After the Latest Trend: How to Identify Trends in Your Community

Date: Friday, February 28, 2020

Time: 10-11:30 AM

Location: Schaumburg Township District Library, 130 South Roselle Road,
Schaumburg, IL 60193

Keeping up with the latest trends in libraries and beyond can be exciting but also overwhelming. Learn some tips for spotting trends in your own community and getting buy-in from your boss for the next big idea.

Featured Speakers:

Cost: FREE – Sponsored by Today’s Business Solutions and H.W. Wilson

This event is intended for library staff, library professionals, and library school students.

Program Resources

Building Support for Big Ideas Hovanec – Jenn Hovanec (PDF)

trendspotting in your community (1)


Workshop Your Wild Idea

Date: Friday, November 8, 2019

Time: 9:30 AM – 12 PM

Location: Addison Public Library, 4 Friendship Plaza, Addison, IL 60101

If you had unlimited time, money, and power, what half-baked or wild idea would you want to make a reality at your library? Using the principles of the Design Thinking for Libraries toolkit, this participatory workshop will give you the opportunity to briefly share your idea, get immediate constructive feedback, be inspired by other ideas, and learn how to get buy-in from your boss. Library staff of all levels and experience are welcome to attend, even if you don’t have an idea to present.

If you do have an idea you’d like to present, please share it on the registration form to be included in the list of presenters. Be bold!

Featured Speaker: Diane Marshbank Murphy, Director of Employee Engagement and Special Projects at Chicago Public Library and representative of Design Thinking for Libraries

Cost: FREE – Sponsored by Today’s Business Solutions and H.W. Wilson

This event is intended for library staff, library professionals, and library school students.


Diane’s presentation on Design Thinking

Program Photos


Join us!

Update: We are no longer accepting applications for the Recharge Committee. Thank you to everyone who applied.

If you’re an information professional eager to get involved in the library world and create learning opportunities for other library professionals, consider joining the Recharge Committee! We’re looking for people who are creative, organized, and motivated to try new things.

Recharge is committed to providing free continuing education opportunities that address new and emerging technologies, transcend department silos, and respond to a variety of needs and interests. Check out our past programs for an idea of what types of events we’ve done.

The committee meets four times a year to brainstorm and plan programs, field trips, and other events we hope are beneficial to library folks. Committee membership is voluntary but includes certain expectations, like:

  • Attending all 4 in-person meetings per year, missing no more than 1 per year
  • Committing to at least 1 year of membership
  • Committing to co-planning and attending at least 1 program per year
  • Possibly using your own library as a hosted space for a program or meeting
  • Committing to active virtual communication

If you’re interested in joining Recharge, email your resume to along with a brief message about why you want to join.


Partner Power: Tapping the Unlimited Power of Community Engagement

Date: Friday, September 27, 2019

Time: 10 AM – 12 PM

Location: Gail Borden Public Library District: Main Library – 270 N Grove Ave, Elgin, IL 60120

What does it take to be a powerful partner? Learn from the Gail Borden Public Library Community Engagement Team and their Community Partners on what it takes to make an impact in your community. Spark Talks will be followed by an opportunity for you to ask questions of library staff and their partners. Power up your Partners to expand your library’s community presence.

Cost: FREE – Sponsored by Today’s Business Solutions and H.W. Wilson.


This event is intended for library staff, library professionals, and library school students.

partner power square

Field Trips

Field Trip: Kane County Law Library

DATE:  Friday, September 6, 2019

TIME:  10 AM – 12:30 PM

Kane County Law Library and Legal Self Help Center
37W777 Rt. 38
St. Charles, IL 60175

COST:  Free

Located within the Kane County Judicial Center, the Kane County Law Library & Self Help Legal Center is open to the public and provides access to digital and print resources for legal research. Staffed by a team of library professionals, the Kane County Law Library & Self Help Legal Center aims to “provide outstanding service, recognizing, supporting, and furthering open and equal access to legal and governmental information.”

Join us for a field trip to the law library, which will include a tour of the library followed by a presentation from the library’s director, Halle Cox, on the library’s resources and answers to the commonly asked questions by librarians and patrons. Prairie State Legal Services and Administer Justice will also give short presentations on their services. Lunch following the program will be provided to all attendees courtesy of the Kane County Law Library & Self Help Legal Center. For more information on Kane County Law Library & Self Help Legal Center, please click here.


Career Roadmap: Strategies to Chart a Path & Build Connections

Date: Saturday, April 6, 2019

Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Location: Schaumburg Township District Library, 130 South Roselle Road, Schaumburg, IL 60193

Learning non-linear ways to road-map your career, this event will provide you the opportunity for meaningful professional connections. Participants will learn strategies to supplement their career, and will be inspired by our speaker’s stories related to their library careers. Participants will be able to ask questions and get their head shot taken. 

At the end of the event, participants will:

  1. Identify action steps to start incorporating new ways of professional development in their work lives.
  2. Evaluate what is important to them during the course of their career.
  3. Deconstruct traditional linear methods of career road-mapping relevant to their career aspirations.

Featured Speakers:

Jason Driver, Branch Manager of Legler Regional Library, a Chicago Public Library Branch

Leah White, Learning & Development Coordinator, Skokie Public Library — Presenter Slides

Debra Wischmeyer, Member Services Coordinator, Cooperative Computer Services

Amy Alessio, Presenter, Author, and Teen Librarian



Jeremy Slayton

Cost: Free



This event is intended for library staff, library professionals, and library school students.


Creating a Culture of Contribution: A Fresh Look at Participatory Learning in Libraries

Date: Friday, March 1, 2019

Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Location: Skokie Public Library, 5215 Oakton Street, Skokie, IL 60077, Radmacher Room

Join the Recharge Committee for a workshop on participatory culture in libraries. Participatory experiences put the user in charge of their learning and provide the opportunity for meaningful community connections. Learn strategies to facilitate and scale programs and spaces for your patrons no matter your library’s size by leveraging trends to inspire your community to take ownership of library experiences. Be ready to share ideas and get hands-on with participatory activities.

At the end of this session, participants will:

  1. Deconstruct traditional methods of programming relevant to their community.
  2. Identify actions steps to start incorporating participatory elements.
  3. Evaluate participatory experiences and their impact on the community.


Alicia Hammond, Forest Park Public Library

Amy Holcomb, Skokie Public Library

Vicki Rakowski, Barrington Area Library

Cost: Free


This event is designed and intended for library staff members.


Culture of Contribution Slides

Field Trips News Programs

Field Trip: Morton Arboretum

Date:  Friday, September 21

Time: 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM

Location: The Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois 53, Lisle, IL 60532

Register Here


The Morton Arboretum was established in 1922 and envisioned to be a “great outdoor museum of trees.” Situated on over 1,700 acres on the banks of the DuPage River in Lisle, IL. The arboretum is home to 222,000 live plants and 4,300 taxa and houses a library, visitor’s center, children’s garden, maze, plant clinic, miles of trails, roads, and special exhibits.

Join us for a field trip to the arboretum which will include a tour of the Sterling Library, a Q&A session with staff and self-guided tour of the Children’s Garden and 30-minute narrated tram tour of the arboretum property. “The entire Arboretum has been certified as a Nature Explore Classroom, rich with opportunities for healthy learning. The unique areas of the Children’s Garden work as casual, outdoor classrooms that blend active learning and multi-sensory adventures.” The Q&A session will allow attendees to ask questions and gain insight of how to apply these concepts at their libraries. For more information on the Morton Arboretum, please click here.

This event is intended for library staff only.

Cost: FREE

Register Here


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News Programs

Civic Engagement at the Library: Programs for the Political Climate

Date: Wednesday, May 23rd

Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Location: Arlington Heights Memorial Library, 500 N. Dunton Ave. Arlington Heights, IL 60004

Libraries are increasingly asked to lead their communities in addressing political and other hot button topics. However, staff may feel at a loss for how to approach these less traditional programming topics.

At this panel, presenters will discuss the various initiatives they’ve led at their libraries ranging from programing on talking to kids about race, to how to engage elected officials, to holding a kindness rally. Participants will leave with strategies to successfully launch civic and political programming at their libraries.


Jose Cruz, Middle School Services Librarian, Oak Park Public Library

Skye Lavin, Adult Services Manager, Forest Park Public Library

Mike Monahan, Specialty Info Services Supervisor, Arlington Heights Public Library

Susan Wolf, Reference Manager, Northbrook Public Library

Cost: FREE




Small Town Connections – Civic Engagement at FPPL – Skye Lavin

Politics, Civics, and Public Libraries – Mike Monahan

Openness, Inclusivity, and Civic Engagement –  Susan Wolf


News Programs

Equity in Making: A Framework for Embodied Learning and Educational Justice

Date: Thursday, March 15th

Time: 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM

Location: Skokie Public Library, 5215 Oakton Street, Skokie, IL 60077

The maker movement has transformed learning in libraries, introducing maker education opportunities for underserved youth populations. But what are the best practices in facilitating making with youth and young adults?

Dr. Shirin Vossoughi is an assistant professor of Learning Sciences at Northwestern University where she researches making and tinkering in afterschool settings. Join her and her colleague Dr. Natalie Davis to learn how to approach making with youth audiences using a framework that is rooted in valuing joint activity and engaging children and youth as agentive thinkers.

This presentation will look at how formal and informal educators facilitate making, what is considered making across many cultures, and how facilitation practices effect learner interactions. Participants will leave with best practices for improving their maker experiences at their libraries.


Dr. Shirin Vossoughi, Associate Professor of Learning Sciences, Northwestern University

Dr. Natalie R. Davis, Post Doctoral Fellow in Learning Sciences within the School of Education and Social Policy, Northwestern University

Partnership: This program is in partnership with Tinker.

Cost: FREE – Sponsored by Today’s Business Solutions and H.W. Wilson.