directors University at Illinois State Library.
June 5 Members Matter at Edwardsville Hub
June 21 ALA Annual Conference, New Orleans
September 13-15 Association of Rural and Small Libraries National Conference, Springfield
October 7-13 Teen Reed Week
October 9-11 ILA Conference, Peoria