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 - 7p
      1p - 7p
 10a - 7p
    1p - 5p
        1p - 5p
   10a - 3p

 Renew books online or check your Towanda library account activity.
Login using your library card number. Contact the library to obtain a password.

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  About Us
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  General Info
  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
  World IPv6 Launch badge

Special Programs and Events

**Seeking Temporary Emergency Library Worker**

The Towanda District Library is seeking a team-oriented individual to join our staff.

Successful candidate must have a strong customer service orientation and computer skills. Previous library experience is desirable.

Part Time Hours: Up to three weeknights until 7 pm as well as some Saturdays, plus possible additional hours during school breaks.

Application packet available at 301 S. Taylor Street in Towanda, IL.

Seeking Library Clerk

The Towanda District Library is seeking a team-oriented individual to join our staff.

Successful candidate must have a strong customer service orientation and computer skills. Previous library experience is desirable.

Part Time Hours: Up to three weeknights until 7 pm as well as some Saturdays, plus possible additional hours during school breaks.

Application packet available at 301 S. Taylor Street in Towanda, IL.

August Library Events

Adult Summer Reading Program � Keep reading and having your BINGO card stamped for chances to win a KINDLE, book bags, books, or several gift bags of Tastefully Simple food products. Deadline to enter is August 15. Filling one square on your BINGO card gives you one chance in the prize drawing. The more you read, the better your chances! It is not too late to enter!

August is Get Your Child Ready for School Month � Visit our library for daily tips to get your children ready for the new school year! Like our Facebook page, Towanda District Library, and follow us on twitter, at @towandalib to view the daily parenting tips.

Games and activities to help your child develop the skills he or she needs to start kindergarten will be available each day at the library! Drop in each week to work on a different skill!...or to socialize with other children and parents.

  • Week 1: August 1-2: Learn your colors!
  • Week 2: August 3-9: Fun with letters and Color Play!
  • Week 3: August 10-16: Lace and tie your shoes.
  • Week 4: August 17-23: Object Detective: Finding hidden objects
  • Week 5: August 24-30: Letter Practice

We look forward to seeing you in the library throughout August!

Back to School Night � Watch for the library at Towanda Elementary School on August 14th from 6:00 to 7:00. Readers are leaders!

September Library Events

TOWANDA READS � Interested readers are invited to join an open-to-the-public book discussion at 5:00 on Tuesday, September 9th. September's selection is: Empire Girls by Suzanne Hayes and Loretta Nyhan. Two sisters must learn to overcome their differences once they embark to New York City in the 1920's. Sometimes they are diverted from their search for their brother by the glitzy underbelly of Manhattan.

Preschool Story Hours @ YOUR LIBRARY

Preschool Story Hours at 10:30 Wednesday mornings

  • Preschool Story Hours resume the Wednesday after Labor Day at 10:30 am. A comprehensive Early Literacy Program developed by leading scholars and organizations engaged in early literacy research will be the basis for our curriculum this year. Come and enjoy the Very Ready Reader Program at our library.

Story Hours are every Wednesday during the school year at 10:30. Preschoolers hear three stories, join finger plays, and create crafts. Younger brothers and sisters enjoy the play areas. Everyone has a snack.

TOWANDA READS Book Discussion Group

The TOWANDA READS Book Discussion Group meets the 2nd Tuesday of the following months from 5:00 to 6:30 pm at the Towanda District Library:

Save the Date!

On Saturday, November 15 the library will celebrate 75 Years as a library and 25 Years in this library building.

Better Than a "Best Seller List"

Many-Few List � Better than a "Best Seller List" our Many-Few List highlights books that many libraries in RSA selected for their collections - but few copies remain on the shelves. These are the books flying off the shelves in the surrounding 200+ libraries of RSA: Saints of the Shadow Bible, River Road, The Husband's Secret, Mrs. Poe, The Rosie Project, One Summer, Empty Mansions, Longbourn, Allegiant, The Goldfinch, Wolf of Wall Street, Innocence, The Invention of Wings, and First Love. Find them all on RSACat.

Morton Public Library Returning Items Lost in Tornado

From The (Peoria) Journal Star:
Morton library storing items lost in tornado

Beyond destroying homes and killing two people, the Nov. 17 tornado that ripped through Washington scattered bits of family history across the state.

See more info and photos at the newspaper's website:

Breaking News: -- Better library service at Towanda District Library begins Monday, November 4th!

Yes, starting Monday, November 4th this library begins 3-day-per-week delivery of your Inter-library Loan items requested via RSACat - the online catalog of RAILS Library System.

If you order online via RSACat, you can now expect a phone call or text on Monday, Wednesday, or Friday mornings -- announcing that your item is ready for pick-up at our library. The goal is 2-day turn-around time of your requests.

Even better -- during weeks with Monday holidays, your items will now be delivered on Tuesdays. (In the past Monday holidays typically meant you waited a week for your requested items.)

Inter-library Loan traffic at our library has increased significantly -- warranting more delivery dates per week for you - our valued customers.

Note: RSACat includes collections from 200+ surrounding libraries. Normal Public Library participates in this cooperative online arrangement - Bloomington Public Library does not. You must make a trip to BPL to borrow items from their collection or ask a librarian to complete the request for you.

Newsletter Question Answer

There were nearly 10,000 visits to the Towanda District Library in the past 12 months.

The 12 months prior to that there were more than 11,000 visits.

The difference being -- the Redbird Reader Program from ISU stopped coming to our library twice each week with "student teacher tutors" who worked one-on-one with Towanda Elementary grade schoolers - to improve their reading skills. This program accounted for approximately 2,000 visits annually.

Tech a la Carte Each Monday at 5 p.m.

Library staff will demonstrate our e-book collection or our new Windows 8 Touch-screen computers. You order � we deliver! Because class sizes are small, you may ask your questions and have them individually answered.

Library FRIEND Helen Mogill

Helen Mogill - the creator of this website - passed away on May 23, 2013. Her family wishes that donations being made on her behalf be designated to one of the following organizations:

Helen worked with a group of Towanda Historical Society members to create the Towanda History website - a project funded by an Illinois State Library grant in 2007. See the link in the left column of this site.

Former Library Board President, Tim Mogill, Honored at his Final Board Meeting

Helen's husband, Tim, was honored on May 21, 2013 for 11 years of service on the Towanda District Library Board. Tim and Helen worked tirelessly for passage of the referendum that expanded the library's tax base into Blue Mound and Money Creek townships - creating the three township tax base that now supports the library.

Former Library Board President, Tim Mogill


Summer Solstice Sleepover 2013

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.)

    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

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    Ill. State Univ. Milner Library

    Ill. Wesleyan Univ. Ames Library

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    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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