Enlightening and Inspiring Generations with Generations of Ideas

Community Projects

Little Free Libraries

In 2015, the Library, with the generosity of Home Depot and area artists, installed five Little Free Libraries around LaSalle.  In addition to serving as public Art, the Little Free Libraries continue the library tradition of public access to information. Participate, share and enjoy the Little Free Libraries in your community.

Noise vs. News: What's Your Source?

Noise vs. News was a collaborative project between Illinois Valley Community College’s Jacobs Library and LaSalle Library in 2017.  It brought scholars, journalists, and the public, together, in an exploration of professional and public responsibilities related to establishing truth in news, and using that knowledge as a first step in finding common ground.  In this important and timely series, topics will include the First Amendment and its protections, "fake" news detection, the the ethics of journalism, and the importance of truth and courage in maintaining a democracy.   The project was live-streamed and later, archived and closed captioned in English and Spanish. 

Project Next Generation

2017: Illinois Veterans History Project

In 2017, area middle-school youth participated in Project Next Generation, a grant opportunity through the Office of Secretary of State, Jesse White.  In this grant cycle, youth used digital literacy skills learned through the News Literacy Project to produce thirty-minute interviews with area Veterans. These interviews became part of the permanent archive of the Illinois Veterans History Project.

Interviews: Illinois Veterans History Project Interviews

2018: Illinois Veterans History Project and 3D Design/Printing

Area middle-school youth participated in Project Next Generation, a grant opportunity through the Office of Secretary of State, Jesse White.  In this grant cycle, youth used technology to connect with the past, present and future.  In the course of eight weeks, youth worked as a team in learning digital skills to produce interviews for the Illinois Veterans History Project.
Concurrently, youth worked, collaborativly and indpendently, in exploring the world of 3-D Design and Printing, including using SolidWorks, Structure Sensor 3D Scanner, and various types of 3D printers. Library staff collaborated with the faculty at Illinois Valley Community College for this part of the program. Faculty also discussed career paths and opportunities. 
As part of exploring 3D printing, participants went on a working educational field trip to the Abraham Presidental Museum and Library, in Springfield, where they used the Structure Sensor 3D Scanner to scan historical objects, which where then printed.   
2019:  I Speak 3-D Program and Field Trip
Area middle-school youth participated in learning, through hands-on application, the exciting and diverse world of 3-D printing in this Project Next Generation's grant cycle.  The program, entitled, "I Speak 3-D" ran  five weeks and was designed to accommodate varying schedules by offering independent study, access to mentor assistance. 
The program, a series of five interactive, hands-on workshops, provided the basic information and practice skill development for creating designs for 3D printing, using TinkerCad software.  The first and fifth sessions were conducted as a group in the Library, while sessions two, three and four, were completed as independent study, supported by mentors, who where available in-person, online or via phone. 
Each session required participants to master a skill set that would enable the participant to design an object in TinkerCad that incorporated those design skills. Each session added new skill sets, that along with those skills previously learned, enabled the participant to create ever increasingly complex designs for 3D printing.  The "I Speak 3-D" program also included two short presentations.  Participants learned about the many uses of 3D printing, from prosthetics and prototypes for industry, to food, replacement tools for the International Space Station, and even 3D printing entire homes.  In the second presentation, participants learned about the many types of 3D printers, resins, and supportive technologies, and to try out the 3D scanner and the 3D pens. 
The field trip to the Museum of Science and Industry provided participants with an immersive experience into the world of science and technology, particularly highlighting the Museum's newly-curated exhibit, "Wired to Wear" and the Virtual Reality experience of a Space experience, offered in the Henry Crown Space Center at the Museum.  Additionally, because the field trip coincided with the special Apollo 11 coverage and exhibits at the Museum, participants were also able to experience the Apollo Moon Landing via IMAX theatre experience.  While many other areas of technology and science were explored throughout the day, these two were particularly important since they supported other Project Next Generation activities conducted at the Library.