What's New at RAILS

Explore More Illinois Welcomes Joliet Slammers

The word "slammers" really large in logo

Explore More Illinois, RAILS' online cultural and recreational pass program for Illinois libraries, welcomes its newest attraction, Joliet Slammers in Joliet! The Joliet Slammers are a professional minor league baseball team that plays in downtown Joliet, Illinois, just 40 minutes southwest of Chicago. The Slammers are part of the Frontier League which is a partner league of Major League Baseball. They are the only professional sports team in Will County and pride themselves on offering "Affordable Family Fun" for the entire community.

Joliet Slammers is offering reserved tickets for only $2 for every Tuesday home game when purchased in advance. The last Tuesday game is August 16. Explore More Illinois users can access and reserve passes from any of our attractions on their participating library's website.

Explore More Illinois New Travel Video - Rockford, IL

Rockford has some of the most popular attractions in Explore More Illinois, RAILS' online cultural and recreational pass program for Illinois libraries. Share the first of our Explore More Illinois travel videos with your patrons! The video highlights attractions like Anderson Japanese Gardens, Discovery Center Museum, Rockford Art Museum, and Volcano Falls Adventure Park. It's perfect to share on your social media accounts or on digital signage. We plan on creating new travel videos regularly for you to share with your patrons.

Please contact Jessica Barnes, RAILS' Special Projects Librarian, at jessica.barnes@railslibraries.info or 630.734.5181 if you have questions about the video or about how your library can join Explore More Illinois.

Explore More Illinois Welcomes Cache Bayou Outfitters

Explore More Illinois, RAILS' online cultural and recreational pass program for Illinois libraries, welcomes its newest attraction, Cache Bayou Outfitters in Ullin, IL! Cache Bayou Outfitters is a nonprofit organization located in the Cache River Wetlands State Natural Area and Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge in Ullin, Illinois. Cache Bayou Outfitters offers canoe/kayak rentals and guided paddle tours. Guided tours include boat rental, life jackets, paddles, canoe/kayak instruction, and are accompanied by a professionally trained Guide/Naturalist. While paddling, explorers can expect to encounter a variety of wildlife including deer, beaver, otters, muskrat, a large variety of birds, and several different species of fish. Enjoy a 4.6-mile canoe trail loop that provides a path through Bottom Land Swamp that returns to the Cache Bayou Outfitters main office.

Explore More Illinois Welcomes Gateway Grizzlies

Explore More Illinois, RAILS' online cultural and recreational pass program for Illinois libraries, welcomes its newest attraction, the Gateway Grizzlies! The Gateway Grizzlies are a professional baseball team based in the St. Louis suburb of Sauget, IL. They are a member of the West Division of the Frontier League, a partner league of Major League Baseball. Since 2002, GCS Credit Union Ballpark has been the team's home.

The Gateway Grizzlies is offering half-off tickets. Explore More Illinois users can access and reserve passes from any of our attractions on their participating library's website.

Please visit the Explore More Illinois website for a list of current attractions. For more information, please contact Jessica Barnes or 630.734.5181.

Explore More Illinois Welcomes Anderson Japanese Gardens

Explore More Illinois, RAILS' online cultural and recreational pass program for Illinois libraries, welcomes its newest attraction, Anderson Japanese Gardens in Rockford! Anderson Japanese Gardens is proud of its longstanding reputation as one of the highest quality Japanese gardens in North America. Their passion, however, is how the Garden positively impacts individuals and the communities where they live. They are committed to presenting first-class programs, events, and opportunities that bring people together in this uplifting natural setting.

The Garden is offering buy one get one free admission per group on weekdays. Explore More Illinois users can access and reserve passes from any of our attractions on their participating library's website.

RAILS Announces 20 My Library Is… Grant for School Libraries Recipients

My Library Is... Campaign.

The Reaching Across Illinois Libraries System (RAILS) announced that 20 projects have been selected to receive My Library Is… Grants for School Libraries. The total amount funded for these projects is $78,232.80.

These grants provide an opportunity for libraries to focus on projects that help tell the library story and that increase visibility and support in schools. This year, there was a special focus on asking libraries to develop projects that incorporate principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) and to clearly demonstrate the impact these projects will have on their diverse student populations, teachers, parents, and administrators.

RAILS received 30 total applications. The following projects were chosen from those 30:

Specialized Library Spotlight: Dentons

Dan Bostrom, RAILS Member Engagement Manager talks with Eugene Giudice, Senior Research Services Training Specialist at Dentons. Eugene talks about his role at Dentons, a large law firm with locations around the world. By providing specialized training and research services, Eugene brings value to his firm and the individual cases he works on.

Specialized Library Spotlight: DuPage County Law Library

Dan Bostrom, RAILS Member Engagement Manager talks with Juanita Harrell, Law Library Manager at DuPage County Law Library. Juanita discusses how the library serves a wide audience including litigants, attorneys, judges, and the general public. This library has a unique mission to help everyone navigate the complex language and process of the law.

Specialized Library Spotlight: MacArthur Foundation

Debbie Baaske, acting Member Engagement Manager talks with Elizabeth Quinlan, Foundation Librarian at the MacArthur Foundation. Liz shares how she supports the more than 170 staff of one of the largest grant making organizations in the United States. Liz, who considers herself an "Information Shepherd", shares the importance of being adaptable and agile as a librarian to meet the changing needs of your organization.

Specialized Library Spotlight: Old Town School of Folk Music–Resource Center

Debbie Baaske, acting Member Engagement Manager talks with Colby Maddox, Manager of the Resource Center at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago. The collection houses over 25,000 commercial and archival recordings, videos, books, photos, documents and periodicals. The main users of the Resource Center are the teachers, administrators, and students of the school. The resource center is normally open to the public for browsing.

RAILS Minute February 10, 2022

In this episode Deirdre Brennan and Dan Bostrom talk about the brand-new RAILS Strategic Plan for 2022-2025. Deirdre reviews the process for creating the plan and what member libraries will find inside.

Watch or listen to Deirdre Brennan and Stephanie Chase talk about the importance of strategic planning for libraries in episode 37 of the Sparks Podcast: https://www.railslibraries.info/news/262264

Find out where RAILS is going in the new RAILS Strategic Plan 2022-2025: https://www.railslibraries.info/about/strategic-plan