RAILS Glossary

Acronyms, abbreviations, and terms that are specific to RAILS or important to Illinois libraries.

For general library-related terms, see the Online Dictionary for Library and Information Science


AISLE
Association of Illinois School Library Educators. Organization that provides leadership and support for school library staff. https://www.aisled.org (Formerly ISLMA, the Illinois School Library Media Association.)

ALA
American Library Association. Provides leadership for the development, promotion, and improvement of library services. http://ala.org

ALS
Alliance Library System, one of the predecessor regional library systems that merged to form RAILS.

AVID
Audiovisual Information & Discussion networking group.

CARLI
Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois. Many RAILS academic libraries and a few special libraries are members. https://www.carli.illinois.edu

CASL
Chicago Area Solo Librarians networking group.

CCS
Cooperative Computer Services. A shared catalog for public libraries in the north-eastern area of RAILS (north/northwest suburbs of Chicago). http://ccslib.org

CE
Continuing education. RAILS offers a wide variety of CE to members, including recorded webinars.

CMC
Cataloging Maintenance Center, a contract provider of cataloging services funded by the Illinois State Library. CMC is operated by the Illinois Heartland Library System.
https://www.illinoisheartland.org/cmc

CMS
Central Management Services. The Illinois state agency responsible for procurement, videoconferencing, telecommunications, etc. https://www2.illinois.gov/cms

CODSULI
Council of Directors of State University Libraries in Illinois.

consortium (plural: consortia)
A group of libraries created through a formal agreement, generally for the pupose of resource sharing. Examples include shared catalog/automation consortia, and e-book purchasing consortia. Shared catalog consortia include RAILS LLSAPs (e.g.: PrairieCat, RSA, and SWAN) and other independent consortia.

CPDU
Continuing Professional Development Units. Credits earned by school librarians and teachers for continuing education activities.

CPL
Chicago Public Library. https://www.chipublib.org/

CPLS
Chicago Public Library System. One of three Illinois regional library systems, comprising Chicago Public Library. CPLS is the only public library system in the state.

CTS
Continental Transportation Solutions, a company that RAILS contracts with to provide delivery services in some areas.

DLS
DuPage Library System, one of the predecessor regional library systems that merged to form RAILS.

Explore More Illinois
An online program allowing cardholders from participating RAILS libraries to receive free passes, discount admission, or other incentives from a variety of cultural institutions (museums, cultural centers, zoos, aquariums, gardens, historical societies). https://www.exploremoreillinois.org/

Find More Illinois
The RAILS catalog overlay project which expands esource sharing and facilitates interlibrary loan by providing a single discovery interface that draws from the catalogs of participating libraries. https://www.findmoreillinois.org/

FOIA
Freedom of Information Act. The law gives the public the right to request access to records from government agencies, including public libraries. RAILS provides public libraries with a FOIA/OMA Hotline to help with such requests.

FY
Fiscal year. The RAILS fiscal year runs from July 1 though June 30.

HECA
Higher Education Cooperation Act. Provides grant funds administered by the Illinois Board of Higher Education.

IACRL
Illinois Association of College and Research Libraries. Provides support to academic libraries. https://www.ila.org/forum/1/illinois-association-of-college-research-lib...

IBHE
Illinois Board of Higher Education. https://www.ibhe.org

ICB
Illinois Center for the Book, an arm of the Illinois State Library that promotes books, book arts, libraries and reading in Illinois. http://cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/library/center_for_the_book

ICCB
Illinois Community College Board. https://www.iccb.org/iccb

ICN
Illinois Century Network, the telecommunications backbone for schools and colleges, libraries, museum, and government agencies. http://illinois.net

IDA
Illinois Digital Archives, a repository for the digital collections of the Illinois State Library and other libraries and cultural institutions. http://www.idaillinois.org

IGA
Inter-governmental agreement. An example of an IGA is a contract for a public library to provide library cards to students of a school district outside the library's taxing area.

IHLS
Illinois Heartland Library System. One of three Illinois regional library systems. Formed in 2011 through the merger of Lewis & Clark Library System, Lincoln Trail Libraries System, Rolling Prairie Library System, and Shawnee Library System. Like RAILS, IHLS is a multitype system (serving academic, public, school, and special libraries). https://www.illinoisheartland.org

ILA
Illinois Library Association. The state organization for library staff and trustees. https://www.ila.org/

ILDS
Illinois Library Delivery System. RAILS provides ILDS interlibrary delivery service in partnership with the Illinois Heartland Library System. ILDS delivers to most Illinois academic libraries and provides the inter-hub shuttle service for statewide delivery. https://www.illinoisdelivers.net/

ILLINET
Illinois Library and Information Network, the statewide resource-sharing alliance of all members of the three regional library systems (RAILS, IHLS, CPLS). http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/library/libraries/illinet....

IOUG
Illinois OCLC Users Group.

IPLAR
Illinois Public Library Annual Report.

ISBE
Illinois State Board of Education. https://www.isbe.net/

I-Share
Consortial catalog of more than 70 members of CARLI. https://vufind.carli.illinois.edu/all/vf/Search/Home

ISL
Illinois State Library, an office of the Secretary of State. Funding for Illinois library systems (including RAILS) is provided through grants from ISL, with funds appropriated by Illinois General Assembly. http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/library/

L2
Library Learning. The statewide continuing education and meeting calendar, and directory of libraries. https://www.librarylearning.info

LACONI
Library Administrators Conference of Northern Illinois. LACONI provides educational opportunities for library staff, including RAILS members. http://laconi.net/

LIMRiCC
Library Insurance Management and Risk Control Combination. An insurance consortium for libraries and library organizations. RAILS is a member. http://www.limricc.org

LINKin
A consortium of 10 libraries in the RAILS area. https://www.linkin-libraries.org/

LLSAP
Local Library System Automation Program. Regional shared catalog automation systems that are coordinated and supported by the Illinois library systems.

LSTA
Library Services and Technology Act. Provides federal funds for library projects, which are administered in Illinois by the Illinois State Library.

MLS
Metropolitan Library System, one of the predecessor regional library systems that merged to form RAILS.

NFP
Not-for-profit organization.

NIC
Northern Illinois Cooperative. A shared catalog consortium for public libraries in the north-central area of RAILS. https://www.niclibraries.org/

NILRC
Network of Illinois Resources in Community Colleges. https://www.nilrc.org/

NSLS
North Suburban Library System, one of the predecessor regional library systems that merged to form RAILS.

OMA
Open Meetings Act. This law ensures that the public has access to the deliberations of government bodies, including public library boards and the RAILS Board. RAILS provides a FOIA/OMA Hotline to help members with questions about compliance.

PALS
Prairie Area Library System, one of the predecessor regional library systems that merged to form RAILS.

PLC
Pinnacle Library Cooperative. A shared catalog consortium of several public libraries in the Joliet area. http://pinnaclelibraries.org/

Polycom
A vendor that makes the videoconferencing equipment used by RAILS.

PPC
Public Policy Committee (Illinois Library Association). https://www.ila.org/about/committee/13/public-policy-committee-ppc

PrairieCat
One of the LLSAP shared catalogs in RAILS. https://www.prairiecat.info/

RAILS
Reaching Across Illinois Library System. One of three Illinois regional library systems. Formed in 2011 through the merger of Alliance Library System, DuPage Library System, Metropolitan Library System, North Suburban Library System, and Prairie Area Library System. RAILS is a multitype system (serving academic, public, school, and special libraries). https://www.railslibraries.info

RAILS Live
RAILS' online video streaming venue. RAILS board meetings, member update sessions, and some continuing education events are webcast live here. http://live.railslibraries.info

RBP
Reciprocal borrowing program. Reciprocal borrowing allows persons to borrow materials directly from ILLINET public libraries.

ROE
Regional Office of Education.

RSA
Resource Sharing Alliance NFP, one of the LLSAP shared catalogs in RAILS. http://rsacat.alsrsa.org/

SHARE Illinois
Share Holdings and Resources Easily. A resource-sharing collaboration among several shared catalog consortia in northern Illinois. https://shareillinois.info

SLA
Special Libraries Association. The SLA Illinois Chapter offers professional development and networking opportunities to members. http://illinois.sla.org/

SOS
Secretary of State (State Librarian of Illinois).

standalone
A library that has its own automated catalog, as opposed to being in a consortium with a shared catalog.

SWAN
System Wide Automated Network, one of the LLSAP shared catalogs in RAILS. https://catalog.swanlibraries.net/client/en_US/default

TBBS
Talking Book and Braille Service (Illinois State Library). Provides audio and Braille library service via mail or download to Illinois residents who are unable to read standard print material due to a visual or physical disability. http://www.ilbph.org/

videoconference
A video/audio meeting among people at multiple locations. RAILS has a number of videoconference locations that are used for meetings and continuing education programs.

VTEL
A vendor of videoconference equipment that was formerly used by the regional library systems. (Note: Anyone at RAILS who says "VTEL" really means "videoconference".)