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About Us


To identify and promote collections, organizations and resources to adults learning to read or learning English in the Chicago area.


LEARN was formed in 2004 when Jean Demas of Lisle Library District in the suburbs of Chicago began networking with nearby libraries. She was interested in discovering what resources were available to adults learning to read and learning to understand English. Some of the libraries had small collections of just books, while others maintained larger collections including books on cassette, videos, DVDs, CD-ROMs and even computers devoted to English as a Second Language. Regardless of the size of the collection, staff members seemed to have the same goals which are listed below.


  1. To select the most useful items for our patrons.
  2. To inform the public that we have these special collections.
  3. To effectively direct patrons to non-profit organizations when there is a need beyond the resources we have available.
  4. To share information and promote cooperation between organizations that offer ESL related services and/or collections.
  5. To develop strategies for funding opportunities to support libraries and literacy organizations networking together.

Benefits of Membership

Whether you are a small library that is just starting an English as a Second Language collection, a library that is trying to develop an existing collection, or a group that offers tutoring, joining LEARN can provide important feedback and useful contacts.

For Libraries

  • Materials Selection: Network with other librarians to identify the best materials to purchase.
  • Interlibrary Loan: Learn which libraries have unique materials or resources so that patrons can be referred to these libraries or so that items may be interlibrary loaned.
  • Funding: Learn about potential sources of grant money.
  • Marketing: Coordinate with other libraries in jointly advertising resources to the public, or get ideas on how to do your own marketing.
  • Become active in the referral process directing patrons to the appropriate services and organizations.
  • Have a voice in the decision making that is guiding literacy efforts in your area.
For Organizations That Offer Tutoring or Instruction
  • ESL Collections: Learn which libraries have ESL resources and have a voice in determining how those collections will be developed.
  • Recruiting More Tutors: Coordinate with libraries to recruit new tutors for your organization.
  • Establish a System of Referrals: Develop contacts at the libraries so that students may be directly referred to a librarian or department for materials, or so that new students may be referred to your organization.
  • Space Availability: Discover where there is space available to tutor students or train tutors.

Minutes of Past Meetings

View the minutes of past meetings to see what topics are discussed.

Brochures and Bookmarks

Access the brochures and bookmarks that LEARN members use for distribution.

Contact Information

Contact the closest LEARN library through our Member Information page for details about available materials and services.


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For questions, please contact the Webmaster at popowitchj@indianprairielibrary.org.
Last updated: 05/02/2009