North Suburban Libraries Win Statewide Award

An annual reading program run by public libraries in Libertyville, Wheeling and Lincolnshire will receive a statewide award, the Illinois Library Association announced. An article by Journal & Topics.

Staff from Vernon Area, Indian Trails and Cook Memorial libraries with author Jamie Ford at the “One Book, One Community” finale in January 2019. (Photo courtesy Vernon Area Public Library)

An Indian Trails Public Library District branch in Buffalo Grove should occupy a custom-built structure rather than existing space, library officials informally agreed Wednesday.

Cook Memorial, Indian Trails and Vernon Area library districts will receive the 2019 Hugh C. Atkinson Memorial Award for their partnership “One Book, One Community.”

The Illinois Library Association grants the award each year to one library initiative in the state that uses resource sharing and inter-agency cooperation to make a lasting impact.

The “One Book, One Community” series brings thousands of readers from the north Chicago suburbs together through literature by encouraging them to read the same book at the same time.

The series launches each December when Cook Memorial, Indian Trails and Vernon Area each inject hundreds of copies of the selected book into their community through giveaways and print, audiobook, and e-book checkouts.

Over the following weeks, each library presents public programs that complement the themes, characters, or settings featured in the book. Programs typically include book discussions, film screenings, art exhibits, lectures, and performances. All programs are free and available to all area residents, regardless of home library affiliation. A visit from the featured author provides the grand finale.

The partnership aims to expand residents’ horizons both figuratively and literally. Through the book selection, “One Book, One Community” hopes to open dialogue among neighbors. By defining community as more than a single municipality or library district, participants are reminded they are connected to a much larger world. By inviting participants to attend programming at any of the participating library locations, the libraries encourage participants to discover the wider library universe available to them.

The program will soon enter its fourth year. Past book selections were “The Story Hour” by Thrity Umrigar, “Stolen Beauty” by Laurie Lico Albanese, and “Love and Other Consolation Prizes” by Jamie Ford. The title for winter 2019-20 will be announced later this fall.

The award announcement issued by the Illinois Library Association noted the value created for taxpayers as a result of the libraries’ partnership: “The One Book, One Community program exemplifies a unified front for libraries working together particularly in a mobile suburban area that shares geographic borders and can maximize taxpayer resources.”

The Hugh C. Atkinson Memorial Award will be presented at an awards luncheon to be held on Tuesday, Oct. 22 during the 2019 Illinois Library Association Annual Conference in Tinley Park.

Cook Memorial Public Library District operates two full-service locations that serve 60,000 residents in the communities of Libertyville, Vernon Hills, Green Oaks and Mundelein. Indian Trails Public Library District operates two locations that serve 67,000 residents in Wheeling, Buffalo Grove, Prospect Heights and Arlington Heights. Vernon Area Public Library in Lincolnshire directly serves 43,000 residents and businesses in and around Lincolnshire, Buffalo Grove, Long Grove and Vernon Hills.