Towanda District Library

 301 S Taylor St
 Towanda, IL 61776-7582
 (309) 728-2176
 Fax: (309) 728-2139
  [email protected]

     Photograph of the Towanda District Library

 Monday:       10a - 6p
      1p - 7p
 10a - 6p
    1p - 5p
        1p - 5p
   10a - 4p

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  About Us
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  October Newsletter
  February Newsletter
  Library History
  Photo Album
  eBooks now available from the Towanda District Library via OverDrive
  World Book Web
  Link to Towanda District Library page at Facebook
  Link to Towanda District Library page at YouTube
  Link to the TumbleBook Library Collection which contains great animated stories, quizzes and puzzles for children. TumbleBooks are created from existing picture books licensed from children's book publishers.
  Link to NoveList for descriptions of novels, information on Author Read-alikes, Discussion Guides, lists of best fiction, lists of books by genre and reader age group, and more. Login with your Towanda District Library card number.   Link to NoveList K-8 for descriptions of children's novels, information on Author Read-alikes, Discussion Guides, lists of best fiction, lists of books by genre and reader age group, and more. Login with your Towanda District Library card number.
  Link to the website of the Village of Towanda, Illinois   Link to the Towanda Area History website, which contains newspaper articles, photographs, personal stories, audio interviews, and much more about the history of the Towanda area.
  Link to Web Junction Illinois, which supports library staff through online resources, community and continuing education.    Link to the website of the Indian Creek subdivision two miles north of Towanda
  World Atlas
  US Cities

  Staff email
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Special Programs and Events

TOWANDA READS Book Club: The June 9th selection is "A Spool of Blue Thread" by Anne Tyler. Discussions are open to the public.


WITH DALE EVANS from Bloomington
Monday June 8, 4:30pm

Listen to some crazy instruments created by local musician Dale Evans. Our first official program of the summer reading program is sure to be a great time for the entire family.

Wednesday June 10, 10:30am

Experience the skirl of the bagpipes and the swirl of the kilt. Elaine plays the bagpipes and gives a short history of the instrument, clan society, and kilt patterns.

Monday June 15, 4:30pm

What is a dulcimer? What is the difference between a Hammered Dulcimer and a Mountain Dulcimer? Kids of all ages (and their parents) can enjoy learning and listening to beautiful music on the dulcimer, and maybe even try out a tune on their own.

Wednesday June 17, 10:30 am

There is music in the forest if you know how to listen. Each animal has a song of its own that rises and blends with the songs of every other living thing. Join us as we listen and learn about these songs and their meanings.

Monday June 22 at 4:30 pm and Wednesday June 24 at 10:30am

Want to save the earth AND make beautiful music? Let the Ecology Action Center teach you how. We’re making flutes from recyclable materials and learning how to be better caretakers of our planet.

Monday July 6 at 4:30pm

Love music that makes you want to move? Curious about the kind of dancing your grandparents (or great grandparents) might have done? This is the program for you! We’re learning a little about the history of this fast-paced dancing, as well as watching a demonstration and practicing some moves. This is an all-ages program sure to have the whole family tapping their toes and bopping to the beat.

Wednesday July 8 at 10:30am

Would you like to know what it’s like to try a tuba, or ogle an oboe, or dabble on a drum? Toby is demonstrating several instruments, as well as letting everyone try them out! It’s like a petting zoo for instruments!

Monday July 13 at 4:30pm

Bring your younger children in to explore and experience music in a meaningful way. Bond with your child as you both enjoy singing, movement, instrument play, plus so much more! Learn tips and tricks to help you create valuable learning experiences in a variety of settings.

Wednesday July 15 at 10:30am

Howdy, Partners! Join us for a hoe-down, Roadhouse-style. Andy loves line dancing, and he’s ready to teach you. This promises to be a toe tappin’ good time for the whole family.

Monday July 20 at 4:30pm and Wednesday July 22 at 10:30am

All good things must come to an end, and our summer reading program is no exception. Please join us for carnival games, a cake walk, a parade of instruments, and of course, PIZZA!

Calendar handout SRPCalendar handout SRP 2

Library Newsletter

Read it now.

Library Winter Hours Begin December 22

Starting on December 22 the library will observe new trial "Winter Hours". The library is open every day after school. The hours will be:

  • Mondays - 10am to 6pm
  • Tuesdays - 1pm to 7pm
  • Wednesdays - 10am to 6pm
  • Thursdays - 1pm to 5pm
  • Fridays - 1pm to 5pm
  • Saturdays - 10am to 4pm
  • Sundays - Closed

Library Trustee Nomination Petitions Available at Library

Notice is hereby given that the office of Library Director will be open from 1:00 to 5:00 beginning December 15, 2014 through December 22, 2014 for the purpose of accepting candidate petitions or certifications for the Consolidated election to be held April 7, 2015 for the following offices: Library District Trustee. Four seats are open for full four-year terms and one is open for a two-year term that was filled by an appointment.

4th&5th Grade Bulldog Book Club

4th&5th Grade Bulldog Book Club will meet the second Wednesday of each month after school 3:30-4:30.

  • November 12, 2014 - "Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Not Reading" by Tommy Greenwald
  • December 10,2014 - "A Long Walk to Water" by Linda Sue Park
  • January 14, 2015 - "Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes" by Eleanor Coerr
  • February 11, 2015 - "Ungifted" by Gordon Korman
  • March 11, 2015 - "The One and Only Ivan" by Katherine Applegate
  • April 8, 2015 - To Be Announced- Student Choice
  • May 13, 2015 - To Be Announced- Student Choice

School Librarians and Student Literacy Needs

In the wake of recent cuts to librarian jobs in Unit #5 School District, we would like to provide this link to new federal legislation that recognizes the essential role school librarians play.

When school libraries take cuts, the student needs remain. Often filling the needs then falls to public libraries in the area.

Parents Love Libraries

Parents believe that libraries help instill the love of reading in their children.

Visit this site to read the Pew Study that tells why parents are some of the best library users.

Downloading E-Books from our Library's Website

Downloading our library's e-books is easier now - thanks to a recent update by Overdrive. Find the Overdrive link in the left column of this site. Click the "Download audiobooks and eBooks" icon.

Step-by-step description of Overdrive's new features:

Towanda District Library Long-Range Plan

  1. Continue to use technology to enhance library services.
  2. Provide a variety of high-quality services and programs that educate and inspire.
  3. Encourage and support the love of reading for all ages to promote life-long learning.
  4. Continue to strengthen the relationship between the library and the community served.
  5. Provide a welcoming environment for all patrons.
  6. Continue to be financially responsible

Towanda in the News

The December 26th issue of the Bloomington Panatagraph has a Towanda-related question posed in the Flick Fact question-of-the-day. Do you know the answer? If you have been attending events at this library during the past 2 years, you probably do!

View the question and answer here:

New Device Guidance

Library staff are willing and able to answer your questions about new high-tech devices you may have found under your Christmas tree. Those new e-readers are marvelous, but you may have a few questions. Don't be afraid to ask! We can give you a 5-minute tutorial on using the library's e-book collection to borrow free e-books.

Library Meeting Policy

The Towanda District Library is waiving its current Meeting Space policy for the next 12 months. During this time Community Groups may meet at the library without incurring a cost -- as long as requests are received at least 2 weeks in advance and staff are available. Please call 728-2176 and ask for Karen.

Hosting Community Organizations

The library is happy to host your community organization during the re-modeling of the Community Building. Call the library to make advanced arrangements.

Our Library Subscribes to WORLD BOOK WEB For You

You now have access to World Book Encyclopedias online! That means you can use our library even when the doors are locked for the evening. Use our library from the comfort of your home.

Just click the WORLD BOOK WEB icon to the left. Then enter your Library card number (no password) and you have access to all that World Book has to offer! The World Book offers an encyclopedia, dictionary, atlas, homework help, study aids, and curriculum guides.

Our library also added a few special features to our subscription:

  1. World Book Online for Kids: Easy-to-read articles, multimedia, games, science projects, interactive tools, and activities for young readers.
  2. Craft Corners: A great resource for teachers and 4-H or scout leaders who are looking for craft projects for a specific age group and topic.

Audio Book Collection Expands

The library's collection of audio books is now shelved in one convenient location. We are also expanding the collection. We see so many people borrowing books on CD when they take long car trips. We hope you enjoy the new, broader selection.

Audio Books Online

So many of you are aware that the library offers e-books online, but did you know that Overdrive, the library's e-book vendor, also offers you audio books online? From the Towanda District Library website, select "download audio books and e-books" in the left column. You can listen on an MP3 player or in WMA format.

Thank You to the FRIENDS

Thank You to the FRIENDS for new chairs at the computer hub.

Used Book Donations

The library is no longer accepting donations of used books - due to space constraints at the library. Gently used books that have been published within the past 2 years are still being accepted for possible inclusion in the collection.

"Find a Book" Search Tool for Students

Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White is joining Governor Pat Quinn and Illinois Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch in urging librarians, educators and families to use the free online "Find a Book" search tool to ensure students continue reading while they are out of school this summer. "Find a Book" is located at the link below and provides a way for librarians, parents and children to quickly and easily search for books that match a child's reading level and interests. "Find a Book" also helps locate a local library carrying each book title.

"Find a Book" Search Tool for Students -

Food Literacy and Reading Literacy - a Double Delight

Food Literacy and Reading Literacy - a Double Delight is the name of the grant proposal funded for Towanda District Library by the Dollar General Foundation.

Dollar General's commitment to literacy is an integral part of the company's culture. In fact, Dollar General's co-founder, J. L. Turner, was functionally illiterate when he started the company. Dollar General believes learning to read is an investment that opens doorways for personal, professional and economic growth. That is why Dollar General's commitment to literacy remains strong. It is the one gift that no one can take away; the one gift that lasts a lifetime.

Because of this grant, the Towanda District Library will host an expanded Summer Reading Program this year. Each program, during the 7-week session, will be repeated on Tuesday nights at 5:30 and Wednesday mornings at 10:30. In addition to all of the youth-centered activities that will support both Food Literacy and Reading Literacy, there will be program components for parents and adults.

Because parents are a child's first and most important teachers, the library is hosting an Adult Summer Reading Program that challenges children to "catch" their parents and other significant adults reading. Adults will have "Reading Bingo Cards" that promise chances for prizes.

Stop at the library for schedules and sign up opportunities. This is a summer you won't want to miss!

Towanda District Library Use - Red Hot

Perhaps it is the incredible spring weather that has created usage figures at our library that are unprecedented. Total circulation in March was up 25% from the previous year. Total visits to the library in April were up 70% from the previous year. Inter-library Loan increased by 9% in April - compared to a year ago. These figures do not include e-book circulation from our website.

Book Review

Our librarian, Karen Stott Bersche, offers a book review of The Great A & P and the Struggle for Small Business in America:


Towanda District Library is one of 3,700 libraries that belong to the RAILS Library System. RAILS service area covers the northern half of the Illinois. Library systems recently merged to create a new and more sustainable business model that will reduce costs and safeguard services to Illinois libraries during Illinois' unprecedented fiscal crisis. The foresight to merge Illinois' library systems from 10 regional systems to two began nearly 2 years ago. RAILS is the result. Uninterrupted services such as Inter-library Loan for local library customers is also the result. Towanda's Library Director serves on the governing board of RAILS.

Ottilie Womack Remembered

In a tribute to one of the women who served on the library board that built the Towanda District Library and to a teacher who loved libraries and encouraging children to read, this WJBC Forum is a salute to Ottilie Womack. Her love of reading lives on as children come to our library every day! Her vision 22 years ago provided a library building that still serves the youth of our area. We currently have a collection of Ottilie's framed art - depicting children reading - on display.

Towanda District Library Selected for Business Package

Towanda District Library has been chosen to receive almost $4,000 worth of equipment, hardware and software to help businesses and entrepreneurs in our community create new economic growth opportunities. The "Business and Libraries: Working Together" technology package is the result of a $300,000 grant to the State Library from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Items provided to libraries include a laptop computer with Microsoft Office Suite; projector; screen; DVD player; camcorder with tripod; 2 audio headsets with microphones; DVDs for OSHA required training in both English and Spanish; Business Plan Pro, Sales and Marketing Pro, and Adobe Acrobat software; Acrobat training materials; jump drives; and books on starting and growing business. Participants were selected on the basis of the local unemployment rate, poverty level, proximity to a Small Business Development Center (SBDC), SCORE or other business organization, and statewide geographic distribution.

In the News

News Coverage for Library: This story, which mentions Towanda District Library and local business owners Linda Garbe and Ryan Bliss, ran on the front page of the Peoria Journal Star Business Section on March 8th - the opening day of the Illinois Rural Economic Development Conference.

Peoria Journal Star: I LEAD-U grant

Peoria Journal Star: Illinois Rural Economic Development Conference

See what patrons think of our library!

Text Message Service

Get library notices and renew items on your mobile device! Once you sign up you will automatically get text notices about holds to pick up, overdue items, and fees. The library does not charge for this service, but your mobile plan's reguar text-messaging rates apply. Stop at the library to pick up a brochure that fuly explains the new service with step-by-step instructions.

There are three ways to sign up:
   - Go to this webpage
   - Email [email protected]
   - Send a text message with the word: SIGNUP to
        [email protected]

Five-Minute Tutorials

Want to refresh your memory about how to renew your books online or order books from other libraries? Ask a library staff member to give you a Five-Minute Hands-On Demo. We do it all the time! And remember, if you forget your PIN, all you have to do is ask the person at the front desk to look it up for you.

DVD Rentals

This is a great time of year for DVD releases! The library adds new DVD's to its collection nearly every week. As always, DVD rental is free at the Towanda Library. All we ask is that you return the DVD's promptly after one week - so that others may enjoy them too.

Wii for Fwii at the Library

Tuesday evenings 4:00 to 6:00: Play Wii games with your friends.

Borrow Books from 200+ Libraries

One of the privileges of using a library in Illinois is the fact that you may order books online from any of the surrounding libraries and pick up the books at your own home library. From the Towanda Library homepage, simply select the RSACat link on the right-hand side of the page. Find the book you want. Place a HOLD (reserve the book). Within a week your book will arrive via free delivery. We will phone you when the book arrives for you. No hassle! No charge!

Economize at the Library

  • Magazines can be checked out free-of-charge.

  • There is no charge for DVD and video rentals.

  • Summer Reading and other programs are free.

  • Books on Tape and MP3 Play-a-Ways are free.

  • Wireless access to the internet is free - on our computers or on your laptop.

  • Copier and Fax are available for a small fee.

  • Buying children's books as gifts? 

    You can help support the Towanda Library by purchasing your books through the Friend's of the Library online book sale at Usborne BooksA percentage of each sale will go to benefit the library.  Click on Friend's of the Towanda District Library page at Usborne Books to see and purchase books.

    Towanda History

    The Towanda District Library has partnered with the Towanda Area Historical Society to document and display Towanda Area History on the web at

    A new feature of the Towanda District Library is a History Corner, with books, displays, and archives of Towanda area history. Following is a list of history binders contain information researched, compiled and donated to the library by Nancy J. Miller of Bloomington:

  • Census records for 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930

  • Civil War Soldiers from Money Creek Township

  • Towanda in the Black Hawk War - 6/3/1832 - 8/3/1832

  • History of Elizabeth 'Mattie' Stephenson (1853-1873) of Towanda, Proclaimed a Heroine by Citizens of Memphis, Tennessee

  • Miscellaneous Collection of Newspaper Articles on Towanda, 1850 - 2008

  • Section 33 and Landowners in Money Creek Township

  • History of the William R. Duncan Family and Descendents, 1818 to 2008

  • Library delivery service 

    If you have difficuties getting to the library due to age or health issues, please call us and we can bring library materials to you.  We have two very dedicated volunteers ready to deliver books and other library materials to your home monthly.  Right now they only have one customer and they want more!  A staff member at the library will select items based on your requests.  Please  call the library at 728-2176 and ask for Karen.

    On-line Catalogs

    RSA Cat: catalogs of 190 libraries in the RAILS library system, including the Towanda District Library. You can order books from any of the libraries in the library system. (Place a 'Hold' on the book and it will be delivered to the Towanda District Library for you to check out.)

    New Books / New Movies / New Music

    Bloomington: Bloomington library web site with Bloomington Library catalog (not on RSAcat)

    I-Share: catalog of the Illinois State Library and of 76 academic and research libraries in Illinois.

    SILC: Statewide Illinois Library Catalog;  Search all libraries in Illinois using World Cat. 

    World Cat First Search: Catalog of books and other materials in libraries worldwide. Contact your library for an authorization and password

    Other Libraries

    The Internet Public Library (IPL)

    IPL - Ask a Question

    Illinois Talking Book Center

    Illinois State Library

    Ill. State Univ. Milner Library

    Ill. Wesleyan Univ. Ames Library

    Heartland College Library

    Unit 5 IMC centers

    Normal Public Library

    Bloomington Public Library

    The Library of Congress

    New York Public Library

    State Government

    Find it Illinois


    RAILS | Reaching Across Illinois Library System

    American Library Association

    Illinois Library Association






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