Committee Spotlight - Best Practices Committee

Best Practices Committee

March 5, 2021

The Best Practices Committee (BPC) is charged with promoting excellence in the Illinois library community by identifying and amplifying innovative services, community outreach initiatives, and management procedures both for the association and for the profession as a whole. BPC seeks out best practices for emerging trends and issues in the profession by surveying current practices in the library community, recommending best practices for diverse sizes and types of libraries, and sharing these practices and recommendations with the library community through relevant communication channels.

Past projects have included nationwide research on Holds Labeling Practices and Patron Privacy Protections, and professional recommendations to the Association about best practices. BPC’s current area of focus is gathering and providing a baseline of resources for Illinois Libraries to continue the crucial work of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion across the spectrum of libraries. In 2020, BPC members wrote a Land Acknowledgement Statement that may serve as the basis for libraries to adopt and modify to meet the needs of their current geographic location. In 2021, the Committee will be doing a variety of projects to bring Illinois libraries DEI information. 

You can find BPC members sharing this information and more at:

Reaching Forward May 7, 2021:
Talking About Talking: What you say and how you say it matters
Join representatives from the Best Practices Committee of ILA to learn how your library can gain a core understanding of the value and impact of language on cultivating inclusive library spaces. Attendees will leave with actionable resources for training and continued education, as well as the ability to start these conversations with your library stakeholders and patrons.
Noon Network Event April 21, 2021:
Anti-Racism and Inclusivity Listens: Podcast Discussion
Join representatives from the Best Practices Committee of ILA for a midday podcast discussion. Listen to the podcast before the session, and then come ready to share your thoughts on the information shared therein with your library colleagues. This interactive activity will serve as a template for how to use podcasts as catalysts for discussion with your library staff or community.

Long and short term goals of the BPC include to continue the work of supplying a variety of researched and vetted best practices on the most pressing topics facing libraries today.  While those topics are ever-changing and evolving, we realize that the work is always going to be important. Bringing researched, reliable recommendations to library workers will be the key service of BPC. Long term, the group has discussed finding ways to keep resources and reports of best practices live and accessible by topic via the ILA webpage.  That could be an entire year’s project in itself, but a worthy one for the archiving and quick access of information sources. There are so many things out there, how do you not miss a single beat?

The Best Practices Committee welcomes new members. This committee truly has roles for all library workers. We’ve got people going out and doing presentations at virtual conferences. We’ve got people hosting discussion groups, conducting surveys and writing articles for publication.  Whether you are working in a special library or a public library, whether your talents are presenting or being a data wiz, BPC has a place for you to share your talents with the library field. The group highly welcomes any new members and encourages people to volunteer their time with this dedicated group.

This committee spotlight was written by the Best Practices Committee Co-Chairs: Alea Perez (Elmhurst Public Library) and Jennifer Hovanec (Calumet City Public Library).

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