ILLINOIS STATE LIBRARY
Illinois Veterans' Home Libraries
Purpose and Outcomes
Veterans' Home libraries offer library services for residents living in the Illinois Veterans' Homes in Anna, LaSalle, Manteno and Quincy, which provide quality long-term care for veterans and their spouses. Funds obtained through the sale of special license plates support the efforts of the Illinois Veterans’ Homes libraries to provide reading and reference materials, access to technology and other library services for the residents living in the homes.
- $50,000 State Special License Plate Fund
Range of Award
- Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs operating libraries at the Illinois Veterans' Homes
Targeted Program Participants
- Residents of the Illinois Veterans' Homes
Program Impact in FY2015
Total Dollars Awarded
Number of Grants Awarded
- 1 award in support of 4 Illinois Veterans' Home Libraries
Number of People Served
- 959 residents and 1170 staff for a total of 2,129 served
For the majority of residents, the Veterans' Home represents their final home. Socialization is a vital component of life in the homes. In the words of one resident, "I may be old, but I am not dead." The librarians utilized this theme to emphasize that each life counts. Wednesday morning Ladies Tea and Friday morning "What Do You Think?" sessions offer lively discussions on a variety of topics. These activities are an integral part of intellectual stimulation for the residents of the Veterans’ Home. Solution Seekers represents a group of six to twelve cross-cultural, diverse veterans discussing their concerns and current issues. They share lessons learned with other veterans throughout the state and are collectively writing articles to be published in the Home Front magazine. The library helps with research as they collaborate to write the articles.
Books, magazines and computer access are basic library services valued by the residents. Carl enjoys watching videos; he visits the library several times weekly to make new selections to take back to his room. Doug uses the library computer to play simultaneous chess around the world and, in his spare time, is writing a book of chess instruction.
Two very industrious residents wanted to publish a book. They used the library to conduct their research and the library’s computer to write their draft. One of the books that they wrote was about a female who posed as a male soldier during the Civil War. She was able to enlist, fight through the war and live as a male until her death in rural Illinois. The veterans were very excited when their book was finally published.
For more information about the Illinois Veterans' Home Libraries grant program, please call 800-665-5576 ext. 2.