RF Conference Exhibitors

Reaching Forward 2017 Exhibitors

Library Products, Services and Professional Development:

Baker & Taylor. Baker & Taylor is an industry leader in the distribution of print books, AV and digital media products to libraries, institutions and retailers. Contact Curt Leppert.

College of DuPage. College of DuPage’s Library and Information Technology program offers fifty years of educational excellence and is presented fully online or on campus.

Dominican University SOIS. Dominican University School of Information Studies offers an ALA-accredited MLIS, a Master of Science in Information Management, a PhD in Library and Information Science, a bachelor's degree in Informatics and School Library Media Licensure and/or Endorsement. Courses are offered in person on our River Forest campus, online or in a hybrid format.

ELM USA. Don't overlook a vital library asset--maintain your valuable DVD collection with ELM. ELM USA is the leading global manufacturer for 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. ELM USA also offers the best service and lowest prices for all the ECO products.

EnvisionWare. From self-service circulation to public computer and print management, to RFID and their 24-Hour Library, EnvisionWare serves more libraries with more self-service and efficiency solutions—with a commitment to libraries that is second to none. Find out why over 10,000 libraries worldwide rely on EnvisionWare!

Joliet Junior College. The Library Technical Assistant Certificate program at Joliet Junior College combines classroom lectures, hands-on exercises and field trips. Active advisory committees of local librarians assembled from the Reaching Across Illinois Library System meet regularly and assure that course work reflects the needs of library employers in the area. The L.T.A. program is comprised of 9 courses for a total of 26 credit hours. Get the training you need to become an integral part of the library team! Contact Susan Prokopeak.

Hallagan Business Machines. Hallagan provides high speed printers for flyers, letters and information. In the office equipment industry for more than 50 years, they are committed to outstanding customer service, reliability, and support. Contact hallagan@core.com.

ILA Youth Services Forum. The ILA Youth Services Forum offers programming, information and networking opportunities for library staff who work with youth. Learn, create, participate!

Illinois Network of Talking Book and Braille Libraries. As part of the National Library Services for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, the Illinois Talking Book Outreach Center and the Illinois Talking Book and Braille Services offer books to people who are blind, low vision or have physical limitations that prevent a person from reading standard print. The service offered includes audio books through mail or download. Contact info@illinoistalkingbooks.org.

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 offer expert collection development services from MLS-degreed librarians who use Ingram’s inventory of content to help position your library for the future. 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   Since 1981, iREAD has developed successful Summer Reading Programs, with the mission to provide high quality, low-cost resources and products that enable local library staff to motivate children, young adults, and adults to read. Visit iREAD and see products with this summer's theme, "Reading by Design." As a coordinated, self-supporting effort developed by librarians and the Illinois Library Association, every purchase from iREAD helps to promote and assist the great work of libraries.

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 gkdavis@messengerpl.org.

Management Association. Management Association provides HR support, employer-centric legal services, comprehensive compensation surveys for libraries and unique training opportunities to over 1,100 member organizations. Library members call the HR Hotline for guidance and as an additional HR staff resource. Management Association offers practical assistance and advice in this complex and challenging employment landscape.Contact Julie Belloli.

RAILS Reaching Across Illinois Library System (Sponsor). RAILS provides continuing education and consulting services, a variety of online forums organized by topic and by location, delivery service, shared online catalogs, e-book services, talking book services and more. RAILS serves more than 1,300 academic, public, school and special library members in northern and western Illinois. Contact Communications@railslibraries.info.

RMC Imaging, Inc./ST Imaging. Visit RMC Imaging to learn more about the latest version of the Viewscan Digital Library Reader Printer for on-demand scanning and printing from microfilm. Also, convert your microfilm to digital images with RMC Imaging's new scanner and software. Contact RMC Imaging.

Stop Falling Productions. Visit Stop Falling Productions for creative and whimsical librarian, teacher and booklover T-shirts and products. Contact info@stopfalling.com.

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 School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, formerly GSLIS, is the home of the nation's top-ranked Library and Information Science master's degree program!  In addition, they offer a K-12 Library Specialist Licensure, an MS in Information Management and a Ph.D in Library and Information Science. Contact Victor Jones.

Vision For Change LLC. Vision for Change is the choice when it comes to educating yourself and your staff in mental health awareness. Experienced instructors work with you to customize training based on the needs of your organization. Vision for Change is not just passionate about providing valuable information and compelling real life accounts, they have evidence that the approach actually works. Contact Pat Doyle.

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. Contact Andrew Dogan.   

Library Programs and Performers:

Abraham Lincoln by Kevin Wood. Kevin Wood presents first-person historical portrayals of President Abraham Lincoln in English and Spanish. He also presents a program sponsored by the Illinois Humanities' Road Scholars Speakers Bureau, From a Birth of Freedom to a New Birth of Freedom, available in both English and Spanish. Mr. Lincoln will bring history to life! Contact abe@mrlincoln.com.

Brian Wismer Entertainment. Brian Wismer Entertainment offers a variety of high energy, interactive family entertainment designed to educate, motivate and entertain. Three very popular shows are The Ultimate Health and Fitness Team Challenge, Simon Says Challenge, and the Wild and Wacky Family Team Challenge.

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 as he promotes reading. Even the audience gets involved, whether on stage or in their seats! Contact Chris Fascione.

Circus Boy. Learn more about Circus Boy ’s action-packed, circus comedy show!

Colleen Sehy, The Anglophile in America Expert. Colleen Sehy has traveled across America for more than 30 years seeking out places with links to the British Isles. Her speaking and writing draw on this rich body of knowledge to help Anglophiles discover rewarding encounters with England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland right here in America – no passport required!  Programs include Finding England in America, Finding Shakespeare in America, The Life and Times of Queen Victoria, and other topics that will draw in Anglophiles, Downton Abbey fans, and patrons who love British history and culture.

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.

Dan Laib Studios. Dan Laib, painter and caricature artist, affordably brings creativity to your library by DRAWING on his years of experience in the art world.  Using storytelling, magic tricks, and live art, Dan’s shows are sure to educate, entertain, and inspire your kids! Dan Laib Studios also offers entertaining and informative hands-on workshops that walk your students through drawing basics up to the more advanced concepts of expressive drawing. Contact Dan Laib.

Discover the Depths. Ocean adventures come to you! See amazing underwater videos, explore marine ecosystems and learn about fascinating ocean animals. Check out a life size great white shark made out of repurposed plastics or an inflatable colossal squid comprised of plastic bags. Dee has spent hours discovering the depths - hear about her diving experiences. Contact Deanna LaSusa-Hotchner.

Elsenpeter Marionettes. The Elsenpeter Marionettes perform a traditional form of puppetry handed down through four generations. They specialize in children’s classics and adapt familiar children's stories. Each program is especially written for the Marionettes theatre, and every detail has been carefully designed to achieve a perfect dramatic production in miniature. Richard Elsenpeter’s skillful manipulation of the Marionettes transforms the two-foot-tall, hand-carved, wooden dolls into living characters with definite personalities. The programs delight the young and the young-at-heart while stressing the importance of education and reading. Contact Richard Elsenpeter.

Getting Excited About Science. Steve Belliveau inspires adults and children to get involved in science. Using dramatic demonstration, easy to see equipment, humor, music and audience participation, he brings down to earth basic ideas about air/water pressure, magnetism & electricity, friction, chemistry, simple machines, conservation of energy, sound and color. 

Istvan & His Imaginary BandIstvan is a dynamic children’s musician who combines clever lyrics with catchy rocking songs that appeal to kids and adults alike. Contact Istvan.

Jason Kollum -- Juggler, Stilt-Walker & Balloon Artist. Jason Kollum offers a huge variety of super high-energy, interactive programs that are perfect for kids of all ages and families. The See the Show! Become the Pro! program features a big comedy juggling variety show with tons of audience interaction, comedy and improvisation that will WOW kids of all ages. Also available is the Balloon Inflation Station that teaches kids about a different kind of art, and all kids get to make their own balloon creations. Contact Jason Kollum.

Jim Gibbons Historical Presentations. Jim Gibbons provides dynamic, informative and insightful presentations that both educate and enlighten his audiences about U.S. and world history topics, people and events. Drawing from his research and knowledge of history and present day events, he brings to light information that applies to our lives today. Contact Jim Gibbons.

Ken Rothacker, Guitarist. Guitarist Ken Rothacker performs concert programs that entertain, engage and educate the audience. Programs include either solo guitar or guitar plus flute. Ken’s instrumental mixture of classical, pop, and original selections draws the listener in to a unique musical experience.

Kevin Farris and The Infinite Possibilities. Through song and storytelling, Kevin inspires kids to live within their creativity and evolve into a more self-aware generation. A musical movement for kids! Contact Kevin Farris.

Magic by Randy Inc. For almost 30 years, Randy has been performing the funniest kids and family magic shows. Randy delivers a hilarious interactive magic show that kids and parents will be talking about for years. He also offers a magic teach-in show, great for extended library programs. Randy will capture the audience’s attention and spark imaginations.

Magician Scott Green--The Great Scott. Throw the library program your patrons--children and adults alike--will be talking about all year. You get incredible, original magic presented by Scott Green, national award-winning comedy writer, a regular guest on Chicago television and a magic industry leader who lectures at magicians' conferences. Your guests, young and old, will feel astonished. They'll laugh until they can't breathe. They'll tell everyone your library's program was unforgettable. Contact Scott Green.

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 and their families on an imaginative musical adventure to her farm, where they learn values like hard work, healthy eating, exercise and kindness. With the help of farm animal puppets and funny banter, the show keeps parents entertained as much as their kids! 
Perfect for preschoolers to age 8, the interactive performance features well-known songs as well as original tunes and teaches healthy eating and responsible farming in a fun way that will leave everyone stomping their boots and hollering for more fruits & veggies. Contact Jamie.

Mystic Drumz. An international leading provider of world music education, specializing in bringing interactive percussion experiences to your door, Mystic Drumz' unique rhythm and sound programs excite, enlighten and engage audiences of all ages. Hands-on interactive sessions and performances showcase eclectic percussion instruments sourced from around the globe. Mystic Drumz links geography to sounds, rhythms to science and laughter to learning! Contact Mystic Drumz.

Nostalgia Entertainment. Nostalgia Entertainment captivates with versatile, high-quality shows featuring vintage music in the genres of Broadway, WWII Era, American Songbook and 50s Rock/Pop! Shows include: musical and educational cabarets (two performers); a patriotic, WWII Radio Hour show in the vain of the Andrews' Sisters (three performers); and a capella holiday carolers (four performers). Contact Matt.

Smarty Pants. Smarty Pants presents the Big Balloon Show, a theatrical-style balloon stage show featuring magic, comedy, and giant balloon props! Using his award-winning balloons, Smarty inspires youth audiences to become frequent visitors to the library and supercharges their love of reading. For 2017, Smarty Pants is offering a special STEM-oriented edition of his Big Balloon Show that fits both the Read by Design and Build a Better World themes. Contact Marty Pants.

Steve Cooper. Steve Cooper provides exciting video programs and live music programs--12 different shows to choose from. Programs include the greatest musical and show biz artists of all time, from rare films and videos.  Each film clip is introduced with a fascinating and humorous "behind the scenes" story, since Steve has performed with many of the famous bands, singers, and show biz people. Contact Steve Cooper.

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. Hosting a Mystery Shop event is easy - you provide the "scene of the crime" and they do the rest! Children's mysteries are age-appropriate for grades K-2 and grades 3-6, and adult programs are also perfect for middle school and high school students. Contact the Mystery Shop.

Trent James, Comedy Magician. Trent’s high-energy performance combines mind-boggling magic with gut busting humor, earning rave reviews in over twenty states. Trent is quickly becoming one of the top magicians in the country, having received over a dozen high honor awards, as well as being the youngest recipient of The Milbourne Christopher Award (past winners include David Copperfield and Penn & Teller). Trent’s unique sleight of hand magic and fun personality have made him a huge hit at events across the country. Make your event stand out with Trent James! Contact Trent James.

T-Rexplorers. A T-Rexplorer's program gets kids excited about science and nature by giving them an opportunity to investigate authentic dinosaur fossils. Who doesn't love dinosaurs! And it's not like the museums; with T-Rexplorers kids can touch nearly any dinosaur bone in the collection. Programs are really fun, have great humor and libraries agree T-Rexplorers is the program to book! Contact T-Rexplorers.

Wendy & DB. Wendy & DB are a diverse duo/band from Chicago sharing their music and addressing the important messages for children and families that we need to work together, be happy, feel our feelings and take care of our wonderful world and ALL the folks that live in it. All of this is done with melodic, interactive and contagious songs that even adults will like! There is even a “Girl Superhero” puppet as part of our interactive children's music show! Wendy & DB's new CD, HomeEarth, was released in March 2017. Contact Wendy Morgan.

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. With a large variety of delicious cherry delights to choose from, you’ll be happy with the quality, freshness and unique tastes of these products. Homemade recipes! All natural ingredients! No preservatives! Contact June.

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

Chromatic Maille. Visit Chromatic Maille for colorful chainmaille jewelry for everyday and special occasions. Contact Chromatic Maille.

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

LuLaRoe Genna Mickey. Be comfortable and fashionable in LuLaRoe leggings, available in fun patterns and colors. LuLaRoe is a women's clothing company with skirts, tops, and dresses available in sizes XXS-3XL--created by an Illinois librarian who loves sharing these stylish clothes with her peers! Contact LuLaRoe Genna Mickey.

Resprout Collective. Resprout Collective Lip Sheers and Lip Scrub were developed by Librarian Stacy Wittmann because she wanted a product that was moisturizing enough to withstand the harsh effects of HVAC-challenged libraries, and sheer enough to slick on without a mirror. They're made with all natural ingredients and no preservatives and because she could, she gave them fun names like Information Is My Super Power. Contact Resprout Collective.

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 gifts hand-crafted by or sold in support of at-risk and rescued women (and even some at-risk men) in our partnering programs in more than 40 countries, including the United States. Contact WAR International.

iREAD Summer Reading Programs

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

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