Gail Borden Public Library Awarded Grant

October 24, 2007

The Gail Borden Public Library was awarded a $63,830 LINCC: Libraries Innovate, Create and Collaborate LSTA (Library Service and Technology Act) grant at the Illinois State Library on October 17, 2007. A Tapestry of Freedom spotlights the faces, feelings, and histories of freedom.

A Tapestry of Freedom is a multi-faceted collaborative project that incorporates digital storytelling, hands-on activities, a replica miniature log cabin, lectures, author appearances, re-enactments, concerts, discussions, temporary displays, and collection development. It will heighten understanding of the local area’s historic role. Bilingual materials, developed for all age levels, will appeal to our diverse community. In cooperation with educators, the library will create a webpage with downloadable teacher materials, student links, and resources. Primary project objectives are to promote harmony, respect and unity among diverse ethnic, socio-economic, and generations through storytelling, educational programs, and working together as volunteers.

A Tapestry of Freedom is a four-month long endeavor encompassing Black History Festival (February), Women’s History (March), Cultural Diversity (April), Preservation Month (May), culminating with the National Endowment for the Humanities / American Library Association traveling exhibit “Forever Free: Abraham Lincoln’s Journey to Emancipation” (4/ 20-5/30/08).

“This project is specially designed for community participation,” said Miriam Lytle project grant writer and coordinator. Partners include the City of Elgin Human Relations Commission, Elgin Academy, the Elgin Area Historical Museum and Society, Elgin Community College Continuing Education, the Library of Congress Veterans History Project and local interest groups such as LINKS, a Black women’s organization devoted to education and justice; LULAC, the League of United Latin American Citizens; the Veterans Memorial Committee; and St. James Parish. If you have historic artifacts for display or are interested in getting involved, please contact Miriam Lytle at 847-608-5027 or If you are a combat veteran of World War II or the Korean War, please contact Sara Sabo at 847-429-5984.

“Forever Free” was awarded in March 2005 for the national tour of traveling exhibit, "Forever Free: Abraham Lincoln's Journey to Emancipation." Gail Borden is among the 63 libraries awarded the exhibit, which begins in September 2006 and runs through September 2011. Gail Borden is scheduled to host the exhibit from April 20 through May 30, 2008. Organized by the Huntington Library, San Marino, Calif., and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, New York City, in cooperation with the American Library Association (ALA), this traveling exhibition is made possible through major grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, created by Congress and charged with planning the national celebration of Lincoln’s 200th birthday.

"...The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced."

Abraham Lincoln spoke these words at Gettysburg in 1863. He was assassinated within two years for his commitment to this unfinished work of freedom. Today, Lincoln's legacy has been furthered and broadened, yet it continues to be assaulted. It is up to all of us, especially libraries, to continue to educate and bolster the many facets of freedom in this country.

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Funding for this grant was awarded by the Illinois State Library (ISL), a Division of the Office of Secretary of State, using funds provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), under the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).

Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under the Creative Commons Copyright.

Gail Borden Public Library District, 270 North Grove Avenue, Elgin, Illinois 60120
Phone: 847-742-2411 | Fax: 847-742-0485 | To Renew: 847-742-3210