Helen worked with a group of Towanda Historical Society members to create the Towanda History website - a project funded by an Illinois State Library grant in 2007. See the link in the left column of this site.
Former Library Board President, Tim Mogill, Honored at his Final Board Meeting
Helen's husband, Tim, was honored on May 21, 2013 for 11 years of service on the Towanda District Library Board. Tim and Helen worked tirelessly for passage of the referendum that expanded the library's tax base into Blue Mound and Money Creek townships - creating the three township tax base that now supports the library.
Special Board Meeting - Tuesday, June 11, 2013 at 5:30 p.m.
Agenda: Presentation about space needs assessment options for the Towanda District Library. Information about construction grants will also be reviewed. The applicable Illinois Public Library Standards will be discussed. There will be no action taken at this meeting. It is for informational purposes only. The meeting is open to the public.
Rover Art workshops on June 10, 12, and 14
Workshops designed for teens and taught by professional artists from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday this week on library lawn. Youth from ages 10 to 18 are welcome to attend, learn, and create.
Artistic projects that are crafted at the workshops will be on display at the McLean County Art Center for a special county-wide exhibit that will include works from nearly all rural McLean County communities.
Towanda is pleased to be the first rural community to host Rover artists.
Exciting New Program from McLean County Arts Center: ROVER Mobile Art Center Offers Youth Classes at Towanda District Library
Attention junior high and high school youth! Start your summer fun by being creative. Learn 3-D, 2-D and fiber arts in FREE afternoon sessions at the Towanda District Library.
Professional artists have been hired to teach classes that mirror classes offered at the McLean County Arts Center.
On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons during the first 2 weeks of June from 3:00 to 5:00 aspiring artists ages 10 to 18 will gather under the shade tree in front of the library for classes sponsored by a National Endowment for the Arts grant.
Classes are limited to 15, so sign up immediately at the library - to assure your spot under the shade tree!
May Library Events
TOWANDA READS Book Discussions are held on the 2nd Tuesday of alternating months from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the Towanda District Library. May 14th the group will discuss Fall of Giants: Book One of the Century Trilogy by Ken Follett. Members of the discussion group vary at each session – according to interest in the selection. Feel free to join the discussion whenever the title peaks your interest. We will send you the questions in advance, if you e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Appy Hour: Every Monday evening 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. We have new apps! They greatly improve the ease of using our e-books. We will show you in less than 20 minutes how to download books from our free e-book collection onto your favorite mobile device.
Knitting/Crocheting/Felting Group: Tuesday evenings at 5:00. Bring your questions or your current project or just come to listen and learn.
Read 2 Dogs: Every Tuesday evening 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Please phone 728-2176 to pre-register your child for this.
Parents Love Libraries
Parents believe that libraries help instill the love of reading in their children.
The Towanda District Library is accepting letters of interest from persons wishing to fill either of the 2 vacant seats on the Towanda District Library Board.
Please submit your letter by June 17, 2013 to Library Director Karen Bersche, at 301 South Taylor Street in Towanda or mail your letter to Library Board President, Jane Foster at 301 South Taylor Street.
Story hour resumes again on the Wednesday following Labor Day. Join us at Summer Reading in the meantime!
Preschoolers socialize, listen to books, enjoy interactive games, create crafts, and share a snack. Open enrollment allows children to enter the Story Hour group any time during the year - when they turn 3-years-old. Younger siblings are invited to play -- while parents visit nearby during the Story Hour. Making a commitment to visit the library weekly is one of the best ways to raise your child to be a reader. The love of reading begins before school age!
Downloading E-Books from our Library's Website
Downloading our library's e-books is easier now - thanks to a recent update by Overdrive. Find the Overdrive link in the left column of this site. Click the "Download audiobooks and eBooks" icon.
Continue to use technology to enhance library services.
Provide a variety of high-quality services and programs that educate and inspire.
Encourage and support the love of reading for all ages to promote life-long learning.
Continue to strengthen the relationship between the library and the community served.
Provide a welcoming environment for all patrons.
Continue to be financially responsible
Towanda in the News
The December 26th issue of the Bloomington Panatagraph has a Towanda-related question posed in the Flick Fact question-of-the-day. Do you know the answer? If you have been attending events at this library during the past 2 years, you probably do!
Library staff are willing and able to answer your questions about new high-tech devices you may have found under your Christmas tree. Those new e-readers are marvelous, but you may have a few questions. Don't be afraid to ask! We can give you a 5-minute tutorial on using the library's e-book collection to borrow free e-books.
Library Meeting Policy
The Towanda District Library is waiving its current Meeting Space policy for the next 12 months. During this time Community Groups may meet at the library without incurring a cost -- as long as requests are received at least 2 weeks in advance and staff are available. Please call 728-2176 and ask for Karen.
Hosting Community Organizations
The library is happy to host your community organization during the re-modeling of the Community Building. Call the library to make advanced arrangements.
Our Library Subscribes to WORLD BOOK WEB For You
You now have access to World Book Encyclopedias online! That means you can use our library even when the doors are locked for the evening. Use our library from the comfort of your home.
Just click the WORLD BOOK WEB icon to the left. Then enter your Library card number (no password) and you have access to all that World Book has to offer! The World Book offers an encyclopedia, dictionary, atlas, homework help, study aids, and curriculum guides.
Our library also added a few special features to our subscription:
World Book Online for Kids: Easy-to-read articles, multimedia, games, science projects, interactive tools, and activities for young readers.
Craft Corners: A great resource for teachers and 4-H or scout leaders who are looking for craft projects for a specific age group and topic.
Audio Book Collection Expands
The libraryâ€™s collection of audio books is now shelved in one convenient location. We are also expanding the collection. We see so many people borrowing books on CD when they take long car trips. We hope you enjoy the new, broader selection.
Audio Books Online
So many of you are aware that the library offers e-books online, but did you know that Overdrive, the libraryâ€™s e-book vendor, also offers you audio books online? From the Towanda District Library website, select â€śdownload audio books and e-booksâ€ť in the left column. You can listen on an MP3 player or in WMA format.
Thank You to the FRIENDS
Thank You to the FRIENDS for new chairs at the computer hub.
Used Book Donations
The library is no longer accepting donations of used books - due to space constraints at the library. Gently used books that have been published within the past 2 years are still being accepted for possible inclusion in the collection.
"Find a Book" Search Tool for Students
Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White is joining Governor Pat Quinn and Illinois Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch in urging librarians, educators and families to use the free online â€śFind a Bookâ€ť search tool to ensure students continue reading while they are out of school this summer. â€śFind a Bookâ€ť is located at the link below and provides a way for librarians, parents and children to quickly and easily search for books that match a childâ€™s reading level and interests. â€śFind a Bookâ€ť also helps locate a local library carrying each book title.
Food Literacy and Reading Literacy - a Double Delight
Food Literacy and Reading Literacy - a Double Delight is the name of the grant proposal funded for Towanda District Library by the Dollar General Foundation.
Dollar General's commitment to literacy is an integral part of the company's culture. In fact, Dollar General's co-founder, J. L. Turner, was functionally illiterate when he started the company. Dollar General believes learning to read is an investment that opens doorways for personal, professional and economic growth. That is why Dollar General's commitment to literacy remains strong. It is the one gift that no one can take awayâ€”the one gift that lasts a lifetime.
Because of this grant, the Towanda District Library will host an expanded Summer Reading Program this year. Each program, during the 7-week session, will be repeated on Tuesday nights at 5:30 and Wednesday mornings at 10:30. In addition to all of the youth-centered activities that will support both Food Literacy and Reading Literacy, there will be program components for parents and adults.
Because parents are a child's first and most important teachers, the library is hosting an Adult Summer Reading Program that challenges children to "catch" their parents and other significant adults reading. Adults will have "Reading Bingo Cards" that promise chances for prizes.
Stop at the library for schedules and sign up opportunities. This is a summer you won't want to miss!
Towanda District Library Use - Red Hot
Perhaps it is the incredible spring weather that has created usage figures at our library that are unprecedented. Total circulation in March was up 25% from the previous year. Total visits to the library in April were up 70% from the previous year. Inter-library Loan increased by 9% in April - compared to a year ago. These figures do not include e-book circulation from our website.
RAILS LIBRARY SYSTEM PROVIDES INTER-LIBRARY LOAN FOR LOCAL CUSTOMERS:
Towanda District Library is one of 3,700 libraries that belong to the RAILS Library System. RAILS service area covers the northern half of the Illinois. Library systems recently merged to create a new and more sustainable business model that will reduce costs and safeguard services to Illinois libraries during Illinois' unprecedented fiscal crisis. The foresight to merge Illinois' library systems from 10 regional systems to two began nearly 2 years ago. RAILS is the result. Uninterrupted services such as Inter-library Loan for local library customers is also the result. Towanda's Library Director serves on the governing board of RAILS. http://www.railslibraries.info/
Ottilie Womack Remembered
In a tribute to one of the women who served on the library board that built the Towanda District Library and to a teacher who loved libraries and encouraging children to read, this WJBC Forum is a salute to Ottilie Womack. Her love of reading lives on as children come to our library every day! Her vision 22 years ago provided a library building that still serves the youth of our area. We currently have a collection of Ottilie's framed art - depicting children reading - on display.
Towanda District Library Selected for Business Package
Towanda District Library has been chosen to receive almost $4,000 worth of equipment, hardware and software to help businesses and entrepreneurs in our community create new economic growth opportunities. The "Business and Libraries: Working Together" technology package is the result of a $300,000 grant to the State Library from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Items provided to libraries include a laptop computer with Microsoft Office Suite; projector; screen; DVD player; camcorder with tripod; 2 audio headsets with microphones; DVDs for OSHA required training in both English and Spanish; Business Plan Pro, Sales and Marketing Pro, and Adobe Acrobat software; Acrobat training materials; jump drives; and books on starting and growing business. Participants were selected on the basis of the local unemployment rate, poverty level, proximity to a Small Business Development Center (SBDC), SCORE or other business organization, and statewide geographic distribution.
In the News
News Coverage for Library: This story which mentions Towanda District
Library and local business owners, Linda Garbe and Ryan Bliss, ran on the
front page of the Peoria Journal Star Business Section on March 8th â€“ the
opening day of the Illinois Rural Economic Development Conference.
Get library notices and renew items on
your mobile device! Once you sign up you will automatically get text notices about holds to pick up,
overdue items, and fees. The library does not charge for this service, but
your mobile plan's reguar text-messaging rates apply. Stop at the library
to pick up a brochure that fuly explains the new service with
Want to refresh your memory about how to
renew your books online or order books from other libraries? Ask a library
staff member to give you a Five-Minute Hands-On Demo. We do it all the
time! And remember, if you forget your PIN, all you have to do is ask the
person at the front desk to look it up for you.
This is a great time of year for DVD
releases! The library adds new DVD's to its collection nearly every week.
As always, DVD rental is free at the Towanda Library. All we ask is that
you return the DVD's promptly after one week - so that others may enjoy
Wii for Fwii at the Library
Tuesday evenings 4:00 to 6:00:
Play Wii games with your friends.
Borrow Books from 200+ Libraries
One of the privileges of using a library
in Illinois is the fact that you may order books online from any of the
surrounding libraries and pick up the books at your own home library. From
the Towanda Library homepage, simply select the RSACat link on the
right-hand side of the page. Find the book you want. Place a HOLD (reserve
the book). Within a week your book will arrive via free delivery. We will
phone you when the book arrives for you. No hassle! No charge!
Economize at the Library
Magazines can be checked out
There is no charge for DVD and video rentals.
Summer Reading and other programs are
Books on Tape and MP3 Play-a-Ways
Wireless access to the internet is free -
on our computers or on your laptop.
District Library has partnered with the Towanda Area Historical Society to
document and display Towanda Area History on the web at towandahistory.org.
A new feature of the Towanda District
Library is a History Corner, with books, displays, and archives
of Towanda area history. Following is a list of history binders contain
information researched, compiled and donated to the library by Nancy J.
Miller of Bloomington:
Census records for 1860,
1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930
Civil War Soldiers from
Money Creek Township
Towanda in the Black Hawk
War - 6/3/1832 - 8/3/1832
History of Elizabeth
'Mattie' Stephenson (1853-1873) of Towanda, Proclaimed a Heroine by Citizens
of Memphis, Tennessee
Miscellaneous Collection of
Newspaper Articles on Towanda, 1850 - 2008
Section 33 and Landowners
in Money Creek Township
History of the William R. Duncan Family and Descendents,
1818 to 2008
Library delivery service
have difficuties getting to the library due to age or health issues,
please call us and we can bring library materials to you. We have two
very dedicated volunteers ready to deliver books and other library
materials to your home monthly. Right now they only have one customer and
they want more! A staff member at the library will select items
based on your requests. Please call the library at 728-2176 and ask for
catalogs of 190 libraries in the RAILS library system, including the
Towanda District Library. You can order books from any of the
libraries in the library system. (Place a 'Hold' on the book and it
will be delivered to the Towanda District Library for you to check out.)
Bloomington library web site with Bloomington Library catalog (not on
catalog of the Illinois
State Library and of 76 academic and research libraries in Illinois.