National Library Week is a great time to connect or reconnect with your Rock Island Public Library (RIPL)m according to a news release from Rock Island Public Library. As part of that effort to help community members explore and access all that the library offers, RIPL will offer two major ways to help patrons find their way back to the library.

Thanks to a unanimous vote by the Rock island Public Library Board of Trustees, Fridays in April now will be fine free at Rock Island Library locations. This limited-time offer applies to overdue late charges that would have otherwise been assessed on current checkouts returned on a Friday.

“I am thrilled to offer this opportunity to anyone with a Rock Island Public Library card. We recognize that a library fine can sometimes be a barrier to people who want and need to use the library. Fine Free Fridays will encourage returns, and help our library cardholders use our resources and services again by getting their cards in good standing,” said Angela Campbell, library director.

Fine Free Fridays applies to standard library items still in the catalog, such as books, music, movies, and magazines, that are returned at a RIPL location on a Friday. Returns at other PrairieCat libraries do not qualify. Any remaining replacement, damages, or other non-overdue fees remain the responsibility of the patron.

For those who want to pay their good fortune forward, the library offers a fine forward donation jar, and the Lift up Little Readers donation tree. Community members who want to connect a child to reading by restoring library use can take a tag off the Wish Tree and pay some or all of the account fees listed. To donate through the wish tree, visit the Rock Island Downtown and Southwest Library locations through May 28.

Fine Free Friday may be only in April, but the Rock Island Public Library Foundation hopes to assist the library in a path toward a fine-free future. The library’s charitable partner will dedicate all 2022 Birdies for Charity donations towards fine-free efforts at the library.

“With the launch of our new strategic plan, the library is being more deliberate in our efforts to be more inclusive and equitable in our community. This is just one of the ways we can achieve these goals and allow people to explore life-long learning opportunities,” said Campbell. The library hopes to achieve this strategic goal by 2024.

From checking out books and other items in person to downloading digital resources, there are more reasons than ever to reconnect with your library. “Cardholders will find ever-evolving collections of items to check out, from new paper shredders to online services, such as Scholastic Printables home learning support, and our JobNow career development database. Access starts with a functioning library card,” said Christina Nobiling, director of Circulation. Card use is restored once fines and other charges are below $10.

The Rock Island Public Library encourages all community members to visit its Downtown, Southwest,  Library2Go, and online locations to explore and access a wide array of services of programs available in person or from the comfort of home, including:  

Monday, April 4:

·         1 p.m. Alpha Book Club meeting at the Downtown Library, discussing Normal People by Sally Rooney. In-person, with a  Zoom option, after registration.

·         Register for the Hug-A-Book Learning through Play kit, for families with children ages 2 to 5. Register for the free kit through April 15. Kit pick up starts April 18 at RIPL locations.

·         Lift Up Little Readers wish tree available at Downtown and Southwest Libraries.

Tuesday, April 5:

·         National Library Worker’s Day: Submit a star for your favorite Library Worker at  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SubmitAStarforNLWD

·         Online Storytime, 10:30 a.m. via Facebook Live or on demand afterwards. Stories and activities to follow along with at home with children from ages birth through 5.

·         Tuneful Tuesday live music performance by Quad City Visiting Artists Jarabe Mexicano. Noon in the Downtown Library Community Room.

·         Online Teen Book Talk, 3:45 p.m. via Facebook Live or on demand afterwards. Book recommendations for young adults ages 12 to 18.

Wednesday, April 6:

·         National Library Outreach Day. Look up the Library2Go bookmobile today. See https://www.rockislandlibrary.org/locations-hours for the schedule.

·         In person Toddler Tales Storytime, 11 a.m. at Southwest Library, 9010 Ridgewood Road. Stories and activities for children ages birth to five and their caregivers.

Thursday, April 7:

·         Pick up some free seeds at the RIPL Seed Library, Downtown Library, 401 19th Street.

Friday, April 8:

·         Online Children’s Book Talk. Hear about new books for school-age readers every Friday at 2 p.m., via Facebook Live, or on demand afterwards.

·         Bring those books back to the library on Fine Free Friday!

Saturday, April 9:

·         Family Fun Day: drop in between 10 and 11:30 a.m. at the Downtown Library to create Recycled Art. All ages welcome! Library staff will have plenty of materials to spark your creativity, and details on how to enter your masterpieces in the Parks Department Recycled Art Show.

National Library Week highlights the vital role libraries, librarians and library workers play in transforming lives and strengthening communities. The week’s “Connect with Your Library” theme promotes the valuable work of libraries in helping people get connected to technology, of connecting with ideas and entertainment through books, other materials, programs, and classes, and ultimately, of connecting communities to each other.

This National Library Week, the public can show their appreciation and support for libraries by visiting their library in person or online, following them on social media and using the hashtag #NationalLibraryWeek.

First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association and libraries of all types across the country each April. The 2022 celebration is April 3-9.