Reaching Forward Conference Exhibitors

Reaching Forward 2018 Exhibitors

Library Products, Services and Professional Development:

Adult Reading Round Table. Founded in 1984, the Adult Reading Round Table is dedicated to developing readers' advisory skills and promoting reading for pleasure through public libraries. Led by a steering committee of Chicago-area librarians, ARRT provides RA training, in-depth genre studies, book discussion training, and other professional development opportunities for librarians and library staff. The committee also crafts the ARRT Popular Fiction List, a self-evaluative training tool testing RA knowledge, available to subscribers of NoveList Plus.

Baker & Taylor. Baker & Taylor offers the most extensive selection of products and services for public libraries and is the only vendor that can truly offer a one-stop shopping experience for all formats including print, movies and music on DVD, Blu-ray and CD, and digital downloadable eBooks and eAudio content. Find out more about these and other services that streamline and facilitate your library's workflow, from selection, to acquisitions, to custom cataloging and processing services. Contact Curt Leppert.

College of DuPage. The Library & Information Technology program at College of DuPage is proud to celebrate 50 years of training successful Library Technical Assistants. They are also an approved provider for the Library Support Staff Certification sponsored by the American Library Association. For further information, contact Carol Sturz.

Dominican University School of Information Studies. With the only ALA–accredited Master of Library and Information Science in Chicago, as well as the Master of Professional Studies, Master of Science in Information Management, Doctor of Philosophy, and dual degree and certificate programs, Dominican University offers an array of opportunities for professionals looking to expand their knowledge and advance their careers.

ELM USA. Don't overlook a vital library asset--maintain your valuable DVD collection with ELM. ELM USA provides DVD, CD and Blu-ray disc repair systems, parts and supplies. They offer affordable programs exclusively designed for libraries: Pay Per Disc, Lease To Own, Rental and Special Purchase Pricing that make disc repair possible for any budget. offers the highest quality, fastest service and lowest price mail-in CD/DVD repair.

ILA Youth Services Forum. Stop by and see how you can connect and share ideas with other Youth Services staff in Illinois on our Facebook page, The Soup! The ILA Youth Services Forum is a forum of the Illinois Library Association that offers programming, information and networking opportunities for library staff who work with youth.

Ingram Content Group. Ingram Library Services delivers innovative systems, expertise, and precise assistance in developing and maintaining your library’s collection. Ingram helps librarians through their vast title selection, easy-to-use search and ordering tools, collection analytics, and customized cataloguing and processing. They know librarians are busy, and they are here to make sure you spend less time at your desk and more time with your community.

iREAD - ILA  Coming summer of 2019: iREAD presents "It's Showtime at your Library!" Stop by the iREAD table and see the graphics and incentives for this show-stopping program focused on movies, theater, puppets, dance, and other types of performances. So many performances have their roots in books. See how you can make this program a box office smash at your library. Contact iREAD.

Joliet Junior College. Become a skilled and trained information specialist by earning your Library Technical Assistant (LTA) Certificate at Joliet Junior College. This certificate program of nine courses, for a total of 26 credit hours, recognizes the need for qualified paraprofessional workers in today's libraries and offers students the opportunity to acquire, develop or update their job skills. By providing a comprehensive overview of all facets of library work, students are trained for an information career where they are an integral part of a library team.

LACONI Library Administrator’s Conference of Northern Illinois (Sponsor). LACONI serves public libraries within the RAILS Northern Illinois Library System of Illinois. LACONI provides continuing educational programming and networking opportunities for library staff in all areas of library operations. LACONI also publishes online an Annual Salary Survey in cooperation with Innovation Experts Inc. For further information about how your library can become a member, visit LACONI’s website. Contact

Management Association - The HR Source for Employers. Management Association provides HR support, legal services, comprehensive compensation surveys and unique training opportunities to more than 175 libraries. Library members rely on their team of HR professionals and employment attorneys as an additional staff resource. Contact Julie Belloli.

Tim Monak, Independent Rep.  Explore exclusive World Language and STEM products. Contact Tim Monak.

National Louis University. National Louis University's Master of Education in Learning Technologies prepares K-12 educators seeking to build capacity and collaboration on the use of learning technologies and instructional design within the classroom. Students can choose from two majors: Instruction for Educators or Instructional Design Coach. Consider earning a Learning Technologies Certificate at NLU if you are an educator or technology coach and you would like to build your capacity, teaching strategies, and teaching resources through hands-on experiences with cutting-edge learning technologies. Contact Stephanie Schaefer.

RAILS Reaching Across Illinois Library System (Sponsor). RAILS offers continuing education, e-resources, shared catalogs, delivery, networking opportunities, and a variety of other programs and services to all levels of library staff in northern/western Illinois. Visit and find out what we can do for you!

RMC Imaging, Inc. Visit RMC Imaging and learn about the ST Viewscan 4 Digital Library Reader/Printer/Microfilm Scanner. Contact RMC Imaging.

Today’s Business Solutions (Sponsor). TBS is a software and hardware solutions provider specializing in the Public Library and Higher Education markets. TBS provides BOOKSCAN Stations, Print Management, Computer Reservation and Web-Based Printing Portals as well as a full line of payment devices. Contact Nathan Handlon.

University of Illinois: School of Information Sciences. The iSchool at Illinois is home to the nation's top-ranked Library and Information Science masters program! 

Williams Architects. Williams Architects has been providing professional architecture, interior design and space planning services to public institutions throughout Illinois since 1974. Their work with Illinois libraries provides highly personalized design services that maximize durability, efficiency, and creative use of space, color and materials.

Library Programs and Performers:

Abraham Lincoln by Kevin Wood. Kevin Wood presents first-person historical portrayals of President Abraham Lincoln, and his programs are available for all ages in English and Spanish. Mr. Lincoln will bring history to life! Contact Kevin Wood

Chris Fascione: Juggling Funny Stories! Award-winning family entertainer Chris Fascione brings literature to life with boundless energy and humor, receiving rave reviews from children, parents, and librarians alike.  He combines acting, comedy, and juggling as he acts out children's books, becoming a multitude of hilarious characters while he promotes reading.  With plenty of audience participation throughout, everyone gets involved in his show, whether on stage or in their seats. Contact Chris Fascione.

Cowboy Choir. Cowboy Choir is an acoustic musical group that plays Americana favorites, timeless standards, early rock classics and contemporary gems. Their guitars and violin provide the ideal backdrop for their voices that blend in perfect harmony. Cowboy Choir can perform many songs from their eclectic assortment of musical genres, or they can present one of their theme-based shows which include Cowboy Songs: from the Great Plains to the Silver Screen or seasonal Christmas Holiday Show. Contact Cowboy Choir.

David Boyle. David Boyle entertains with stories from the life of a church musician. Contact David Boyle.

DEO Consulting Inc. The comedy, choreography, and interactivity of the Magic Balloon-dude’s library show send kids into creativity fun overdrive – which, after all, is a mission of the library.The library silence is broken with children laughing as they sit, watching Dale’s co-star’s reaction as Dale inflates a balloon through their head--making for a priceless moment. Contact Dale Obrochta.

Green Thumb at Your Service. Mark Lyons, Green Thumb at Your Service, provides garden coaching services as well as classes and seminars on how to grow your own vegetables, make your own cheese and grow your own mushrooms. Contact Mark Lyons.

Historical Women of Letters. Through the very personal text of letters and journals, and the published texts of their literary works and speeches, Debra Ann Miller weaves the words and lives of her women into performances that delight and inform. Exquisite costume, script and talent give voice once more to these Historical Women of Letters. Contact Debra Ann Miller.

Histories for Kids/HFK Presents. HFK Presents was established to meet the needs of adult audiences; the young at heart who are never too old to learn something new about history's most inspirational figures. The interactive performances give a new, first person perspective on the people and events that make up our history and culture. Children's programs are also available. Choose from over 40 program titles, including a new program to celebrate the Illinois Bicentennial. Contact HFK Presents.

Jeanie B! Music. Jeanie B! has performed in hundreds of libraries throughout the Midwest, delighting audiences young and old alike. Her upbeat educational music is a hit with anyone who loves to dance and sing and laugh! This seasoned music teacher loves to create a show for summer reading themes, seasonal concerts or just for fun. Contact Jeanie B.

Jeannie McQueenie Productions. Experience a Jeannie McQueenie educational, interactive musical puppet show!

The Laser Comedy Show. The Laser Comedy Show provides a very fun and goofy, illustrated storytelling experience that is improvised on the spot and drawn live before your very eyes by performance artist Chris Fair. Children provide details and characters and Chris then uses a specialized phosphorus screen, lasers and his artistic skills to bring it to life. At the end, kids get to try out the very cool technology. Contact Chris Fair.

Martina Mathisen / Edu-tainment Living History. Edu-tainment Living History shares history in a dynamic and interesting way, bringing historical figures to life. Programs include Women in History, Chicago True Stories, and STEAM programming for grades 1-8. Contact Martina Mathisen.

Miss Jamie's Farm. Planting seeds through song, Miss Jamie takes young kids (preschool-age 8) and their families on an imaginative musical adventure to her "farm," where they learn values like hard work, healthy eating, exercise, and being kind to animals and each other. With the help of farm animal puppets and songs both familiar and new, Miss Jamie's Farm kids music show will leave everyone stomping their boots and hollering for more fruits & veggies! Contact Jamie Martin.

Mobile Room Escape. Mobile Room Escape is Chicagoland's Traveling Escape Room. Our interactive escape rooms specialize in adult team building and youth groups. Our Mobile Escape Room trailers are heated, air-conditioned and self-powered. We pull right up to your library and the adventure begins. Contact Mobile Room Escape.

The Mystery Shop. The Mystery Shop is a traveling theater specializing in adult and children's interactive mysteries and programs. Patrons will be delighted by the excitement, adventure and FUN of solving an intriguing mystery or participating in an interactive programs. Contact the Mystery Shop.

Mystic Drumz.  Mystic Drumz has two types of programs: an interactive World Music Safari Adventure show (for ages 2-12) and a hands-on drumming workshop (for ages 4- and up). Each show is a world music safari adventure that takes participants around the globe in search of amazing instruments and sounds. Each workshop is a hands-on drum circle full of music and rhythm, where every participant receives an instrument and instruction how to play it. Contact Mystic Drumz.

Pocket Circus. Pocket Circus provides circus and magic bilingual shows. It's the world's smallest circus---a circus with no big top, but with circus heart and soul. Contact Pocket Circus.

Scott Green--Magician. Magic for all ages! Scott Green literally wrote the book on performing magic for families, "Excellence in Family Magic," and his award-winning show will amaze your patrons and leave them in hysterics. Contact Scott Green.

ScribbleMonster. ScribbleMonster provides active learning through award-winning music, movement and play! Contact ScribbleMonster.

Smarty Pants. Smarty Pants presents the Big Balloon Show, a theatrical-style balloon stage show featuring magic, comedy, and giant balloon props! This is the show you've heard great things about--the presentation gets kids excited to come to the library as regular visitors! Contact Marty Pants.

Super Stolie. ¡Super Stolie Guacamole!  Incorporating her love of the Spanish language and Hispanic culture, this bilingual show is for the whole family.  It features traditional and popular songs in Spanish as well as translated original songs, story time, cultural trivia, a family dance fiesta and a live guacamole-making demonstration (and tasting when approved by the venue!)  Throughout the show, Stolie gives instruction, sings and reads in both English and Spanish as well as teaches key words. Contact Super Stolie.

Trent James--Comedy Magician. Trent James brings a fresh feel to the classic magic show. His high-energy performance combines mind-boggling magic with gut busting humor, earning over twenty high honor awards. Trent also presents a magic teaching workshop--attendees will learn and get to keep tricks!

TS Rhodes. TS Rhodes offers children's programs featuring fun, history and critical thinking. Contact TS Rhodes.

Wendy & DB. Wendy & DB provide award-winning, interactive educational and fun children's music concerts. Contact Wendy Morgan.

Wild Times Exotics, LLC
We bring the ZOO to YOU! The only fully licensed and insured exotic animal educational program in Central Illinois provides a unique hands-on learning experience you won't ever forget! Contact Wild Times.

Gift Products for Work/Life Balance: 

A Taste of Michigan Cherries. Cherries are one of today’s hottest “super fruits,” so versatile that it's easy to enjoy cherries in a wide range of sweet and savory dishes. Select from a large variety of delicious gourmet cherry products made from America's super fruit, the Michigan Montmorency Tart Cherry. Contact June.

Chocolate Twist. Chocolate Twist creates small batch, handcrafted confections. Contact Kate.

Chromatic Maille. Visit Chromatic Maille for colorful anodized aluminum chainmaille jewelry with handmade polymer clay accents, crystals and beads. Contact Chromatic Maille.

Fine Jewelry By Karen. Fine Jewelry by Karen offers silver jewelry, mother-of-pearl and Tiffany-inspired pieces. Contact Karen.

Hardback Yoyo. Find upcycled products made from discarded media saved from landfill. HardbackYoYo products are refreshing new products made from old and tattered books and media keeping great ones in circulation with a little bit of whimsy and a new attitude. The present product line includes, Hardback Book Journals, Framed Titles, Flower Book-quets, and Book Gem Jewelry. 

Ivy Nicole Natural Remedies. Visit Ivy Nicole Natural Remedies for handmade natural products for skin, body, and overall health: eczema cream, anti-aging cream, acne cream, dry/curly hair oil, face wash, sunscreen, and more. Contact Nicole Cavalea.

LovingLeigh Yours, Inc. Find handmade goods for a cozy life--pillows, signs, and handbags.

Roxy & Lola. Roxy & Lola provides high-end fashion jewelry and accessories at affordable prices. Contact Wendy.

Women At Risk, International. Visit this treasure chest of unique items handmade by and sold in support of the at-risk and rescued individuals that are a part of Women At Risk programs in the United States & abroad.

iREAD Summer Reading Programs

The 2018 iREAD theme, Reading Takes You Everywhere! Themed graphics and much more is here!

Visit the iREAD website »