Library News

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The State of E-Books in Public Libraries and Publishing - PLA Webinar

The mercurial state of public libraries’ relationship with e-books and their publishers is not always an easy issue to understand. Join instructor Jessica E. Moyer, assistant professor in the School of Information Studies, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, for an informative, up-to-date discussion of the current state of e-books with regards to public libraries and the publishing industry. Jessica will cover current and best practices for managing e-book services at your library as well as give some perspective to what may be coming down the pike.

PLA 2012 Webinar Series
PLA 2012 Conference was one of the biggest learning events for public librarians this year, and so many excellent sessions were delivered, it seemed a shame to leave them all behind in Philadelphia. So we developed the PLA Conference Webinar Series presenting three top programs and ConverStations with original presenters from PLA 2012. The other two webinars are:

Microsoft IT Academy Training Grant

Lumity, a technology and financial consulting organization, has been awarded a grant to provide Microsoft IT Academy training to non-profits in Illinois.

Non-profits that meet the criteria and sign up before funding runs out (first come, first served), get free paid online training on Microsoft products through the Microsoft IT Academy.   For example, if you are a library or other eligible non-profit that is open to the public for a certain amount of hours and has computer access, your patrons can take the online classes for free through the grant.  You just have to sign up. 
It is normally around $200 for the Word training alone, but that fee is paid through the grant.  It takes 3-5 hours to complete the program and the participant receives a certificate of completion.  They have 6 months to complete.    They are not "Microsoft Certified" after completing the program, but they can choose to spend their own money and take the test for that particular certification.
There are regulations about the location being open to the general public a certain amount of time each week.   So, if it is a school that is interested, the computer lab has to be open after hours to the public.   There are also some paperwork requirements to track who starts and completes the program.  (If someone does not complete, that is not a problem.)  Please confirm with the contact below to make sure you are eligible and to answer any other questions.  


Please note that Lumity will do train-the-trainer training downstate.  If there are a group of libraries in a general area, we will try to have the training at a central location.


Is My Internet Connection Ready for Polaris?

This is a question I am asked all the time and the answer is usually, “It depends”.  Although a T1 is plenty fast to run Polaris with no problems, even a T1 will have slow performance if it is running at 100% capacity because of other usage.  Others may think that they won’t have performance problems because they have a cable connection at 20Mbs download speed.  Well, you’re probably right, a 20Mbs download rate is very good, but we have to keep in mind the upload rate, and the usage as well.  Usually it is sufficient, but we need to test your connection anyway.  I have created a special website that is hosted on our servers at SHARE.  This test will tell you exactly how fast your connection speed is, all the way to our servers.  It is simple to use, and you can run it as many times as you need to.

Live and Learn Construction Grant Applications Now Available—Workshops Start October 25

Public libraries may now apply for FY2013 Live and Learn Public Library Construction grants.  Applications and other information can be found at

90 minute workshops have been scheduled to discuss this year’s program, eligibility requirements, the application and review process.  Here is the workshop schedule:

October 25—Statewide videoconference from State Library, 1:30 p.m.

November 1—Illinois Heartland Library System, Edwardsville – 10 a.m.

Another workshop will be held at Reaching Across Illinois Library System in Burr Ridge at a later date.

Registration is not required but is encouraged.  Register at L2:

SHARE Executive Council Meeting Agenda - 17 October 2012

SHARE Executive Council Meeting
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Illinois Heartland Library System
At the Four Offices by V-tel

Agenda (PDF)

Try-it! Illinois is Underway

Try-It! Illinois, the State Library’s popular free 13th annual statewide electronic database trial, is underway through November 30.

Log on to for information on obtaining a login and password (right hand column) and to see a list of this year’s databases and participating vendors. Please do not post the Try-It! Illinois login and password on the Internet, on websites or in publicly archived electronic newsletters.

Try-it! Illinois offers the more than 5,000 ILLINET member libraries, their staffs and patrons an opportunity to evaluate a wide variety of electronic resources. Thanks to a collaboration between the State Library and the participating electronic resource vendors, there is NO CHARGE for accessing these databases during Try-It! Illinois.

If you have questions or need additional information, contact Gwen Harrison at or 217-785-7334.

Tim Jackson, editorial cartoonist with the Chicago Defender newspaper, came across Try-It! Illinois recently and used some of its resources. Tim sketched a cartoon promoting Try-it! Illinois that ran this week in the Defender. Check it out at

ILEAD USA Applications Now Available

The State Library continues its preparations to host ILEAD USA (Innovative Librarians Explore, Apply and Discover): The 21st Century Technology and Leadership Skills Institute for the States. This continuing education initiative will be held at the University of Illinois Springfield on March 25–28, June 17–20 and October 21–24, 2013.

We are accepting applications for mentors, instructors, and participants for ILEAD USA.  ILEAD USA is a competitive, application-only program.  Please consider applying for one of the three components of this program at

For more information regarding ILEAD USA, go to

ILEAD USA is made possible by a Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program grant awarded to the State Library by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Contact Gwen Harrison at (217-785-7334) or Debra Aggertt at (217-558-1945) if you have questions.


Public Library Survey

The Illinois State Library is currently participating in an IMLS grant-funded project to investigate how public libraries provide training and assistance to patrons on information technology and digital literacy topics. ISL  needs your help.

ISL is asking directors/branch managers of all public library locations to complete a brief survey to tell tem about their training and assistance activities. Libraries’ participation in this survey would be greatly appreciated and would provide valuable insights for state library planning. Your efforts in helping to provide information will ensure a foundation is in place in Illinois when this national project launches in February 2013.

Go to to access the survey, which should take under 20 minutes to complete. Please submit your response by October 19, 2012.

Questions and comments can be directed to Debra Aggertt,

Thank you for supporting this research. Results will be shared with you later this year.

School District Library Grant Application Now Available

Applications are now being accepted for the FY13 School District Library Grant. Applications and all other information concerning the grant can be found on the State Library's website.
Please note, once you have accessed the blank application online, save the file to your computer before completing it. When submitting your application, please include "FY13 SDLP Per Capita Grant - (School District Office Location)" in the subject line on the email.

This year's deadline to submit the grant application and signature page is November 16. For questions concerning the grant, contact Robert Jones at, 217-785-1168, or Becky Hunter at, 217-782-7849.

Board Meeting Recap - September 2012

A recap of significant actions taken by the board at their September 25, 2012, meeting in Effingham, IL.

Click here for the original agenda.

Next board meeting date: October 23, 2012, 6:00 pm at the the Helen Matthes Library in Effingham.


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