WESTERN SPRINGS – A local librarian was recently selected to be a part of the Illinois Librarians Explore, Apply and Discover, or ILEAD U, program – a yearlong journey that Heather Booth said she’s excited to begin.
The program, funded by the Illinois State Library, helps library staff understand the needs of patrons through different technology tools and how to respond to those needs.
ILEAD U includes three separate four-day sessions, the first of which was Monday and continues through Thursday, according to Booth, a Teen Services librarian at Thomas Ford Memorial Library. The following meetings will be held in June and October.
“It’s going to really end up being good for me, the library and the community as well just to have this kind of experience,” said Booth, who was selected as part of a team with four other area librarians.
Through participating in ILEAD U, each team selects an individual project that will impact library patrons and are then instructed by mentors throughout the courses and sessions.
“It’s going to be a challenging year, but it’s a really important [program],” Booth said.
Booth, who’s team will be focusing on robotics, said the March session will cover movie making and blogging software, along with social media, a model for technology integration and more.
Along with the individual team projects, the program also has each librarian working with a community member as a soundboard to bounce different ideas off of. Booth said the teen she’s working with will directly benefit from the potential programs.
Looking ahead, the main goal is to bring the ability to move forward with technology programs back to the library, according to Booth. Many community organizations are struggling to stay on top of the current technology demands, she said.
“As much as I like helping people connect with books,” Booth said. “I realize that’s not the only reason people come to the library.”