RAILS Announces 2024 My Library Is... Grant Recipients

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The Reaching Across Illinois Libraries System (RAILS) has selected 28 projects to receive My library Is… Grants. The total amount funded for these projects is $104,204.15.

The purpose of these grants is to provide an opportunity for libraries to focus on projects that help tell the library story and increase visibility and support for libraries in general.

"After hearing from our members about their current needs, we were thrilled to open up the My Library Is… Grants to all types of libraries this year," said Monica Harris, RAILS Executive Director. "All libraries have important stories to tell, and we're so happy to see that many of them are about inclusivity, diversity, and the inherent value of libraries. We're proud to provide support for our members and help them thrive in their communities."

Out of 53 total applications, the following were selected to receive funds: 

Academic Libraries:

  • A.C. Buehler Library at Elmhurst University – Ready Player One Lounge: A Collaborative Student Veteran/Traditional Student Library Social Space, $3,400
  • The Ames Library – My Library Is…Storied, $5,000
  • Aurora University Phillips Library – Reaching Students with Technology and Books, $5,000
  • Concordia University Chicago – Children and College Students Embracing the Future Together, $5,000
  • McHenry County College – Increasing Public Awareness and Access with the Archives, $4,978
  • Rockford University – Capturing Our Story at Rockford University, $2,006.63
  • Roosevelt University Murray Green Library – Roosevelt University Right to Read Poster Project, $4,144.40
  • Sauk Valley Community College – My Library is Visible, Accessible, and Vital, $3,229.45

Public Libraries:

  • Downers Grove Public Library – Summer Reading Club for All, $4,000
  • Lake Bluff Public Library – My Library Is…Planning for the Future: A Community Engagement Initiative for Lake Bluff Public Library, $5,000
  • Manhattan-Elwood Public Library District – Mi Biblioteca Es…Inclusiva, $4,285.99
  • Moline Public Library & Rock Island Public Library – Your Free Pass to…Joint Marketing Campaign, $3,562
  • Park Forest Public Library – My Library Is…Becoming Dementia Inclusive, $1,950
  • Prairie Creek Public Library District – Let Us Introduce the Library, $2,700
  • Washington District Library – Washington District Library StoryWalk®, $5,000
  • Worth Public Library District – Removing Barriers: Translating Collateral into Community Languages, $4,650
  • Zion-Benton Public Library District – Sensory Kits for Children, $523.35

School Libraries:

  • Beach Park Community Consolidated School District 3 – My Library Is…More Than Books, $5,000
  • District 50 Schools – My Library Is…Overhauling Our History! $3,750
  • Gower School District #62 – Meeting the Needs of Our Diverse Student Population, $5,000
  • Hibbard Elementary School, City of Chicago School District #299 – My Library is Transforming, $5,000
  • Horizon Science Academy, McKinley Park – HSA McKinley Graphic Novel Development, $5,000
  • Lake Zurich CUSD 95 – Bilingual Books to Meet My Students’ Needs, $1,151.55
  • Marist High School – Project Renew: Ignite Imagination with Games and Making, $2,700
  • River Trails School District 26 – Adding Diverse Titles to the River Trails Middle School Library Collection, $2,400
  • Virginia Community Unit #64 – High School Fiction and Elementary Nonfiction Expansion, $3,912.78
  • Woodland Middle School – My Library Needs the Truth…in Spanish! $2,400

Specialized Libraries:

  • Old Town School of Folk Music – Library Signs: Powerful Tools for Enhancing Visibility in a Community Music School, $3,460

RAILS would like to thank the following volunteers who evaluated the grant applications:

  • Aime Miller, Batavia High School
  • Alexandra Stegenga, Geneva Community High School
  • Carol Naughton, Community High School District #94
  • Catherine Yanikoski, Engineering Systems, Inc.
  • Elizabeth Brantner, Lake Villa Public Library District
  • Erin Wyatt, Libertyville School District 70
  • Jennifer Sutton, Lake Park High School East
  • Joseph Panozzo, Dominican University
  • Katie Schubert, Frankfort CCSD #157C
  • Kristin Gartke, Indian Creek CUSD #425
  • Laura Long, Fremont Public Library District
  • Lisa Powell Williams, Robert R. Jones Public Library
  • Lorene Kennard, Rockford Public Library
  • MaryAnne Confer, City of Chicago Public Schools #299
  • Nicole Suarez, Frankfort Public Library District
  • Rebecca Malinowski, CCS
  • Roxanne Price, Marion CUSD #2
  • Sara Bell, Dunlap Community Unit School District #323
  • Tana Petrov, Fountaindale Public Library District
  • Tiffany Verzani, Waukegan Public Library

For more information about the My Library Is.. campaign, visit railslibraries.org/grants/mli.

Any questions about the My Library Is… Grants should be directed to Dan Bostrom, RAILS Director of Marketing & Communications, 630.734.5152.