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Monday, March 7, 2011

ILEAD U 2011

Top Row: Anne Craig, Director, Illinois State Library; John Lavalie, Cataloging and Metadata Specialist, DPPL; Mary Chute, Deputy Director for Libraries, IMLS; Tiffany Amschl, Assistant Administrative Librarian, Crete Public Library.
Bottom Row: Steven Giese, Adult Services Librarian, DPPL; Paul Foxworth, Youth Services Librarian, Niles Public Library; Joanne Griffin, Adult Services Librarian, DPPL.

I'm very proud to announce that the Des Plaines Public Library is partnering with our friends at the Niles Public Library in a statewide library initiative called ILEAD U. The Illinois State Library has received generous grant funding from IMLS, the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The funding allows teams from libraries all across Illinois to participate in intensive immersion training in technology, leadership and project management in order to better meet their community's needs in the 21st century. Our four person team consists of John Lavalie, Joanne Griffin and Steven Giese from Des Plaines along with Paul Foxworth from Niles. The team has chosen local history as their theme. There is rich local history in our suburban area but preserving it, digitizing it and making it more easily accessible has been relegated to the low priority list for a long time. I want to commend our ILEAD U team members for taking on the challenge of learning new skills to bring something truly useful and unique to our communities. The team will continue working on this project throughout the coming year and I believe their creative work will remain valuable for decades to come.

I am also a very enthusiastic member of the ILEAD U initiative, serving as an instructor for the 2010 and 2011 cohorts. At a time when library budgets are greatly reduced, IMLS funding is critical for assisting us in furthering our professional education. The ILEAD U funding from IMLS also includes a small grant for equipment and software to allow us to share our newly digitized local history resources with you. We are grateful to Anne Craig and the Illinois State Library staff for including the Des Plaines Public Library in ILEAD U and for their vision in writing this grant-funded initiative. Watch for updates as our team's project begins to grow and develop. Tiffany Amschl from the Crete Public Library, in the photo above, is serving as our team's mentor.

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