Each year hundreds of thousands of visitors from
Illinois and other states come to Springfield for the
Illinois State Fair. The event’s high profile provides a
tremendous venue for showcasing programs and
services provided by the state of Illinois, including
the Illinois State Library.
The State Library was well represented at this year’s
State Fair, where its programs were featured at three
locations on the fairgrounds. Secretary of State and
State Librarian Jesse White visited all three locations
and spent time talking with library employees and
fairgoers (more photos inside). Citizens who thought
the State Library only served state government were
surprised to learn that it oversees more than 4,000
public, school, academic and special libraries in the
state as well as administers grants and provides
training opportunities and other valuable assistance
to local libraries.
Fair festivities kicked off with Secretary White's
annual pre-State Fair Project Next Generation picnic.
Students and mentors from PNG programs were
treated to a special performance by the Jesse White
Tumblers before the parade and a few fair rides
following the parade, courtesy of Secretary White.
Project Next Generation is White’s one-of-a-kind
technology and life skills program for junior high-age
students provided through public libraries.
Library employees greeted fairgoers at a booth in the
Secretary of State's tent, where they could view a
replica of a plaque on display at the State Library
commemorating the recent dedication of the library
in honor of former Illinois Poet Laureate Gwendolyn
Brooks. The State Library's Talking Book and Braille
Service (TBBS) had a booth in the Senior Building,
where TBBS employees signed up new members
and answered questions about the services available
to print-disabled individuals in Illinois.
The library's Automation and Technology Division
returned to Tech Town this year with an exciting
new exhibit called "Lifelong Learning Can Be Fun!"
Among other things, the exhibit featured a children's
educational computer game, access to OCLC First
Search, and information about the library's Internet
portal, Find-it! Illinois.
State Library at the
Illinois State Fair
on tap for Book Fair
State Library showcases programs
at the Illinois State Fair
Jesse White • Secretary of State & State Librarian
A Newsletter from the Illinois State Library
Secretary of State Jesse White plays a geography game with a few of the 250 Project Next Generation
students at his annual pre-State Fair picnic before the fair’s Twilight Parade.