Sparks features interviews with RAILS members and other leaders in the library/related fields. We intend to spark conversation, comment, and debate about current trends and issues affecting all types of libraries.
RAILS Executive Director Monica Harris talks with Dan Matthews, Cataloging and Digital Services Librarian at Moraine Valley Community College Library about the benefits of open educational resources and how to get started using OERs.
RAILS Executive Director Monica Harris talks with Kate Hall, Jennifer Czajka, and Mara Barbel from Illinois Libraries Present, a cooperative programming intitative that provides high-quality online events at equitable prices for member libraries. They talk about how ILP was created, the long-term goals for the program, and how your library can take advantage of its benefits.
RAILS (then interim) Executive Director Monica Harris talks with Chicago Public Library (CPL) Commissioner Chris Brown about The Book Sanctuary (committed to protecting banned and challenged books) and the 150th anniversary of CPL.
RAILS Interim Executive Director Monica Harris talks with AISLE Executive Secretary Carolyn Kinsella and RAILS Data Research Specialist Janette Derucki about efforts to support school libraries in Illinois, including a statewide partnership and RAILS’ School Library Data Project.
RAILS Executive Director Deirdre Brennan talks with Lynn Stainbrook and Leon Smith of Rockford Public library, and Leila Heath of RAILS about Career Online High School, a nationally accredited online high school degree program. Lynn and Leon discuss the program’s tremendous success at their library and how it makes a huge impact on lives. RAILS offers a vendor discount on the scholarships from Smart Horizons to libraries offering this program.
RAILS Executive Director Deirdre Brennan talks with RAILS Data Analysis Manager Grant Halter about how he defines data, demonstrating the library's value through data, the difference between useful and interesting data, using your strategic plan to develop a survey and gather data, and much more!
RAILS Executive Director Deirdre Brennan talks with RAILS Associate Executive Director Monica Harris about our recent strategic planning process: choosing a consultant, virtual tools, member feedback, and much more. They also give advice on how libraries can create their own strategic plans.
RAILS Executive Director Deirdre Brennan talks with Stephanie Chase, Founding Principal of Constructive Disruption (https://www.constructivedisruption.info/), about the importance of strategic planning. Stephanie gives some good tips for what to do if you have little money or little time.
Check out Stephanie's new book Strategic Planning for Public Libraries, published by the Public Library Association! This book is now available to purchase as an e-book or as a print/e-book bundle from the ALA Store.
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.
Please note: We had some technical issues with Deirdre's microphone, the others sound great though, and the content is worth listening to.
RAILS Executive Director Deirdre Brennan talks with Heather Perhach (CUSD #5 in Streator), Andrea Perrin (CCSD #50 in Gurnee), and Emily Porter (CCSD #299 in Chicago), who have all received My Library Is… grants for their school libraries. Each is working on projects that focus on equity, diversity, and inclusion.