Join an ILA Forum and Connect

Forums allow members to connect with one another on various specialized topics and interests. Informally structured, forum members work with one another to develop and present conference programs and informational literature, among other activities. The opportunity to serve as a forum leader is a benefit of ILA membership; forum managers and board members are required to maintain personal membership in the association during their term of service. Forum managers: Visit the Committee and Forum Resources page for report forms, instructions on using Zoom for remote conferencing, and more.

Interested in joining an ILA forum?

Update your forum interests

Illinois Association of College & Research Libraries Forum (IACRL)


The Illinois Association of College and Research Libraries (IACRL) is a forum of the Illinois Library Association (ILA) and a chapter of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), a division of the American Library Association (ALA). For the purposes of this forum, academic libraries include college, community, technical and junior colleges and university libraries as well as research libraries not affiliated with academic institutions.


Any ILA member can join IACRL by updating your ILA forum preferences. Non-members of ILA can become members by joining ILA and checking the IACRL Forum box on the ILA membership application. (Membership in ALA or ACRL not required.)

IACRL Directory of Expertise

The Illinois Association of College & Research Libraries is developing a directory of expertise for Illinois academic librarians. Sign up to share your expertise with your librarian colleagues. Share your passion for and experience with any number of the specialties listed below. This contact list of expertise will give librarians across the state the opportunity to network with each other, answer one another’s questions, and share knowledge.

Library Trustee Forum (LTF)

Maintains a continuing education program and information network for library trustees and encourages citizens’ use and support of libraries.

Marketing Forum (MF)

The Marketing Forum represents the interests of library marketers and provides a forum for them to network, share ideas and strategies, and develop best practices to disseminate through the ILA website and other channels, including conferences and events.


Reaching Forward Forum (RF)

Our mission is to provide professional opportunities for library staff to grow, learn, and connect with new ideas.

Reaching Forward Forum Reports

Resources & Technical Services Forum (RTSF)

Focuses on the development, design, application, and integration of various technologies to improve access to and delivery of information to libraries.

Small and Rural Libraries Forum (SARL)

The Small and Rural Libraries Forum represents the interests of small and rural libraries in Illinois, provides a forum for staff at all levels and trustees to discuss issues of particular interest to small and rural libraries, and encourages active participation in Illinois library organizations. 

Students and New Professionals Forum (SANP)

The Students & New Professionals Forum represents the interests of students and new library professionals in Illinois, provides a forum for students and new professionals to discuss issues of particular interest to their demographic, and encourages active participation in Illinois library organizations.

Career Pathway Talk Series 2021-2022

Call for Participation

The ILA Students and New Professionals (SANP) Forum is seeking emerging and experienced library professionals to partake in the Career Pathway Talk Series. This season of the series will focus on three different topics: networking, career changers, and the retention of BIPOC library professionals and students. The series will be held every two months between November and March at 12pm CT as part of the ILA Noon Network. Please see the descriptions for each of the webinars below. 

Interested? Please complete the call for presenters form by October 18, 2021. The SANP co-managers will get in touch with you for more details.

Topic #1: Networking/Job Market - November/Late Fall 

Career Pathway Talk Series Webinar: How to Network Effectively 

Are you on the hunt for a new job? Or maybe just want to build a larger professional network as you navigate the world of librarianship? A willingness to network and engage with other professionals is an extremely effective skill in any field. However, it’s not uncommon to feel anxiety over the idea of networking, especially as an LIS student or new library professional.  In this Career Pathway Series, panelists will discuss the importance of networking, strategies for connecting with others, and how effective networking can lead to new opportunities. 

Topic #2: Career Changers - January/Winter 

Career Pathway Talk Series Webinar: No Experience Necessary: How Career Changers Can Find Success in Librarianship

For many, librarianship is a second or third career choice after years of working in a different industry. While librarianship thrives on individuals who are wise and knowledgeable in a variety of fields, for career-changers it may be difficult to find your footing. Whether you’re seeking out your first library job for your resume or navigating a new workplace, changing careers is a difficult feat. In this edition of the Career Pathway Talk Series, hear from three panelists who have successfully navigated career changes and entered librarianship. They’ll discuss leveraging transferable skills and the key to finding success in your own career path. 

Topic #3: BIPOC Recruitment and Retention - March/ Spring

Career Pathway Talk Series Webinar: How to Retain BIPOC Students and New Professionals in Librarianship 

Understanding the importance of an inclusive workplace is important for library staff at all levels. Black, Indigenous and People of Color remain underrepresented in LIS, despite the influx of diversity, equity & inclusion efforts by many library systems. Why is this happening and what can we do as students and new professionals to change the narrative? Through this informative webinar, library professionals will discuss key issues that present barriers for BIPOC library workers, strategies for fostering an inclusive workplace, and offer advice on recruiting and retaining BIPOC library workers. 

Past Events

Career Pathway Talk Series Webinars

The ILA Students and New Professionals (SANP) Forum, in partnership with the ILA Noon Network, presented the Career Pathway Talk Series. The webinar series featured emerging and experienced library professionals, who have worked or are currently working in public, academic, special, and/or school libraries, sharing their stories and offering advice on how to navigate a career in the world of librarianship. All of the webinars can be viewed below.

Career Pathway Talk Series Webinar - A College Student's Best Friend: The Academic Librarian

While college and university students often spend hours sitting in their schools’ libraries studying, many are never aware of one of the most useful resources there: the academic librarians. From helping students find resources for their papers and conducting library instruction sessions to curating special collections and developing strategies for equity and open access, academic librarians can be a crucial part of students’ academic success. Panelists will discuss their experiences within academic libraries, including how to utilize skills from previous careers to engage students and garner administrative support.

Career Pathway Talk Series Webinar - For the People: A Day in the Life in Public Librarianship

Sometimes called “palaces for the people,” public libraries play a powerful role in communities, providing much more than access to books and information. Learn how staff from different libraries are adapting programming, growing community connections, and developing leadership skills to meet the changing needs of their patrons. Panelists will discuss their experiences in delivering services for patrons with dementia, working with Spanish-speaking/bilingual children and families, and leveraging prior professional experiences to develop a career in public librarianship.

Career Pathway Talk Series Webinar - Librarianship Specializations Beyond “Traditional” Library Careers

Have you wondered about a career as a law or medical librarian? Have you considered a career as an independent library consultant (or a professor)? Established professionals with numerous years in librarianship will discuss their experiences in these fields and more, offering students and new information professionals an introduction to the breadth of career opportunities possible in librarianship.

Forum Bylaws

Forum Reports

2021-2022 ILA SANP Meeting Schedule

Quarterly, third Wednesday at 12pm via Zoom


Submit a Webinar Proposal

ILA Noon Network
The ILA Noon Network is a new learning resource for Illinois library professionals. The ILA Noon Network is afternoon micro-learning webinars on various topics designed to help achieve professional development goals.

Webinars are twenty to thirty minutes followed by a question and answer session. Webinars are held at noon on Mondays and Wednesdays throughout the year (webinars are not held in October and December). If you have an idea for a future webinar or would like to present please email Tamara Jenkins at or fill out this submission form.


Young Adult Services Forum (YASF)

Creating and providing professional development opportunities and materials for library staff members working with young adult populations.

The #WeWereHere Project aims to create a repository of teen voices in the historic time of 2020. 
If you are a teen, we want to hear from you how this unprecedented year of great social upheaval and pandemic has affected you. If you are a librarian, you can learn how to help and join your library to the project here. If you are just an interested person, please spread this project, use the hashtag, and amplify youth voices locally. Now is the time to hear and more importantly listen to young people.

Youth Services Forum (YSF)

Addresses the needs and interests of those concerned with quality library service for children.

iREAD Summer Reading Programs

Since 1981, iREAD provides high quality, low-cost resources and products that enable local library staff to motivate children, young adults, and adults to read.

Visit the iREAD website »