APPENDIX D: LSCA Projects of the Illinois State Library FY 1987-1988
By the late 1980s, the Illinois State Library had restructured its grant programs and was distributing more Library Services and Construction Act funds to Illinois libraries than ever before. Many of the programs still emphasized service to the unserved, including Project PLUS. However, literacy was now another area of focus, as were services to specialneeds groups, such as the elderly. The increasing use of automation in librarianship is apparent in the high number of grants focusing on technology. Mini grants had a ceiling of $20,000 and were to last no longer than six months. With mini grants, many more libraries, especially smaller ones, had the opportunity to improve their patron service incrementally.
This Appendix offers a glimpse of the LSCA programs approved by the State Library in fiscal years 1987 and 1988. It also illustrates how and why federal funds were being spent in Illinois in the late 1980s and is intended as a comparison to Appendix A, which discussed federally funded programs from 1967 to 1979. These programs were described in detail on pages 732-749 of the December 1987 edition of Illinois Libraries.
Mini Grant Programs in Fiscal Year 1987
Technology and Business
Rural library service had been the subject of the Libraries on the MOVE conference at Carbondale in 1986, where technology had been one of the topics at the discussion. The Mount Olive Public Library was the recipient of federal funds for RAFT, or Rural Americans for Technology, a program that offered patrons the chance to “experience the viable use of video and automation” through “hands-on use” of a video recorder and computer. Technology was also stressed in business settings, such as the “Online Outreach: Small Businesses” project of the Chicago Public Library. There, online services of the library’s Computer Assisted Reference Center were promoted to 84 Small Business Development Centers in an effort to extend services to small business owners statewide. The first 200 businesses referred by an SBDC received 20 minutes of online time free of charge.
Business users were also the subject of “The Carthage Connection: The Library,” offered by the Carthage Public Library to improve and develop library services for the business community. The library enhanced its collection of business-related materials, provided a FAX machine, and offered workshops for existing and potential small businesses, entrepreneurs, artisans, the unemployed, and career-changing individuals. The Rolling Meadows Library received funding for a similar campaign, “Library Service to Small and Medium-Size Businesses in Rolling Meadows,” which promoted library services to such businesses, including an examination of business infor mation needs and how library collections, reference service, online access, and public relations could help the business community.
The Pekin Public Library hosted “Cooperative Community Information Development,” or CCID, which initiated and expanded library service to the business communities in Pekin, Kewanee, and Morton. The objective was to enhance the library’s role as an information center and examine the feasibility and cost effectiveness of cooperation, development, and sharing of business information resources.
Career placement was a topic of “Get a Job!,” offered by the Kankakee Public Library, which used grant funds to buy equipment and materials for a career information center within the library. These materials included books, microfiche, video, periodicals, and software that could link the Dictionary of Occupational Titles with minimum job requirements. Workshops were also conducted on alternative job search routes, attitudes about resumes, better interview techniques, stress management, and building confidence and better attitudes.
Library services for senior citizens began to receive heavy emphasis in the 1980s. The “Focus on 60” program of the Thomas Ford Memorial Library sought to provide library service to those over age 60 with programs and materials to fulfill recreational reading needs as well as consumer information. Materials included large print books and magazines, books on tape, cassette players, and information on health concerns for the elderly. Programs were presented by library staff members, a local hospital, and a regional center for the aging. A similar program was the “Cooperative Outreach Service for Seniors,” sponsored by the Poplar Creek and Bartlett Public Library Districts and Hanover Township’s Senior Center. That project supplied materials geared toward senior needs, similar to the “Focus on 60” program. In Lemont, the public library sponsored the “Lemont Library Senior Readers Enhancement Project,” which enhanced and promoted service to older patrons with a special section of the library geared to service and improved materials collections for senior users, coupled with an aggressive community outreach and public relations campaign aimed at older readers.
The Elmhurst Public Library received funds for another senior-oriented program, “Project Bi-Folkal,” which strove to extend library services to older, often disabled residents, in care facilities and senior living facilities and train librarians to present programming to those groups. Through federal funding, the North Riverside Library offered “Older Adults Resources and Services,” or OARS, a program intended to “strengthen ties” with community groups that served the elderly and initiate delivery of library materials to nursing homes. In Southern Illinois, the Sallie Logan Public Library of Murphysboro was awarded funding for “Service to Older Americans, Murphysboro, Illinois,” or SOAMI, a project that also initiated nursing-home and senior-center delivery. Like the others, large-print and audio materials were also added, as were programs for elderly needs.
A slightly younger age group was the focus of a federally funded project of the Arlington Heights Memorial Library, “Getting Ready for Retirement.” That program resulted in six professionally produced videotapes that dealt with topics for those nearing retirement, including psychological adjustment, financial, health, and legal planning, leisure activities, and second careers. The elderly was one of several target groups of the Logan County Human Services Directory, a project sponsored by the Lincoln Public Library that updated the directory, originally published in 1977. The revisions were then distributed to agencies, institutions, libraries, and individuals as a reference tool for both providers and consumers of human services. In addition to the elderly, the unemployed, young adults, and the economically disadvantaged were also targeted by the project.
The youngest readers also received much attention. “Parents and Children: The Library Connection” was a federally funded program sponsored by the Lovington Township Library intended to “stimulate and establish” library services for family units with children. Both single- and two-parent households were emphasized. Three libraries in Moultrie County participated in the project, which provided “materials guidance” and awareness of materials and service available to families, as well as a comprehensive plan to enhance family-oriented collection materials. In nearby Forsyth, “Library Service for the Very Young Child” strove to offer materials and service to address the needs of new parents and their children. That program was intended to encourage reading by young children and lay the groundwork for future library use by young children and their families.
Five participating public libraries in northwest Illinois composed “Facing New Horizons Through Active Children’s Programs,” a plan to train both professional and volunteer staff and provide materials to benefit children’s needs. The program included a rotating package of puppets and support materials for storytelling, therapy, and dramatic creation. The Poplar Creek Public Library was the host of the DuPage Library System’s Cooperative Young Adult Summer Reading Project, which involved 11 participating libraries and the system itself. The centerpiece, an address by a well-known young-adult author, was presented twice a day at two different locations, accompanied by a young-adult book sale.
The Belleville Public Library received funding for a Head Start Storytelling Residency, which covered nine public libraries and 13 Head Start centers. The intent was to provide an outreach from the libraries to the centers with a cooperative effort that included professional storytellers for a “new, lasting interest in public libraries to Head Start children and their parents.” Inhouse story sessions, parent workshops, and a story concert were also featured, with Head Start staff and day care personnel offering a workshop and storytelling resource kits to encourage continued library usage.
“Don’t Miss Out on Life: Library Resources Helping Grade School Children” was the title of a funded program at the Joliet Public Library. This program focused on learning basic life skills for grade-school age children of low-income families. Funding provided an outreach librarian to coordinate the efforts by 75 participating schools and the library in providing programming, a publicity campaign, and print and computer materials to meet the “scale” and “level of need.”
Disabled children were the focus of the Galesburg Public Library Lekotek Center project, which established a toy, game, and book lending library for disabled children. Trained leadership, parental involvement, and creative toys were combined in a system of monthly meetings between project leaders, parents, and children in a play environment. Toys were tried out onsite and then loaned to the family. Project goals were to sign up at least 24 families for monthly visits and increase awareness of the Lekotek center’s materials and services.
As in the 1960s and 1970s, foreign-speaking residents also received much attention. Many programs were aimed at Spanish speakers. The Addison Public Library sponsored a “Literacy Program of Spanish Materials,” which was aimed at the unserved and underserved in the Hispanic community. The library’s Spanish materials collection was increased with the federal monies. Publicity included both print and promotion through community groups. Spanish skills for library workers was the subject of “Spanish Communication Skills for Library Personnel,” sponsored by the Chicago Public Library. Library personnel were given the opportunity to attend a six-month Spanish class in introductory and intermediate Spanish presented by the Small Branch Quality Circle of the Northeast District. The goals were to enable up to 30 staffers to become fluent in Spanish communication and to increase the number of library users of limited English-speaking ability by 15 percent by the end of 1987.
The Chicago Public Library also hosted “‘Libro Means Book:’ Expanding Bilingual Learning in the Formative Years.” This project strove to promote learning among young bilingual children and was administered by the Logan Square Branch of the library. The program adhered to a developing theme in librarianship; that a child’s attitude toward libraries is directly affected by the attitudes of his or her parents. With that in mind, bilingual story hours for parents and children alike were held, including handouts for parents of fingerplays and bibliographies. Library orientation programs for Spanish-speaking parents were also held, as were classes in English as a second language.
Since its inception, LSCA focused on unserved residents, as had federal funding administered by the State Library in the 1960s and 1970s. Some of these efforts were still around in the late 1980s, including “Community Touch: A Study of the Feasibility of Ex-panding Library Services to Surrounding Rural Areas” of the Rantoul Public Library. Money was spent to improve existing service with intent of “providing high-profile services to attract targeted communities.” The program also was meant as a test for a possible Project PLUS effort. A similar effort, “Book Bridge,” was conducted by the Clarendon Hills Public Library to offer limited local library service to two unserved areas, Golfview Hills and the Hinsdale Heights apartment complex. Temporary cards were issued during the program to students from kindergarten to adult courses, as well as all 3- to 5-year-olds. These determined the potential for a Project PLUS proposal.
Two mini grants focused on the role of community organizations. “Serving the Community Through Its Organizations” at the Chicago Public Library’s Sulzer Regional Library joined with 11 Northeast Side neighborhood branches striving to link individuals in need with a service to fill that need. A community organization directory was compiled, which allowed the regional library and branches to serve as information and referral centers. A collection of materials for non-profit organizations was also created, and workshops on fundraising membership files, as well as a newsletter, were produced.
In suburban Chicago, the Park Forest Public Library sponsored “Community Organizations,” which created a computer database and published a directory of community organizations. A file of over 150 organizations was compiled and updated regularly. The directory was provided free to libraries in the region as well as to top libraries in the Suburban Library System.
Miscellaneous Mini Grant Projects
A project by the Bloomington Public Library reflected not only the role of current technology, but also an increasingly round-the-clock demand for information. The “Twenty-Four Hour Library” offered 24-hour information service to patrons with touchtone telephones. A microcomputer-based system allowed users to receive a variety of telephone messages, including notification of reserves, programs, and overdues. Other community agencies also used the system to broadcast their own messages.
Some 218 system reference personnel who did not hold degrees were the subject of “Training the Trainees in Public Library Reference Services,” a program sponsored by the Suburban Library System. An intensive two-day program offered enhanced communication techniques to help with their “platform and instructional skills.” The program was reflective of the emphasis of the Illinois State Library on continuing education.
Public awareness was the focus of “Newsletter: A Vital Connection” at the Genoa Public Library District. This monthly newsletter was sent to all district residents to inform them of services and programming, as well as new acquisitions at their library.
Health education was also funded. “To Your Health,” a program by the Grayslake Area Public Library District, involved 15 Lake County libraries in cooperation with the county health department. Together, they identified health information priorities of patrons, distributed pamphlets, and presented health information programs. After the grant period expired, the Lake County Health Department continued to provide free materials to libraries and update source listings of free and inexpensive materials.
LSCA Projects in Fiscal Year 1988
Project PLUS and LIME
Since its inception in 1972, Project PLUS had become a staple of federally funded efforts by the State Library. The fiscal year 1988 programs were no exception. Project PLUS proposals in varying phases were funded in Morris, Oswego, Wilmington, Bloomington, Eldorado, Harvey, Troy, Tinley Park, Shorewood, Ashland, West Chicago, Sugar Grove, Barclay, Hartford, and Chatham, as well as three public library members of the River Bend Library System in the Quad Cities area. Many were to establish new libraries; some, like Bloomington, extended service to unserved nearby rural areas. In Tinley Park, nearby Orland Hills, recognizing their inability to provide quality library service, sought to contract with adjacent Tinley Park to provide the service. The village of Phoenix sought the same in a contract with Harvey.
A similar effort was the “Ideal Public Library,” a project of the Lincoln Trail Libraries System for a demonstration of public library service to the 4,000 unserved residents of the Oakwood area. The demonstration showed the components of “ideal” library service through a main facility in Oakwood Village and a reading center in Fithian Village. CLSI computer access, print and audiovisual materials, and community programming for adults and children were offered.
A Project LIME-funded effort in Darien resulted in the merger of libraries in Darien and adjacent Willowbrook to create a public library district. Both libraries were less than eight years old, were housed in rented quarters, and had no significant funds for a new building. The end result was a handsome new building that housed the Darien Public Library District within easy reach of residents in both cities.
The recently developed communication method of telefacsimile received attention during this period. One program, “FAX Inter-Library,” sponsored by the North Suburban Library System, gave member libraries the opportunity to use FAX technology for information request and delivery. The increasing need for speed in information retrieval was apparent, as the system “determined that their patrons often need to obtain information on many different subjects in the shortest possible span of time.”
The North Suburban Library System was not alone in recognizing this need. The Corn Belt Library System purchased 10 FAXes and two Infotrac II systems with their “FAX Network Among Multitype Libraries/Bloomington-Normal” project. Another multitype project was the River Bend Library System-sponsored “Telefacsimile Network in the Illinois Quad Cities,” which covered half the cost of two Omnifax 9SM machines and one 9S machine for libraries without FAX machines. Passavant Area Hospital in Jacksonville received funding for “FAX Health Fact in Great River Country,” a program that enabled three institutions to purchase FAXes to enhance and share health literature through interlibrary loan. A related technology was covered in “Reference by Gamma-Fax,” a project by the DuPage Library System to examine the potential of sharing database resources. In this program, five different databases on CD were placed in five source libraries, which also owned FAX and Gamma-Fax software to download a search from the computers to remote sites via the telefax.
A FAX cluster was the objective of “Distant Information Access Link,” sponsored by the Illinois Eastern Community Colleges. Eight small rural Illinois libraries looked to expand their “shared efforts” by creating a network to exchange periodical articles, specialized reference questions, and government documents. To reach this goal, a FAX cluster was planned to allow for rapid communication, which increased effectiveness and efficiency of resource sharing, as well as building on current collection strengths.
The Cumberland Trail Library System received funding for the “PC to Facsimile ILL Project,” which sought to build on new technology that allowed users of personal computers to transmit data directly to FAX machines. Member libraries that were not online with their system’s circulation control system received the equipment to transmit interlibrary loan requests or other data to the system headquarters. Reference capabilities were also enhanced at member libraries for better service as rural information centers.
In addition, a telecommunications network was also planned with LSCA funds. The Northern Illinois Learning Resources Cooperative’s “Planning an Illinois Telecommunications Network” program was intended to study the requirements for a statewide electronic network of multitype libraries, including “exchange of voice, data, and video information.” The goal was to examine the “most effective way to implement” a network, with “functional design criteria” outlined in a final report.
Improvements in reference service were also funded. One was the “Nite Owl Reference Service” project of the Schaumburg Township Public Library, which began with nine public libraries in the northwest Chicago suburbs in September 1986. This “bold new experiment” provided residents with telephone reference service from 9 p.m. until 1 a.m. on weekdays and from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. on weekends. Trained staff provided the service, which was physically located at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library.
Elsewhere in the Chicago suburbs, “Project LIFD” was initiated by the Suburban Library System to develop a materials and information resource center for families of the disabled. The needs of both the patient and the caregiver were stressed. “Interagency collaboration” was a “foundation” of the project, namely a cooperative effort between the regional system and a member library at the South Metropolitan Association for Low Incidence Handicapped, a special education program that served parents and disabled children in the southern Chicago suburbs.
The library needs of residents of rural DeWitt, Logan, and Macon counties were the subject of “Tri-County Rural Resource and Referral Sites,” sponsored by the Friends Creek Public Library. Five participating libraries became “resource and referral sites” that worked in cooperation with rural organizations from each of the three counties.
Reference needs of the State Library were addressed in statistical services provided by the University of Illinois. Processing of the 1986-87 Illinois Public Library Reports, analysis of that year’s public library statistics, and statistical profiles, rankings, and financial analysis of each Illinois public library was included in the effort.
Cooperative Collection Development
Four cooperative collection development projects were funded in 1987 that furthered the CCD goals of the State Library. In one, the DuPage Library System used CLSI in a two-phase project to test the accuracy of manual data collection against automated data collection. Three system libraries used 5,000 records as the sample, and the final results were used to survey the other CLSI libraries of Illinois. The second phase of “Statewide Coordinated Cooperative Collection Development” at DePaul University was funded in 1987 to “define, plan, and coordinate a flexible, yet comprehensive approach” to cooperative collection development in all types of Illinois libraries. The coordinator’s position was to seek a “more proactive role,” while local CCD was emphasized.
The “Coordinated Collection Development Project” of the Chicago Public Library was created to address the fact that no assessment of collection strengths and weaknesses of the Chicago Library System members existed. There was also no plan for coordinated collection development. The plan developed an assessment model for the central, regional, branch, and affiliate library collections, implemented a workable plan of CCCD, and initiated the building of collections in pre-determined areas. To the south, a “Plan for CCD in the Bloomington-Normal Metropolitan Area” was initiated by the Corn Belt Library System to create a statewide model for multitype CCD on the local level. The project focused on collection development of reference resources.
Another cooperative effort, this one in foreign language cataloging, was the focus of the Chicago Public Library’s “Metropolitan Library System Cooperative Foreign Language Cataloging.” The Cataloging Division of the Chicago Public Library proposed creating a clearinghouse for foreign language cataloging, identifying “librarians with special language skills,” and offering “descriptive cataloging and subject analysis” for foreign language titles owned by Chicago metropolitan public libraries.
The State Library went to great lengths to reach special-needs groups in the 1960s and 1970s, and by the 1980s, the library realized that Illinois contained diverse, and highly fragmented, library needs. One example was the Quincy Veterans Home, which received funding for several library programs initiated by the Great River Library System in 1985. Funds were granted for a continuation of the efforts in 1987. The Quincy Veterans Home contributed materials and labor to remodel an existing building on the grounds for a library. Also in 1987, the Corn Belt Library System received funds for library service at the Manteno Veterans Home. A branch of the system headquarters was operated at the home during the project, which was planned and evaluated using Avenues to Excellence.
In addition, the Chicago Public Library and Chicago Public Library System sponsored a program for “Library Service to Illinois State Psychiatric Institute,” which was aimed at continued use and development of the patient library at that institution. The Clarence Darrow Branch Library also sponsored a program, “Reading/Righting – Books in Therapy” for psychiatric inmates. Approximately 5,000 unserved inmates of Division VIII of the Cook County Department of Corrections received specialized library service in a mobile unit with a capacity of two thousand books.
Projects for special collections continued to receive funding. One was the “American Popular Music Recording Collection 1895-1960” project at the Chicago Public Library. Funds were used to purchase a major private collection in order to strengthen the library’s popular music collection from the years 1895 to 1960. The acquisition of the collection was intended to raise the library’s holdings of current recordings to match those of its collections of sheet music, scores, and song anthologies. The Chicago Public Library’s Special Collections Division also was awarded funding for the second year of the “Chicago Theatre History Collection” project, which sought to “collect and record” the work of current theater groups and Chicago playwrights. Such materials as manuscripts, playbills, posters, correspondence, and set designs were to be collected.
The business side of music was the emphasis of another Chicago Public Library project, “Music Business Community.” Sponsored by the library’s Music Information Center, the project involved creation of a computer-based directory for local use by companies and agencies searching for local music business and talent.
Foreign Language Patrons
While Spanish-speaking patrons received much emphasis in foreign-language programs, other ethnic groups also received attention. The Chinatown Branch of the Chicago Public Library hosted “Conserving Chinese Culture and History in the Midwest,” which addressed the growing Chinese-American community in the region. The Chinatown branch strove to build its collection of bilingual books and non-books while creating an archive of Chinese-American history and culture. The library also aimed to serve as a state depository for such materials. Asian, Hispanic, and Middle Eastern immigrants were the subject of another Chicago Public Library program, “Year of the New Reader,” which served as a “cohesive, articulated outreach effort” to promote library and collection awareness.
Children and Young Adults
The needs of children and young adults were addressed in several LSCA programs, which continued a practice from the 1970s. The youngest children were the subject of “Baby Talk” at the Decatur Public Library, which was the result of a local group of educators and health care workers’ concern for early childhood development. This included “educating parents of new babies about the importance of…a healthy, stimulating environment for learning.” Grant funds paid for a part-time coordinator and field visitor to meet with parents in obstetrics wards, and an informational booklet was produced. Gift books for babies, as well as birthday books for 1-year-olds, were purchased, and the core collection of high-quality baby books was improved. Quarterly mailings for the first year of the baby’s life were also mailed as part of a promotional effort.
The Warren-Newport Public Library hosted “Early Childhood Enhancement,” recognizing “the trend to identify, early in their life, preschool children who have special needs.” The library also noted a “lack of knowledge on the part of the general public” about the subject. Parent educators were given the opportunity to identify these “at-risk” children in a library setting, with referrals to appropriate agencies if needed. Informational packets and checklists were distributed to parents as part of the effort.
A Juvenile Literacy Center was established at the Joliet Public Library through “Bridge to Success,” an extension of that library’s “Don’t Miss Out on Life” mini grant. The center provided economically disadvantaged grade-school-age children a permanent place that served as a “bridge, the shortest distance to individual, social, and economic development.” Books, software, school tests, computers, and a reference shelf helped the youngsters develop improved math and reading skills. Participants and their parents were allowed to check out computers and software through the project.
Young adults in grades 7-12 were also the focus of the continuation of the “Young Adult Outreach Program” of the Blue Mound Memorial Library District. In the grant’s first year, the five participating libraries witnessed a 30 percent increase in young adult material circulation. The libraries hoped to share their resources and ideas with other members of the Rolling Prairie Library System through interlibrary loan and workshops.
Young adults who were “educatable mentally handicapped” were the focus of “Improving the Quality of Life/EMH Young Adults” at the Chicago Public Library’s Mount Greenwood branch. Through the program, these young adults were provided with reading material to “promote intellectual development.” Workshops, lectures, and group discussions were also offered to enhance communication skills, social interaction and self-expression.
One of the largest projects of the fiscal year was “A Statewide Children’s Science Book Fair,” sponsored by the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. The program created a “circulating, comprehensive children’s science book fair” to be held at a public library in each of Illinois’ 18 library systems. Around 400 current children’s materials, informational and publicity packets, and shelving were included in the exhibit, which also featured appearances by scientists and authors. Students were encouraged to use the books at the fair, which was displayed for up to a month at each location. A two-day professional conference, held at the Museum of Science and Industry, helped create awareness and publicity for the fair. Scientists, teachers, and authors delivered lectures at the conference and the fairs with the aim of examining methods of developing scientific knowledge and interest in young people with the use of “familiar, accessible materials.”
The needs of preschoolers and senior citizens were combined in “Storytellers Tape Express to the Homebound” at the Julia E. Hull Library in Stillman Valley. Recognizing that preschool-age children and seniors were underserved by libraries, the program sought a unique way to reach both of those groups. Senior citizens were given an employment opportunity by recording stories both for children and for other seniors. Filmstrips, cassettes, and dolls were purchased to supplement the stories for children.
Library services for special-needs patrons in Illinois grew exponentially in the 1970s and 1980s. One example was the “Skokie Accessible Library Services” (SALS) project of the Skokie Public Library, intended to serve those whose physical limitations prevented them from using library resources. Three service elements – electronic aids, materials in special formats, and special programs and services – comprised SALS, which reached patrons of all degrees of physical limitation. The evaluation found that SALS “greatly expanded both the range and number of physically disabled persons served in the library.”
Business and Careers
As with the mini grants, LSCA grants for business and career needs received funding. The “Career Development Workshops” project of the Lincoln Trail Libraries System looked at continuing education for librarians in the Champaign-Urbana area. “Traditional workshops and innovative learning techniques” were planned to meet this goal, which focused on multitype libraries.
The Vespasian Warner Public Library in Clinton sponsored “Economic Development Opportunities and Resources,” which was intended to further establish the Clinton library as an economic development tool and information center. Planned in cooperation with the Clinton Chamber of Commerce, three freestanding Information Access Terminals were placed in the community to inform residents of the library’s services and location, as well as community, tourist, and business activities.
A similar theme was stressed in “Taking Care of Business,” the continuation of a project by the Illinois Coalition of Library Associates. A program from the previous fiscal year, “Partnerships Between Libraries and Businesses in Illinois,” was extended to include participation by smaller public libraries. Outreach to local business communities and improved business reference services were the core of the effort.
Manufacturing jobs were the emphasis of “Jobs for the Rust Belt,” sponsored by the Chicago Public Library’s Branch-Regional Management Team. Demonstration core collections included books, pamphlets, films, and videos on manufacturing. These, along with speakers from government agencies, “role models” in manufacturing, and employers in manufacturing and construction, were offered.
Ten libraries around DeKalb were participants in “Resources and Sharing to Improve Rural Library Service.” Federal funds were awarded to the DeKalb Public Library for the program, which included nine cooperating libraries with an average population served of 2,886 and an average of 13,239 volumes held. The DeKalb Public Library, by comparison, served 33,157 with 104,699 volumes. The project was intended as a model for other areas of the state that had one large urban library surrounded by several rural libraries. The reference and research skills of the staff of the cooperating libraries were improved through training by professional librarians during the project.
As always, the unserved received much emphasis with LSCA grants. The “Planning for County Access Center Library Service” project of the Lincoln Trail Libraries System was a two-phase program for “effective utilization of a model county access center.” This prototype was to be a “state-of-the-art library telecommunications system” for unserved residents.
Local libraries in one designated demonstration county were chosen to participate, along with government and community leaders. An automation/telecommunication prototype design was then contracted, and a final report outlining the process, including recommendations, was distributed statewide.
While the projects of fiscal years 1987 and 1988 covered many of the same topics as the federally funded programs of the late 1960s and 1970s, it is clear that new areas were also emphasized. One was cooperative collection development, which was introduced at the State Library in the mid-1970s. The diversity of library users was also apparent in the types of programs funded. Automation was now a leading topic in Illinois, and national librarianship and the number of LSCA projects reflected that trend.
By the end of the Library Services and Construction Act in 1997, federally funded programs had continued their evolution. The subsequent Library Services and Technology Act grants that began in 1998 further demonstrated that gradual change.