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
The Evanston Public Library and three local partners will collaborate to create the Evanston Community Dementia Resource. This will build upon their Memory Cafe program to provide a new service for the community. The funds will be used to build and circulate 20 home activity kits as well as the creation and dissemination of care partner information packets.
"This resource will provide people with dementia and their care partners with equitable access to current, relevant, and reliable information about their local dementia resources as well as engaging enrichment opportunities," said Jill Skwerski, Engagement Services Manager, Evanston Public Library. "By collaborating to create the Center, the Evanston Public Library and its partners aim to support residents, build community, and create welcoming spaces. We are thrilled for the support of RAILS."
The Bike the Trail Library to Library project is a collaboration between five libraries and a state park. The Lillie M. Evans Library District, the Toulon Public Library District, the Peoria Heights Public Library, the Dunlap Public Library District, and the Wyoming Public Library District will use the funds to work with the Rock Island State Trail Park to promote library resources including five recently installed bike repair stations along the trail. The Bike the Trail project connects bikers and libraries in a unique partnership.
"The Bike the Trail Library to Library project has great potential to impact our area," said Beth Duttlinger, Library Director, Lillie M. Evans Library District. "With these grant funds, we are looking to increase awareness and change the perception that libraries are just about books. This project allows us to promote our communities and educate trail users about the resources our libraries have to offer."
The BreakOut EDU and You! project offers teens at Marist High School and Blue Island Public Library the opportunity to build teamwork, digital literacy, critical thinking and troubleshooting skills. BreakOut EDU is a format of escape rooms inclusive and customizable. Marist and Blue Island will use the funds to purchase kits which will be circulated in both libraries.
"We're very excited about this project," said Kristen Rademacher, Librarian, Marist High School. "We believe that the BreakOut EDU and You! kits will offer kids an immersive learning games platform that is fun and engaging. This partnership will cultivate teens into eager solution finders capable of navigating research online and utilizing tools to solve complex problems."
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