Library News

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Board honors Ellen Popit, Membership Coordinator

photo of outgoing Executive Director receiving certificate from Board PresidentThe IHLS Board of Directors honored Ellen Popit (Membership Coordinator) at its meeting last night.  Ellen served as Interim Executive Director during the first critical months of operation and her leadership provided direction for staff and members.
Karen Bounds (President, Board of Directors) presented Ellen with a certificate and stated that Ellen's "leadership ensures a future where all libraries and information partners collaborate to provide accessible and innovative services."

Moving Forward TOGETHER

Autumn has finally arrived!  IHLS staff continue to implement standards of delivery service, membership and automation.  As we progress through the fiscal year we will share with you our progress large and small.
Some of our projects will be discussed at the September board meeting.  Agenda and supporting documentation are posted to our web site.

2011 ISLMA Conference

2011 Illinois School Library Media Association Conference
October 27 - 29, 2011
Crowne Plaza
Springfield, IL

The list of concurrent sessions being held at the 2011 ISLMA Conference is now posted on the conference website.  Early bird registration ends this Friday September 23.  For more information or to register visit:

Moving Forward TOGETHER

The Illinois Heartland Library System is home to the Illinois Machine Sub-Lending Agency. In addition to facilitating resource sharing and delivery, Library Systems in Illinois have been charged with supporting the Library of Congress’ National Library Service (NLS) for the Blind and Physically Handicapped program. 

SLA President Cindy Romaine to speak at SLA Illinois Chapter Meeting

The Special Libraries Association (SLA)–Illinois chapter is excited to announce that the featured speaker of the September 13 meeting will be SLA President Cindy Romaine. Romaine’s initiative as SLA President is to encourage information professionals to become Future Ready by adopting strategies that will prepare us for emerging opportunities in the information industry.


Romaine will outline how we can become more Future Ready in order to give ourselves and our  organizations a competitive edge by adopting an attitude of being adaptable, flexible, and confident in utilizing the skills of the information and knowledge professional. Being ready for the future enables us to be more connected, relevant and valuable.

Bonney Patterson at St. Joseph Township-Swearingen Memorial Library

The St. Joseph Township-Swearingen Memorial Library will host author Bonney Patterson on Saturday, September 10th at 1 p.m.  She'll be talking about her book and the case as well as selling copies of her book.  Bonney has written the book "Hunted in the Heartland: A Memoir of Murder".  Bonney had just moved in next door in January 1978 and had not gotten to know her neighbors well enough when Virginia Lee Witte was murdered in May 1978.  This is a true crime that happened in Marion, IL.

Moving Forward TOGETHER

August 29, 2011

With the foundational elements of our merged library system in place, we move forward to a transitional year of establishing routines and delivering services in innovative ways.  Staff at our four offices are completing FY2011 audits, and compiling final annual reports for our former systems.  We continue to enhance communication methods between buildings and with our stakeholders. 

Our core priorities remain unchanged.  Delivery services at IHLS continue to evolve as demonstrated in this delivery overview.  In FY2011, over 8.4 million items were delivered across the four former library systems and we expect similar volume this fiscal year.  For about 19 cents each, library materials are delivered to a convenient pick up location for patrons (generally their home library)!  As we move ahead to uniform adoption of our delivery standards, we will see continuing improvements.

We value your experiences with our services and want to hear from you!  Please contact us any time a service does not meet your expectations or you have suggestions for improvement.  This transitional year will be more beneficial to all, and we will develop a stronger organization when there is an easy flow of communication.  I look forward to working with you this year!

IHLS Executive Director appointed

photo of Executive Director Leslie BednarOn behalf of the Board of Directors, I am happy to announce that Leslie Bednar has been appointed Executive Director of the Illinois Heartland Library System.  Leslie brings a diversity of experience to this position, including work at the National Council of Teachers of English, the Champaign Public Library and Southwestern Illinois College.  Her work at the Lewis and Clark Library System has included positions as a cataloger, database coordinator, GateNet Manager and Executive Director.  This appointment is effective Wednesday, August 24, 2011.

Those of us who have worked with her have come to know and appreciate all that Leslie brings to systems.  Please join me in wishing her all the best in her new role!

 ----Karen Bounds, Board Chair

Illinois Heartland Library System

IMPORTANT Public Library Survey

The Illinois Supreme Court recently upheld the constitutionality of legislation that enables the State Library to renew the process of implementing the $50 million Public Library Construction Act Grant Program funded through the Build Illinois Bond Fund.

A provision in the law requires the Secretary of State and the Illinois State Library to file a comprehensive assessment of the capital needs of all public libraries with the General Assembly every two years. The first such report was filed with the General Assembly in December 2009. To continue fulfilling our obligation under this law, the State Library must submit a second report prior to January 1, 2012.

Moving Forward Together

Moving Forward Together
August 19, 2011

A great way to end the week!! 

The Illinois Heartland Library System is pleased to confirm the receipt of funding from the FY2011 System Area & Per Capita Grants.  The total received of $1,074,211.56 combined with previous payments represents 78% of the FY2011 funding for the four merged Systems that created IHLS.  We appreciate the continued support and assistance from the Illinois State Library as we navigate this challenging fiscal period.