RAILS Wants Your Library Stories to Share with Elected Officials

RAILS is looking for stories that demonstrate the value of all types and sizes of libraries that we can share with elected officials and other stakeholders to help demonstrate the need for continued/additional library funding.

All libraries are invited to contribute stories in one of three ways:

  • Log into the My Library Is… website with the login and password you use for L2. Click Blog in the top menu and then choose the Add a Blog Item link. When you add your story, it would be great if you include a photo!
  • Record your stories via our new My Library Is… hotline! Think about what you want to convey to demonstrate the value of your library, then call 630.734.5005 and record your story after the tone. The maximum length is five minutes. We will post the recording to the My Library Is… website.
  • As an alternative, you can contribute stories (and photos) by sending a Word doc or PDF to RAILS Communications or reaching out for help in writing your story.

Your stories do not need to be long, but they do need specific examples of how your library has benefited the lives of library users and that demonstrate a return on investment for the funding you receive. Think (write, speak) about these three things:

  1. What was the project or situation?
  2. How did it impact the patron or the community?
  3. Why does it demonstrate my library's value?

Possible ideas include but are by no means limited to how your library has:

  1. Strengthened the economy of your community by helping someone find a job or providing resources/support for entrepreneurs or someone looking to start a small business.
  2. Helped bridge the digital divide by providing computer or internet access to someone that did not have this access at home; or helped users navigate the internet, decipher between real and fake news, or learn to use social media responsibly.
  3. Helped students achieve educational success, get better grades, get a degree or diploma, graduate from high school, get into college, etc.
  4. Helped instill a love of reading or teach people of all ages how to read, learn English, or become U.S. citizens.
  5. Provided services for marginalized or isolated populations, such as the homeless, immigrants, non-English speakers, seniors, or the economically disadvantaged; or filled other gaps caused by eliminating social service organizations in your community.
  6. Offered important community services, such as notary public, test proctoring, voter registration and voting sites, and passport services.
  7. Created a makerspace to enrich learning and increase collaboration or offered STEM or STEAM activities that helped your users with science, technology, engineering, arts, or mathematics.

Please share your stories so we can help promote the value of all Illinois libraries to elected officials and other stakeholders. Questions? Contact RAILS Communications.

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