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Archive for the ‘Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS)’ Category

(via Gwen Gregory, Northern Illinois University)

Do you work at an academic library? Do you wonder what RAILS can do for you? We can answer that!

December and January are great times to schedule a 30-minute Zoom call. Learn more about RAILS programs and services of specific interest to you and your library type, and how you can best utilize them. Schedule a Zoom meeting with Debbie Baaske, RAILS Acting Member Engagement Manager, by following the instructions here.

Posted in Library Organizations, Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS), Webinars | No Comments »

(via Gwen Gregory, Northern Illinois University)

We invite RAILS members to participate in a series of three virtual equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) training events offered in December. These are part of the RAILS “Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Elements” series. Facilitated by staff from the American Library Association’s Office of Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services, these sessions will help provide a foundational framework for EDI.

Webinar topics will focus on cultural competence, implicit bias, and microaggressions. Register for any of the three sessions at the L2 links below. Registration is limited to staff from RAILS member libraries and requires having an L2 account.

This training series is offered by Prairie Trails Public Library District and made possible through a RAILS EDI Training Grant.

  • “Cultural Competence” (Friday, December 3, 1:00-2:00 PM)–register here
  • “Implicit Bias” (Tuesday, December 7, 1:00-2:00 PM)–register here
  • “Identifying Microaggressions” (Thursday, December 9, 1:00-2:00 PM)–register here
Posted in Library Organizations, Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS), Webinars | No Comments »

(via Gwen Gregory, Northern Illinois University, on behalf of RAILS)

In our latest Sparks podcast, RAILS Executive Director Deirdre Brennan talks with CARLI (Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois) staff members Anne Craig (Senior Director) and Michele Leigh (Senior Coordinator, Open Illinois) about CARLI’s $1.08 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Open Textbooks Pilot Program. The grant will fund a program that will provide access to open textbooks and personalized learning tools for entry-level courses in high-demand health care and human development career paths. Read more about this amazing three-year grant project here.

The podcast is available on the RAILS website here. Please note that there were some technical issues with Director Brennan’s microphone, but the other presenters sound fine.

Posted in Awards, Grants, and Scholarships (non-HSLI), Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois (CARLI), Library Organizations, Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS), Webinars | No Comments »

(via Gwen Gregory, Northern Illinois University)

RAILS is developing a new strategic plan that will be based heavily on member feedback. Thanks to all who participated in our first round of town halls and provided input on potential strategic plan goals. There will be a second round in November, where we will invite more concrete ideas and ask members to share their expectations on the direction RAILS should take moving forward.

We invite all RAILS library staff at all levels and from all types of libraries to attend one of the town halls in the second round, whether or not you participated in the first round. Each town hall is two hours long and held via Zoom. See registration links below. Please note that participation in these events is limited to staff from RAILS member libraries.

We have received very little feedback so far from academic, school, and specialized libraries, and hope that staff from these libraries will be able to participate in the second round along with their public library colleagues. We are offering town halls at different times to accommodate a variety of schedules. It is very important that our new strategic plan addresses the needs of all types and sizes of RAILS libraries.

If you have any questions, please contact Monica Harris, at monica.harris@railslibraries.info. We hope to see you at one of the November town halls! (select one date from options below).

  • Monday, November 15, 1:00-3:00 PM–register here
  • Tuesday, November 16, 1:00-3:00 PM–register here
  • Tuesday, November 16, 4:00-6:00 PM–register here
  • Thursday, November 18, 9:30-11:30 AM–register here
Posted in Calls and Requests, Library Organizations, Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS), Webinars | No Comments »

(via Emily Gilbert, IACRL President)

Would you like to be part of a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in Metadata Networking Group? The group aims to foster the importance of a shared understanding to create and maintain more equitable, diverse, and inclusive metadata content. Read more about the group and sign up for the mailing list here.

This group is open to all library staff of all types and sizes. This group will host regular discussions on DEI topics related to catalog data. Meetings will be listed on the L2 calendar as they are scheduled. The kick-off meeting is on Wednesday, November 17, from 1:00 to 2:30 PM CDT, via Zoom. Register through L2.

Early discussions will focus on subject analysis. At this kick-off, co-chairs Rachel Fischer (Cooperative Computer Services) and Scott Brandwein (SWAN Library Services) will share efforts their consortia have undertaken to improve the comprehensiveness and inclusiveness of subject vocabularies. Then the floor will open to hear from you on the same topic. You’ll also be encouraged to share your personal goals for the networking group. The group will collect documentation on subject heading projects from whoever is willing to share. If you are able, please consider sending materials to Rachel Fischer, at rfischer@ccslib.org, for inclusion on the group’s shared drive.

If you have any questions, comments, or discussion topics for the agenda, please contact Scott Brandwein, Rachel Fischer, or Nincy George (nincy.george@railslibraries.info).

Posted in Calls and Requests, Library Organizations, Professional Development, Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS), Webinars | No Comments »

(via Gwen Gregory, Northern Illinois University)

Do you need help demonstrating the value of your library to different stakeholders? Want to know what to say to justify the need for continued or increased library funding or staffing? Would you like to attract new library users? Want advice on how to promote the library’s role in identifying fake news or why libraries are needed more than ever in the internet age?

The RAILS/IHLS My Library Is… campaign is designed to help libraries of all types (academic, public, school, and specialized) with these challenges and more. The campaign started in 2019, and we want to ensure that it continues to help libraries gain more support and visibility moving forward. You can help by completing the survey for your type of library.

The survey that is specifically for academic libraries is available here. A PDF version is available to view before completing the online survey, if desired.

Posted in Calls and Requests, Illinois Heartland Library System (IHLS), Library Organizations, Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS) | No Comments »

(via Gwen Gregory, Northern Illinois University)

RAILS will rely heavily on member input as we develop our new strategic plan, and member contributions will greatly influence our final product. To hear from as many members as possible, we will hold two rounds of virtual town halls via Zoom in October and November, with four different times available to participate in each round. Please choose only one session from each round to attend. Each town hall will be two hours long and will include plenty of time to engage with your library colleagues to help shape the future direction of RAILS.

All staff from all types and sizes of libraries are encouraged to attend a town hall. Each session is limited to 100 attendees. Please come prepared to share your ideas and feedback! For more information, including town hall dates, times, and registration information, go here. If you have questions, contact Monica Harris, at monica.harris@railslibraries.info.

Posted in Calls and Requests, Library Organizations, Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS), Webinars | No Comments »

(via Gwen Gregory, Northern Illinois University)

You may have seen the My Library Is… blog from RAILS. The Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS) developed the My Library Is… campaign to help member libraries tell your stories and prove your library’s value to stakeholders, including current and potential library users, funders, governing boards, parent institutions/companies, colleagues, elected officials, and more. On this website, you’ll find tools and resources created or curated by RAILS and others, for all sizes and types–academic, public, school, special–of libraries. You can also share your library’s (and see other libraries’) best practices, ideas, tools, templates, media, and experiences in the Sharing Showcase area.

I am looking for academic librarians to contribute to the blog! Do you have a marketing, PR, or communications story to share? Have you implemented a new service or collection? E-mail me at ggregory@niu.edu and tell me about it.

Posted in Calls and Requests, Library Organizations, Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS) | No Comments »

(via Gwen Gregory, Northern Illinois University)

RAILS has a new tool for libraries to stay connected to the My Library Is… campaign. As part of the campaign, you can subscribe to receive a regular newsletter with links to blog posts, templates, and resources. Anyone who is interested in telling the story of the library and proving the library’s value to stakeholders is encouraged to subscribe. This e-mail arrives on the first Monday of every month.

The first edition of this newsletter is now live. Inside, you’ll find links to recent blog posts about:

  • library partnerships
  • what is means to be a library marketer
  • creating a podcast to tell the library story
  • the value of library marketing plans

And much more! Thank you to the members of the My Library Is… Advisory Team who helped work on this project. We’re excited to see campaign continue to grow!

Posted in Library Organizations, Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS), Reports | No Comments »

(via Gwen Gregory, Northern Illinois University, on behalf of RAILS)

For those living or working in the RAILS service area:

RAILS invites nominations for the following positions on our Board: three public library trustees (to be filled by board members at RAILS public libraries) and two at-large representatives (to be filled by individuals representing any type of RAILS library–academic, public, school, or special).

We are looking for candidates who reflect the diversity of the RAILS membership in terms of race, ethnicity, age, geographic location, staff position, and other factors Go here for more information.

Terms for all positions begin on July 1, 2021, and end on June 30, 2024.

View the RAILS Board Member Job Description, then complete this nomination form. The deadline for nominations is 5:00 PM on Friday, March 26. Questions? Contact Mary Witt, RAILS Marketing and Communications Director, at mary.witt@railslibraries.info.

If you want to see the RAILS Board in action, you can attend the RAILS Board Meeting on Friday, March 26

The RAILS Board meets on Friday, March 26, at 1:00 PM, via Zoom. See the agenda and supporting documents here when they become available. Please submit public comments in advance to Emily Fister, at emily.fister@railslibraries.info, to be read aloud at the meeting.

Per the Open Meetings Act, anyone is able to attend the meeting via Zoom. However, we ask that non-participants watch the meeting via RAILS live stream (http://live.railslibraries.info/). The meeting will also be recorded for future viewing on the RAILS YouTube page.

Posted in Calls and Requests, Committees (non-HSLI), Library Organizations, Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS) | No Comments »