What is eRead Illinois?

The eRead Illinois program focuses on

  • Expanding access to e-books for Illinois residents
  • Training on e-books for libraries to better serve their communities
  • Exploring further opportunities for increasing access to e-books through collaboration with Illinois authors, libraries, publishers, and other organizations

eRead Illinois includes an e-book collection and Axis 360 software platform from Baker & Taylor for RAILS members and IHLS non-SHARE members. Participating IHLS libraries that are members of the  SHARE catalog will use the Cloud Library.

More than 400 RAILS and IHLS libraries currently participate in eRead Illinois on the Axis 360 platform, and over 150 IHLS SHARE libraries have joined the Cloud Library cohort.

The eRead Illinois program also includes live trainings and webinars for participating libraries.

Chicago Public Library has its own e-books program and is not included in the eRead Illinois project.


History of eRead Illinois

In 2013, the Illinois Secretary of State and Illinois State Library awarded a $985,219 grant to the Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS) and the Illinois Heartland Library System (IHLS) for the “E-books for Illinois” Program, named eRead Illinois. The grant program ended in May 2015.

The grant included:

  • An e-book collection and Axis 360 software platform from Baker & Taylor for RAILS members and IHLS members that do not participate in SHARE
  • An e-book collection and the Cloud Library platform for IHLS libraries that belong to SHARE
  • Research into a self-hosted model (second year of grant)
  • Funds for hiring two e-book trainers/coordinators – one for RAILS and one for IHLS
  • Training on e-books for participating libraries
  • A website to include promotional and support materials, and a list of free e-book resources
  • Assistance to participating libraries in promoting the project to their patrons



The eRead Illinois program charged member fees from the beginning of the grant to ensure the program was sustainable past the grant period. eRead Illinois is now sustained by member fees from participating libraries.


Advisory Committee

We would like to thank the following individuals who served on the advisory committe during the grant period (2013-2015).

Marian Albers
Mascoutah Public Library
IHLS representative

Anne Craig
Illinois State Library
Illinois State Library representative

George Kalinka, Committee Chair
Head, Adult & Young Adult Department
Woodridge Public Library
RAILS representative

Nalini Mahajan
Director, Medical Library & Web Master
MarianJoy Rehabilitation Hospital
RAILS representative

Melanie Armstrong
Sauk Valley Community College
RAILS representative

Jill Pifer, Committee Vice-Chair
Fairview Heights Public Library
IHLS Representative

Veronda J. Pitchford
Director of Membership Development & Resource Sharing
Reaching Across Illinois Library System
eRead Illinois Project Director (ex-officio member of the committee)

Lynn Schmit
Mahomet Public Library
IHLS representative

Rebecca Scott
Library Director
Downers Grove North High School
RAILS representative

Diane Yeoman
Mason City Public Library District
IHLS representative


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