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About eRead Illinois

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 Boundless software platform from Baker & Taylor for RAILS members and IHLS non-SHARE members. Participating IHLS libraries that are members of the SHARE catalog use cloudLibrary.

Nearly 900 RAILS and IHLS libraries currently participate in eRead Illinois on the Boundless platform, and over 150 IHLS SHARE libraries have joined the cloudLibrary 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 (now Boundless) software platform from Baker & Taylor for RAILS members and IHLS members that do not participate in SHARE
  • An e-book collection and the cloudLibrary 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.

eRead Illinois Team


Anna Behm
E-Content Specialist
Reaching Across Illinois Library System


Danielle Beasley
SHARE Resource Sharing Specialist
Illinois Heartland Library System