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Member Engagement &  Networking

Supporting and communicating with all members of Illinois Heartland Library System is of paramount importance, as is helping members connect with other library professionals. These are actively accomplished in a number of  ways.


One-on-One Calls and Library Visits

IHLS staff are always ready to talk with library directors, staff members, and trustees. Whether you want to show off new construction or talk over an issue facing your library, our membership team wants to hear about it.

Our staff makes a point to visit many of our member libraries each year, and we try to visit each of our 520+ libraries at least once every few years. Libraries can also reach out to us to request a visit.

To request a visit or to speak to someone on our membership team, please contact Ellen Popit or Anna Yackle.


IHLS Directors' Chats

If you are a library director, associate director, branch director, or similar leader, join us and other library directors across central and southern Illinois for our regularly scheduled text-based chat. Ask questions and get answers, clarifications, and ideas directly from your library peers and IHLS leaders. The purpose of these text-bases chats is to provide a platform in which library staff leaders can discuss issues and concerns in an informal setting. Directors’ Chats are held most Thursdays from 1 to 2 p.m. (Directors’ Chats are not held on each third Thursday.) Register for an upcoming IHLS Directors’ Chat in L2 (LibraryLearning.org).

View past Directors' Chats transcripts.


IHLS Members Matter Events

IHLS Members Matter events are monthly forums for directors and staff from IHLS-member libraries to learn about important library issues and hear updates from Illinois Heartland Library System and the Illinois State Library. Library staff also have an opportunity to share information regarding their libraries. Register for an upcoming IHLS Members Matter event in L2 (LibraryLearning.org).


IHLS Member Day

Member Day is our biggest continuing education and networking event of the year! IHLS Member Day started as an annual day of member appreciation and has developed into a full one-day conference chock-full of learning opportunities. It has also been designed to provide a large-scale networking opportunity for all IHLS membership, both with system staff and with each other. Learn more about IHLS Member Day.


Regional, State, and National Networking

Library directors, staff, and trustees also have access to a wide range of networking opportunities beyond Illinois Heartland Library System. Below are some of the regional, state, and national organizations, some of which have special interest groups for individual library types.

 

 

Regional Networking Groups

These groups allow IHLS members with similar professional specialties the opportunity to meet, connect, ask questions, and share ideas.

If your special interest group is not on the list and you would like to be added, please contact the HLS Continuing Education Coordinator.

Adult Services Forum

About this group: Come share ideas for programs and services that appeal to adults. Open to anyone managing adult services at a public library.
Meeting Dates: The Adult Services Forum meets quarterly. See the L2 calendar for dates.
Group Contact:

Lacey Wright, Barclay Public Library District, 217-672-3621
Marie Maltby, Vespasian Warner Public Library District, 217-935-5174

Cooperative Collection Development Meeting

About this group: Regular Networking meeting of librarians.
Meeting Dates: The Cooperative Collection Development meets quarterly. See the L2 calendar for dates.
Group Contact:

Brenda Gilpatrick, Red Bud Public Library- (618) 282-2255

East Central Illinois Directors Group

About this group: Join this free informal discussion group to ask questions and get suggestions on any library topic. Connect with colleagues and share ideas for programming and other activities taking place in our libraries.
Meeting Dates: The East Central Illinois Directors group usually meets the last Monday of the month.See L2 calendar for dates.
Group Contact:

Jennifer Hendrickson, Gilman-Danforth District Library - 815-265-7522

Free Form Free For All

About this group: Youth services librarians have the opportunity to share ideas, success stories, new books, old books, and questions as they meet to informally discuss what is going on in the children and young adult areas of public libraries. Everyone who works with children and teens is invited to attend.
Meeting Dates: The Free Form Free For All group meets quarterly. See L2 calendar for dates.
Group Contact:

Sandi Hayes, Forsyth Public Library - 217-877-8174

Library on the Go

About this group: Library on the Go is a group of primarily Central Illinois Libraries that have chosen to come together to provide a robust collection of eBooks, e-audiobooks and more for their communities through Overdrive. Library on the Go welcomes interest from any Illinois library.
Meeting Dates: The Library On The Go consortium meets quarterly. See L2 calendar for dates.
Group Contact:

Johnna Schultz, Effingham Public Library 217-342-2464
Lacey Wright, Barclay Public Library District 217-672-3621

Local History and Genealogy Forum

About this group: Come share ideas for programs and services focusing on local history and genealogy. Open to anyone who handles local history and genealogy services at a public library.
Meeting Dates: The Local History and Genealogy Forum meets quarterly. See L2 calendar for dates.
Group Contact:

Alanna Sablotny, Chatham Area Public Library - 217-483-2713

Amy Byers, Chatham Area Public Library - 217-483-2713

Medium Pubs Meeting

About this group: The medium public library size libraries gather together to network about what is going on in their size library. They share ideas, discuss situations, and share events at their libraries.
Meeting Dates: The medium pubs group meets quarterly. See L2 calendar for dates.
Group Contact:

Richard Sumrall, Lincoln Public Library District - 217-732-8878

MEPL - Metro-East Public Library Management Meeting

About this group: The purpose of the meetings is to share ideas, voice concerns, and essentially learn from one another. *Open to all public library managers.
Meeting Dates: The Metro-East Public Library Management group meets on even numbered months. See L2 calendar for dates.
Group Contact:

Ryan Johnson, O'Fallon Public Library - 618-632-3783 ext. 1

Northern Directors Meeting

About this group: Join this free informal discussion group to ask questions and get suggestions on any library topic. Connect with colleagues and share ideas for programming and other activities taking place in our libraries.
Meeting Dates: The Northern Directors meets as time allows. See L2 calendar for dates.
Group Contact:

Kim Zumwalt, Watseka Public Library - 815-432-4544

Small Public Libraries Get-Together

About this group: The small public library size libraries gather together to network about what is going on in their size library. They share ideas, discuss situations, and share events at our libraries. They really have a lot of fun talking and sharing.
Meeting Dates: The Small Pubs group meets quarterly. See L2 calendar for dates.
Group Contact:

Donna Cunningham, Athens Municipal Library - 217-636-8047

Southern Illinois Public Library Directors Meeting

About this group: An opportunity to meet with other public library directors to share ideas and problem-solve concerns.
Meeting Dates: The Southern Illinois Public Library Directors group meets three times a year. See L2 calendar for dates.
Group Contact:

Loretta Broomfield, Sallie Logan Public Library - 618-684-3271

SWAYS (SouthWest Advocates for Youth Services) Meeting

About this group: Provide professional resources, guidance, and mentorship to library staff providing services to children and teens.
Meeting Dates: The SouthWest Advocates for Youth Services group meets every month except for June, July, and August. See L2 calendar for dates.
Group Contact:

Ivy Cowen, Mascoutah Public Library - 618-566-2562