What's New at RAILS

Sparks Podcast Episode 22: Annie Bostrom, Booklist

Deirdre Brennan and Annie Bostrom

In the latest Sparks podcast, RAILS Executive Director talks with Annie Bostrom, Associate Editor for Adult Books at Booklist, and chair of the 2019 Andrew Carnegie Medals. They talk about attending the Carnegie awards dinner, the process of choosing the winners, the wonders of meeting authors, and reading the best books.

Library Stories Needed for New Website

The RAILS' My Library Is… campaign, is designed to help our members tell their stories and promote their value to different stakeholders, including library users, potential users, parent institutions, governing boards, funders, colleagues, elected officials, and other stakeholders.

We will launch a campaign website in June, and we need your help! A major feature of the website will be the chance for members to share best practices and ideas that other libraries can use/imitate to tell their stories. We would like to have member content available to share when the website launches. Read more about what you can contribute and send your items to communications@railslibraries.info.

RAILS Receives Grant to Recreate L2

Since its beginning in 2008, L2 (librarylearning.info) has grown from purely a continuing education calendar, to also a directory of system member libraries. Since that time, L2 has evolved into a critical tool for staff from all types of libraries, library systems, LLSAPs, and the Illinois State Library.

RAILS recently received special grant funding from the Illinois State Library for a total restructure and refresh of L2 that will result in a more robust and flexible platform that better suits the ongoing needs of all those who use L2. Stay tuned for member opportunities to share how you use L2 and issues you may have with the platform. In the meantime, if you have any comments or questions, please contact L2r@railslibraries.info. Read more about this in News from RAILS.

Explore More Illinois Is Live!

Explore More Illinois logo

On April 1, Explore More Illinois, RAILS' cultural pass program, went live. Currently, we have 90 libraries participating, with 16 attractions and 18 offers for your patrons to access around the state. We will be adding libraries and attractions on a rolling basis. For more information about Explore More Illinois, visit www.exploremoreillinois.org.

"Dreams Take Flight" Video Launched for Library Use

Dreams Take Flight at Your Library (video still)

RAILS' My Library Is... campaign is aimed at helping our member libraries of all sizes and types (academic, public, school, and special) tell their stories more effectively. We've created a video, Dreams Take Flight at Your Library, showing all the library has to offer that can easily be used by libraries in their marketing and storytelling efforts. The video is available in different lengths and in English and Spanish, on the RAILS website.

RAILS Launches "My Library Is..." Campaign

The RAILS' new My Library Is... campaign aims to help our member libraries of all sizes and types (academic, public, school, and special) tell their stories and promote their value more effectively. This is in direct response to numerous member requests for this assistance during our 2018 strategic planning process. Questions? Contact Mary Witt, RAILS Communications Director.

Sparks Podcast Episode 21: Content Marketing

Deirdre Brennan and Kim Caviness in a recording booth

In our latest episode of Sparks, RAILS Executive Director Deirdre Brennan talks with Kim Caviness, Chief Content Officer of Chicago marketing firm Imagination about content marketing and how it is relevant to libraries, that print still has a place in our digital world, and our collaboration on the Dreams Take Flight video. Browse all Sparks podcast episodes at https://www.railslibraries.info/sparks.

RAILS Selects Three Projects for Partnership Grants

RAILS has selected three projects to receive RAILS Partnership Grants. These grants encourage member libraries to work with external partners on innovative programs and services. The three projects are:

  • Evanston Community Dementia Resource Center - Evanston Public Library, Dementia Friendly Evanston, Chicago Center for Cognitive Wellness, and Services for Adults Staying in their Homes (SASI)
  • Bike the Trail Library to Library - Lillie M. Evans Library District, Toulon Public Library District, Peoria Heights Public Library, Dunlap Public Library District, Wyoming Public Library District, and Rock Island State Trail Park
  • BreakOut EDU and You! - Marist High School and Blue Island Public Library

RAILS Partnership Grants are offered twice per year. Participating libraries can choose to try new projects with existing partners or to create new partnerships that benefit their communities. For more information on the RAILS Partnership Grants, including a list of past recipients, please see the RAILS website: www.railslibraries.info