RAILS Receives Grant to Recreate L2

L2 (librarylearning.info) began in 2008 as a collaborative project between the existing Illinois library systems. It was originally conceived of as a continuing education calendar, and also quickly became a directory of system member libraries. Since that time, L2 has evolved into a critical tool for staff from all types of libraries (academic, public, school, and special), library systems, LLSAPs (Local Library System Automation Projects), and the Illinois State Library.

The original platform can no longer support the evolving needs of all of these stakeholders. RAILS has been maintaining the L2 platform since 2011. We 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.

L2 currently serves as a statewide calendar of continuing education, networking meetings, catalog consortium training, and other events. Library staff can search and register for these events, and track attendance for different time periods. They can also find like-minded colleagues for networking purposes, and even create email lists based on different staff positions. L2 provides a wealth of data on individual libraries as well, including lists of library staff with contact information, building information, delivery data (codes, routes, delivery frequency, etc.), ILS types (standalone, shared catalog consortium, etc.), and more. Public libraries use L2 to track nonresident card participation as required by law.

The grant project will maintain the major L2 functionality that libraries have come to depend on, while at the same time updating the product and making it much easier to use. In the next few months, RAILS will issue an RFP and choose a consultant to work with us on this project. We will keep members up-to-date on the latest developments throughout the grant period (approximately 18 months). We will also give members opportunities to share how they currently use L2 and any issues they have with the platform that we might be able to resolve through the grant project. In the meantime, if you have any comments or questions, please contact L2r@railslibraries.info.

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