The Rock Island Library invites patrons to transform their ideas about the library by visiting during National Library Week, April 9 to 15.
Rock Island Library joins libraries nationwide in celebrating the many ways libraries transform their communities through library services and expertise. The week highlights the changing role of libraries, which open up a world of possibility through the work of library staff, innovative programming, creative collaborations, maker events, job-seeking resources, reading, and new types of shared resources.
For instance, a Rock Island Public Library patron may be just as likely to check out a cake pan, video game, learning tablet, or a cultural pass, as a more traditional book, movie or music CD. Due to the library's wide variety of digital media subscriptions, such as OverDrive, Hoopla, eRead, Flipster, Freegal and RB Digital, patrons can check out electronic books, audio books, magazines, download music to keep, or stream music and movies wherever they have an internet connection.
As a thank you to patrons, the library will distribute free I Love Books and READ book bags at all locations starting Monday, April 10. Bags will be available while supplies last. Rock Island Library is also asking library patrons to fill out a postcard, or post a story about how libraries are essential or have transformed some aspect of their life on the library Facebook page, as part of Take Action for Libraries Day on April 13.
"Although statistics do not solely tell the story, they are a great indicator that we are a beloved city service," said Angela Campbell, library director.
In 2016, Rock Island Libraries welcomed 224,050 patrons to its facilities and had a total circulation of 363,398 items. About 12 percent of that circulation, or 45,019 checkouts, was electronic materials, including magazines, audio books, movies, and music. Beyond circulation, the library's online databases, which include research tools for homework, genealogy, stocks and more, were used 66,431 times. Other library services in 2016 included almost 536,000 uses of building resources, such as computer sign-ins, wireless access, interlibrary lending, literacy stations and self-checkouts, among others. Rock Island's total number of registered borrowers was at 17,377, up five percent.
The library offered 510 in-house programs at three locations in 2016, and increasingly, the library is taking its programs on the road. During National Library Week 2017, library staff will be visiting Skip-A-Long day care in Milan and Head Start classes in Rock Island, and offering book talks to students at Edison Junior High in Rock Island. Library staff made 107 of these outreach visits in 2016, serving 6,412 people. "Libraries are changing, and in the process, they continue to transform communities by fostering literacy in all forms," added Campbell.
Other 2017 National Library Week programming that supports the library's strategic goals for advancing community literacy and stimulating the imagination include the following events:
Simply Three performance from Quad City Arts Visiting Arts Series: The electrifying trio of Glen McDaniel, Nick Villalobos, and Zack Clark, brings their blend of classical crossover to the Rock Island Public Library on Monday, April 10. The 6:00 pm performance is in the Main Library Community Room, 401 19th Street. Simply Three has been captivating audiences worldwide with high-octane performances of both original works, contemporary collaborations, and innovative arrangements since 2010.
Toddler Tale Storytimes: Stories, songs, and activities aimed at increasing reading skills and kindergarten readiness for ages birth to five. Offered at 10:30 am on Wednesday, April 12 at the Southwest Branch, and Friday, April 14 in the Main Library Children's Room. This week's story and craft theme is "Eggs-cellent Adventures."
Hug-A-Book Garden Storytime, Terrific Tulips: This event brings the library's Hug-a-Book early learning series to the Quad City Botanical Center on Tuesday, April 11. In the one-time collaboration with the Center's KinderNature program, librarians and Botanical Center educators will offer stories, songs, activities and nature education for ages two to five. Each child will receive a book to take home, and admission to the event is free, thanks to sponsorship by the Merrill Harris Hug-A-Book fund of the Rock Island Public Library Foundation. The event is held from 10:30 am to 11:30 am at the Quad City Botanical Center, 2525 4th Avenue.
Southwest Family Craft: Easter Basket Madness! Families can gather to make and embellish their own Easter baskets at 6:00 pm on Tuesday, April 11, at the Southwest Branch, 9010 Ridgewood Road. Registration is requested for the monthly craft. To sign up, call 309-732-7338 or register online.
All of the above events are offered at no charge.