APPENDIX E: Library Services & Technology Act Grants FY 1998

Effective Oct. 1, 1997, the Library Services and Construction Act was supplanted by the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). While the Illinois State Library looked back on LSCA with sentiment and gratitude, the change to LSTA was welcomed. LSTA allowed for more flexibility and promoted the use of technology in librarianship. Also, unlike LSCA, LSTA was not limited to public libraries but, rather, was aimed at all types of libraries.

FY1998 marked the beginning of the LSTA era at the State Library. Many grants approved that year reflect the change to a technological emphasis. In addition, there were many grants that featured participation from libraries of all types. Summaries of these grants were provided on pages 50-59 of the Winter 1999 issue of Illinois Libraries.


Several of the early LSTA projects did not have welldefined borders. Eleven members of the Association of Chicago Theological Schools collaborated to create electronic access to the online catalogs of each school not only for other members, but also for researchers worldwide. As a result, library resources were used more frequently, and with more information sharing. The Chicago Botanic Garden Library in Glencoe received funding to develop an Internet site of the 500 best plants for Illinois to assist gardeners in finding pertinent information for planting and growing in their conditions and regions.

Eastern Illinois University was the headquarters of a project involving all of Illinois’ state university libraries to make over 23 million microforms available online. Each library’s microforms were scanned and put on the Web as part of the project. Another academic-based project was sponsored by the Paul V. Galvin Library of the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, which developed the Geographic Information Systems Laboratory and Resource Center to hold the most up-to-date computerized mapping software and datasets. The lab provided GIS resources and training both on-campus and statewide.


The Chicago Library System received two of the early LSTA grants, including “Jump Start for the Children,” which enabled over 10,000 economically disadvantaged Hispanic children to develop language skills and reading appreciation with story programs, special collections and workshops. A total of 17 library, school, and child-care agencies participated in the project. The Chicago Library System also created a noncredit, online training module on Web design features and applications for the library environment. The goal was to “support and expand training opportunities” for staff in multitype libraries statewide with a distance learning format available throughout ILLINET.

“Partners ‘n Rhyme” was a Chicago Public Library program that created a four-month program to honor the heritage and diversity of Chicago’s poetry community. Organized by the library’s National Poetry Month Committee, workshops on writing and publishing of poetry, readings, and open-microphone events composed the project, which also placed printed bibliographies on the Internet for public access. The Newberry Library, the second-largest historical research library of its type in the nation, developed procedures for a full conversion of its card catalog, consisting of nearly 1 million entries. The Newberry Library also converted 5,400 holdings to electronic use in a collection loaded with primary sources on Chicago and Western American historical themes.

The City of Chicago School District sponsored two grants, including an effort to expand its Matching Grants for Collection Development program that encouraged schools to replace outdated holdings with current material. LSTA funds were matched by the schools to produce a $500,000 upgrade to resource accessibility for Chicago schoolchildren. The Test Your Best Center at Chicago’s Jones High School was the model for another project that encouraged students to use the latest computer technology to prepare for standardized tests, including those for college admission.

Suburban Chicago

FY1998 LSTA grants were awarded to 20 suburban Chicago library agencies. The Addison Public Library received funding to “promote lifelong learning through computer training,” with emphasis on operating systems, hardware and software basics and troubleshooting, and search concepts. Training modules were available online, with links to online tutorials for public use added to the library home page. Large-screen televisions were used to train groups. Ten local public agencies participated in the program. The Arlington Heights Memorial Library sponsored “CyberSeniors,” which provided Internet access in the library computer room at the Arlington Heights Senior Center. As a result, seniors could take online classes taught by other seniors in a setting specially designed for them. The program was one of many examples of a long history of cooperation between the library and the senior center.

The Bensenville Community Public Library sponsored two programs, including one that provided multimedia kits to four childcare providers to promote reading among young children. Each kit contained a laptop computer, software with children’s literature, books, videos, and audiotapes, all centered on a unique a theme. Suggested activities were included in each kit. Library staff trained volunteers to use the materials. In addition, “Parent Power” developed a 45-minute videotape, Parent Power: What Every Parent Must Know About the World Wide Web, which dealt with issues concerning Internet access for children. Elsewhere in Bensenville, the town’s Elementary School District #2 sponsored “Embracing Our Differences,” which addressed the town’s cultural diversity. At one site, the 575 students of Tioga School spoke 17 different languages. Multimedia computers and software were purchased to help the library create a multilingual website.

In Lake Zurich, the Ela Area Public Library District received funding for “A Reading Community is a Healthy Community,” which addressed a decline in the library’s leisure reading from 42 percent to 34 percent over a four-year span. A marketing plan included purchase of materials and activities for all ages to promote reading as a benefit to daily life. The Flossmoor Public Library, in conjunction with the Homewood Public Library and the Homewood-Flossmoor Community High School, received funding to buy computer workstations at each library for increased Internet access. Training for staff, community leaders, and the public at the high school was provided, with additional training planned for the future.

Three libraries, led by the Hinsdale Public Library, teamed up to offer “convenient, up-to-date information” on the Web about youth and family-oriented services and activities. In nearby Darien, the Indian Prairie Public Library District took on two projects, including one to enhance library services to the Asian immigrant population and an established community of Eastern European heritage. A special collection of videos, books, audio, displays, and programs was used to help this underserved population “assimilate into its new community.” Underserved residents at the DuPage Sheriff’s Resource Center were also the focus of the Darien library’s “Infecting Children with a Love of Reading,” which presented story time programs in partnership with the South Hinsdale Coalition. The center served 4,000 adults and 2,500 children, most of them classified as “high-risk.” The project aimed to encourage reading and help parents “develop skills for sharing books with children.”

Internet access to the 21 schools in the Naperville Community School District was provided through another federally funded program. The North Chicago Public Library developed an Internet site designed to increase access between elected officials and their constituency with links to the e-mail addresses of state and national legislators. The project was aimed at the large percentage of underemployed and undereducated residents in this blue-collar African-American area.

The Ela and Des Plaines libraries joined with the North Suburban Library System in “Preparing Staff for the Library of the Future,” a current method of continuing education. The goal of this plan was to create “a model staff development initiative” to encourage positive reception to change and learning new skills. Change management, learning styles, empowerment, risk taking, communication, and problem solving were addressed in the model, which could be adapted to statewide needs. The “Read, Enjoy, and Do” program of the Park Forest Public Library sought to make reading an “enjoyable learning experience” for parents and children ages 1-3 by using three components. One was a Read, Enjoy, and Do (READ) kit available on loan. It consisted of books, audiocassettes, videos, puppets, and an activity sheet, which complemented a series of monthly programs and interactive CD-ROM programs available for use at the library. Fifteen schools and public agencies participated in the “Teen Care Network” project of Aurora’s Provena Mercy Center, which sought to “build a community of hope and healing” to reach a second generation of 9,000 teens and parents in the Aurora area. Health risk behavior analysis, development of a teenoriented health website, peer mentoring, and community-wide access to consumer health and information were offered as part of the program. The program also demonstrated the newfound ability of non-public libraries to participate in LSTA programs.

A similar example – this one of an academic library – was South Suburban College in South Holland, which used LSTA funds to purchase two complete Kurzweil reading systems for the visually impaired, two wheelchair-accessible tables and three additional large-screen monitors for the physically disabled. Enhancing the SILO union catalog was the focus of a program sponsored by the Suburban Library System, which increased access to the journals and serials of system member libraries. At the University Park Public Library District, a collection of African-American materials was gathered and made available online. The Wheaton Public Library also addressed a minority group by increasing services to new immigrant populations. Nearly 700 new European language titles were added and promoted through the project.

Increased reading for leisure and enhanced reading skills for students were the emphasis of “Goal 1998 and Beyond,” sponsored by the Waukegan Community Unit School District. Training of library and hospital pediatric personnel at Victory Memorial Hospital was provided, as was training for parents of at-risk children from limits from English proficiency, economic advantage, or reading skills.

Northwest and North Central Illinois

Nine programs were awarded to sponsors in the northwest region of Illinois, including “What Do I Read Now?,” coordinated by the Dixon Public Library. Fourteen area libraries took part in the project, which trained staff to increase skills in recommending new titles and authors similar to patrons’ past favorites. Three libraries joined in “Up From the Bermuda Triangle,” sponsored by Amboy’s Parkhurst Memorial Library, to provide up-to-date information about the collections of the participating libraries available online.

The Reddick Library in Ottawa received funding for “Educate to Motivate,” offering training for civic groups, library board members, staff, and the general public on how to use the library’s newly implemented online catalog. Internet access and scanners for the library were purchased through the project. Multitype and multistate libraries were participants in the River Bend Library System’s “Expanding Access to Specialized Information,” which created four databases of libraries in the system. Community resources, quick reference, song index and a Quad City union list of periodicals were made available to users statewide. In addition to Augustana College and the John Deere Company, libraries in both the Illinois and Iowa regions of the Quad Cities were involved. Another River Bend project, “HOPPER II: Regionalizing Preschool Readiness,” involved the Alliance, Heritage Trail, and Northern Illinois Library Systems to expand an earlier program, “Helping Our Providers Promote and Encourage Reading.” In that effort, public librarians and child-care providers joined to encourage young children to read and use the library. Kits and training were offered to librarians as part of the program.

Rock Valley College in Rockford received funding for a program to develop partnerships with area high schools in an effort to meet the information and literary needs of students and educators within the community college’s district. In Rockton, a networked children’s learning center for preschool to third grade was created, promoting the fun and importance of reading while acting as an interactive tool for parents and children. A collection of eight libraries in the Carroll County area developed an audio book collection to be shared by all member libraries in a program sponsored by the Savanna Public Library District.

At the Sterling Public Library, audio books were provided to users in three surrounding counties as part of “OWL Goes Audio,” which included 14 participating libraries. The project was an extension of a 12-year effort by the participants to share large-print books. A large-scale publicity campaign and statisticsbased evaluation accompanied the project.

Central Illinois

The Blackburn College library in Carlinville created “A Collaborative Project to Train Rural Faculty, Teachers, and Librarians,” a successful effort to offer professional development seminars for faculty and librarians in the surrounding rural counties. The Lewis and Clark Community College library, area public libraries, and the Regional Office of Education all participated in the program, which emphasized methods to provide quality instruction to students in the use of modern library technology.

A conglomeration of public, college, and special libraries, along with area businesses, were involved in “Partnerships for Cancer Information Center,” sponsored by BroMenn HealthCare Health Sciences in Bloomington. Additional information services to patients, their families, health-care professionals, and the regional McLean County area were provided through the Community Cancer Center.

The Alliance Library System sponsored “Expanding the Hometown Countryside Connection,” a community network on the Web that served over thirty towns in the library system. Libraries were assisted in forming a relationship with a local Internet provider, and the communities received the opportunity to develop and maintain their own community information network.

“Filling the Gap” at the Ashland Public Library collaborated with libraries in Eureka and Canton to assist grandparents who were serving as parents. A clearinghouse of information, including a pamphlet of local information, a collection of materials, and presentation of programs geared toward this sector were offered. Three school libraries joined the Auburn Public Library in purchasing materials on multicultural groups, selected geographic areas, and world religions to help each of the four participants develop collections on those topics. In Warrensburg, the Barclay Public Library District sponsored a similar project in which the library director consulted with school librarians to acquire material on a wide range of world cultures and beliefs. The materials were provided for all ages and in all formats.

Developing a love of reading was the emphasis of “Thrills and Chills at the Library,” a program of the New Berlin Community Unit School District. The high school library remained open through the summer to encourage youngsters to read and to provide service to unserved children and adults. In Mason City, the Illini Central Community Unit School District’s “Love Me, Read to Me” project promoted the pleasure, ability, and importance of reading through presentations for children in grades K-5 and their parents. Storytelling and guest speakers were available, as were computer activities with reading software.

In eastern Illinois, the Catlin Public Library District was headquarters for collective effort of seven rural libraries called “Tapes on the Go.” New videotapes and cassette tapes were circulated through the Lincoln Trail Libraries System’s interlibrary delivery service to “satisfy patrons’ needs for non-print materials.” At Illinois State University in Normal, the Assistive Technology Center was established with LSTA funds to improve access to print and digital information for students, faculty, and Illinois residents with special needs.

Three FY1998 projects were centered in Springfield. One, sponsored by the Illinois Early Childhood Intervention Clearinghouse, provided information on pregnancy, parenthood, child development and developmental disabilities for parents, caregivers, and professionals. The resource centers in the five participating public libraries developed programming on parenting and disabilities in collaboration with local agencies. At Lincoln Land Community College, a “virtual reference desk” was created for students and the college’s Regional Education Centers in Jacksonville, Litchfield, Taylorville, downtown Springfield, and Petersburg. The desk at each center was linked to the main campus to provide users with direct visual, audio, and computer contact with professional librarians to handle reference and research questions.

Lincoln Library, Springfield’s public library, was host to “Springfield Goes on the Web,” which featured a training room with personal computers and printers to provide hands-on beginning and intermediate classes eight times a week for three months on Internet use. Public libraries in Chatham and Rochester, along with the Senior Employment Service and the Springfield Urban League, participated in the program, which was geared toward seniors and the economically disadvantaged. Another training project in the region was “Benchmarks for the Future,” sponsored by the Peoria Public Library to enhance library staff skills in Windows software and Internet usage to improve service to library patrons.

To the north, the Lincoln Public Library hosted “Reading Out to Readers,” which provided reading materials to residents and patrons of senior living centers, rehabilitation facilities, and the local Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital. Seven public agencies took part in the program, which delivered the materials on mobile, sloped-shelf rolling booktrucks on a rotating schedule. A large-scale outreach was also the emphasis of “Illinois Parent Information Network,” sponsored by the Lincoln Trail Libraries System, which included 11 public agencies. The goal was to develop a model project of cooperative public promotion and outreach training for Illinois library, education, and so-cial services agencies to improve citizen access to information on parenting, child development, and family life.

The Putnam County Public Library District in Hennepin was the leader of an amalgamation of countywide public services agencies who joined to improve access to information in varied formats for senior citizens. Six area branch libraries, the Hennepin Park District, and county and township officials and agencies participated in the plan. At the Quincy Public Library, new technology and an old standby were combined in “Cellular Bookmobile,” which linked the bookmobile to the library’s online catalog, so bookmobile patrons could instantly determine the availability of materials. At Routt High School in Jacksonville, grade school and high school students, as well as teachers, gained access to more library materials with a computerized card catalog system that helped rural students access library information at no cost.

Enhanced access with technology was also the goal of the Springfield Public School District’s Information Access Project, which provided all students and staff with access to available informational resources. The district’s library catalog could be searched over the Internet, allowing resource sharing both across the district and statewide. CDROM towers were placed in school libraries to aid in technological integration and help students develop technology skills to become “lifelong learners.”

The Rolling Prairie Library System in Decatur joined with the Decatur Public Library to offer selfpaced computer software training modules to system library staff, the general public, and “other interested libraries and systems.” Windows 95, word processing, spreadsheets, the Internet, and PowerPoint were among the topics available. In nearby Clinton, the Vespasian Warner Public Library District provided free training manuals and training in word processing and the Internet for library staff and the public.

To the southeast, second-graders at St. Anthony Grade School in Effingham participated in “Book Pals,” a take-home reading program. Each weekend, students took home a “Hug a Book” bag containing a book and a plush animal or doll to share with family members. A journal was included in which students charted where the “Book Pal” traveled (such as friends’ or relatives’ homes) and to whom the book was read. At the end of the school year, students calculated how many books were read and which “Book Pal” traveled the most. Another youth-oriented program was “Goodstart” at Cisco’s Willow Branch Township Library, in which “educational sets of multicultural, contemporary books and puzzles” were checked out monthly during the school year. Students also received instruction in “proper treatment of library materials,” and parents received information to encourage their children to obtain library cards.

Physically impaired library users were the focus of “Acquisition of Adaptive Technology” at the Urbana Free Library. The library purchased adaptive technology to assist the visually-, hearing-, or motor-impaired gain better access to print and electronic sources. Orientation and training for staff and users was also provided in the project, which was promoted through the media.

Southern Illinois

Several projects received funding in southern Illinois. At Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, Lovejoy Library expanded its cataloging of Slavic-American materials. Access to the catalog was available through ILLINET Online and the OCLC database, offering greater access to these materials.

Elsewhere in the St. Louis Metro East region, the Madison Public Library developed programs and technology to train children, parents, and seniors to “make them more technology literate” and gain full access to information resources at the library. Four summer sessions of twice-weekly evening classes for adults and teenagers were held, with two afternoon sessions conducted for children and library staff. A similar program was held at the Venice Public Library, which administered a citywide survey, created programs, and offered technological training for children, parents, and seniors, for the same purposes as at Madison. Staff training, a six-week summer session for children on reading, and educational games on CD-ROM were offered, as were summer and fall sessions on the Internet for adults and teenagers.

The Centralia Regional Library District received funding to continue a Library Services Demonstration Grant that helped the library expand service into a broader area. The district’s three branches were automated with dial access for patrons to search the Shawnee Library System’s Dynix database, place holds on books, use the Web and check out books from branch areas so branch patrons could enjoy the same services as patrons at the main library. In a similar project, the three branches of the Stinson Memorial Library District in Anna were also linked to share resources in regional and statewide databases, including Dynix, and help patrons enjoy many of the same services as in the Centralia project.

In nearby Tamms, the Egyptian Community Unit School District’s “Information is Critical” project offered students the opportunity to access the library in “a skilled, interesting, informed, and integrated way” by using many resources to “locate, select, organize, and present” information during middle school, high school, and when entering college. The school media center bought new computer systems and trained staff and teachers through the project.

Clearly, the Library Services and Technology Act held a different focus than its predecessor. Technological access was key to many of the early LSTA projects, a practice that remains today. In that, timely library issues, such as computers, the Internet, and now, digitization, have been met. In addition, the inclusion of multitype libraries provided opportunities to many more Illinois library users than ever before. The evolution of federally funded projects from LSCA to LSTA demonstrate the national and Illinois pattern of meeting library needs that change with technological and social issues.