The Joliet Public Library has been selected as the recipient of a $2,000 grant from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)-Chicago Section.
The grant will be used to purchase items to create 20 STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) bundle kits. Items include robots, a Harry Potter coding wand, electronic music generator, planetarium projector, snap circuit rover, microscope, and more.
The STEM kits will be available to check out at the library in the fall and they will also be used in interactive programming for youth.
Executive Director of the Joliet Public Library, Megan Millen, says staff at the library is excited about the grant and to circulate the STEM kits.
“We offer so many programs at our library that are both fun and educational,” said Millen. “Our staff is excited to put together these STEM kits to connect our patrons with tools they may not have access to anywhere else.”
Photo: Representatives from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers present Joliet Public Library Youth Services Associate Coral Borg with a check for $2,000 during the Library’s monthly board meeting.
What is the Outreach Collection at JPL?
The Joliet Public Library offers thousands of quality reading materials suitable for pre-Kindergarten through High School youth, and is intended to be a zero risk way to provide materials to children to use at your non-profit organization, or for children to take home to read at their leisure.
How Does It Work?
At your request, we will fill a book tub with a curated collection of fun reads for your students’ age group, to be picked up at either library location, dropped off during an outreach staff member visit, or delivered to your school (District 86 only).
How Does My Organization Sign Up?
After the Business Owner, Chief Executive Officer, Local Administrator or Property Manager of your organization signs an agreement form and has a library card on file, email your request to the library at or fill out our online request form. You can find the request form here:
The Details
  • Each book tub contains a maximum of 50 items. Tubs with books for younger readers (ie. Board Books, Easy Readers, Easy Fiction, Easy Nonfiction) will hold more items than tubs with books for junior high and high school readers (ie. Juvenile Fiction, Juvenile Graphic Novels, Young Adult Fiction, Juvenile Nonfiction).
  • There is no limit on the amount of tubs an organization may check out at any given time.
  • Each tub circulates for 9 weeks/63 days, and may be renewed.
  • Outreach items do not accrue fines. We request that all books in a given tub be returned together to Joliet Public Library on time (or retrieved by library staff, upon request). Books that are not returned with their tub will not be billed to the institution or to the family.
  • Outreach books are encouraged to leave your site to go home with children. We do ask that educators track which child has selected which book(s) when the child has taken the material(s) home. We suggest that children who have not returned books to your organization be limited from taking additional books home until their books are returned.
  • If you prefer a customized tub with specific topics or specific titles, we are happy to provide you with those through our existing Curriculum Kit service.
Visit or call 815-740-2660 for more information.

Are you up for the challenge? The Joliet Public Library’s popular Summer Reading program returns this year from June 2-July 27 with the theme, It’s Showtime! Join us for fun and educational programs, reading challenges, weekly prize drawings and more!

Children, teens, and adults of all ages are encouraged to learn together as a family and community during the Summer Reading Challenge. Readers are invited to join the fun by reading books, attending free programs at both library locations and submitting pages read in person and online. Reading logs can be turned in at either library location or online at and registration for all ages is now open.

New this year is our Grand Prize Checkout Challenge, sponsored by D’Arcy Buick GMC. Checkout an item at the Joliet Public Library and enter the code on your receipt in our website form at You will be entered into a drawing to win a $250 Target gift card. A new code will be entered each week!

Prizes are earned by hitting milestone page numbers. At 200/600/1,000 pages, stop by the Ottawa Street or Black Road Branch to pick up a prize of your choice. When you reach 400/800 pages, visit us and pick out a free book. But don’t stop there! For every 100 pages read, your name is entered into a drawing for a weekly prize. Need help keeping it all straight? Pick up a Summer Reading log at one of our library locations and be sure to register online.

Don’t miss out on the bonus challenges! Let us know when you volunteer in your community, build or create something, or even try a new fitness routine. Jot down the date you completed the challenge in your log and post a photo to our Joliet Public Library Facebook page using the hashtag #JPLSummer to gain Internet fame.

Every child through grade 6 who visits the library five times or more will receive one ticket to our final party in August! This year, join us for the Joliet Slammers game at 1:05 pm on August 4.

All points will need to be submitted by July 27. Prizes need to be picked up by August 3. Prize selection will vary throughout the summer, so don’t wait to pick up all your prizes at the end! Grand prize winners will be called for their prizes at the end of the summer.

Finally, this summer, the Joliet Public Library is going Fine Free from June 2-August 22. The fine threshold will also be raised to $50. This means items you return to the Library between June 2-August 22 will be FINE FREE! This promotion is excluding inter-Library Loans and Hotspots. Return your long overdue books and enjoy no fines with this special promotion.

The Friends of the Joliet Public Library provided funds for prizes, as well as several Joliet businesses who offered in-kind donations.

Saturday, June 1, 2019 will be no ordinary day in downtown Joliet as it is transformed into the Joliet Public Library's (JPL) award winning 10th Annual Star Wars™ Day. This family-friendly festival of galactic proportions is complete with over 200 costumed Star Wars™ characters, games, live music, a vow renewal, movie prop exhibits, and more.

New this year is a special ceremony for those who want to renew their marriage vows under the watchful eye of the Empire. A ticket is required to participate in the vow renewal and can be picked up for free at the Rialto Square Theatre Lobby beginning at 8:30 am on June 1. A limited number of tickets are available, so be sure to get yours while they last! The ceremony will begin promptly at 9:30 am and is for entertainment purposes only; no legal or spiritual implications apply.

Other activities will kick off at 11 am with a parade of costumed characters and Star Wars™ themed vehicles. Join thousands of other Star Wars™ fans and be here early to claim your spot on Cass, Chicago or Clinton Street! The parade will start at the Joliet Area Historical Museum on Ottawa Street, go east on Cass Street, south on Chicago Street, and west on Clinton Street. The route does not go in front of the Rialto.

JPL is proud to partner with the Joliet Area Historical Museum and the Rialto Square Theatre, who will host activities throughout the day. The Joliet Area Historical Museum will host vendors and exhibitors, such as the Rebel Legion, Blues Mobile, Movies in Miniature, Cantina Customz, Bug Pals, and Federation Toys. They have events featuring Mr. Freeze Cryogenic show, presentations on costume building and light saber duels.

The Rialto will welcome exhibitors such as Darkside Galactibiles, the Mandalorian Mercs, R2-Builders Droid Club, A. Tom Rehn, and Civilized Galactic Gear. They will also feature fan favorite Jedi Training Academy on the Main Stage.

Be sure to check out the Main Stage on Clinton Street near the food tent for different bands and an all-ages costume contest at 1:15.

Several authors and artists will be returning to Star Wars™ Day this year. Authors include John Jackson Miller, and Keith Ryan Kappel. Be sure to visit Artist Alley on the second floor of the Library and meet Dave Dorman, Steve Palenica, Mikey Babinski, James Tampa, and Jamie Snell.

The event will shut down Chicago Street from Cass to Van Buren. Be sure to get there early to get a spot in one of the parking garages or at the Joliet Area Historical Museum!

For the kids, don't miss all the games set up on Clinton Street. Try everything from bean bag toss to surviving the Mustafar Lava Fields. Don't forget to stop by and try the fan favorites like the Trash Compactor game on the first floor of the Library and the Scavenger Hunt at the Museum.

Hungry? Stop by one of our food vendors! Jody's Hot Dogs, Smokin' Z BBQ, Beach Bums Tropical Sno, Cheesecakes by James, DeWitt's Gourmet Cookie Shop, Parmesans Wood Stone Pizza, TCBY, Life's a Slice, and Taco Maui will all be lined up near Clinton and Chicago Street. Initiative Coffee Company and Candy and Corn will be located at the Museum.

This event is made possible through partnerships with the City of Joliet, Joliet City Center Partnership, Heritage Corridor Convention and Visitors Bureau, Rialto Square Theatre, Joliet Slammers, Bicentennial Park, and Joliet Area Historical Museum as well as the generous sponsorships from the Friends of the Joliet Public Library, D'Arcy Automobiles, Joliet City Center Partnership, Klein, Thorpe & Jenkins, Ltd., and First Midwest Bank.

The Joliet Public Library received the 2018 ALA Excellence in Library Programming Award for Star Wars™ Day. This award recognizes a library that demonstrates excellence by providing programs that have community impact and respond to community needs.

For a full list of activities at the library and these locations, pick up a Star Wars™ Day Jedi™ Passport at the event or visit Event passports will be located at the Library, Museum and Rialto entrances and information booths. If you need help the day of, find a volunteer in a purple shirt.

The Joliet Public Library is committed to being a resource for the community of Joliet to read, explore, ask and discover. For more information, visit or call 815-740-2660. Library hours are Monday- Thursday from 9 am –9 pm, Friday –Saturday from 9 am–5 pm and closed Sundays in the summer.

Did you know that the Library is the perfect destination for this spring and summer? Join us for fun and educational programs, sign up for the Summer Reading Challenge, and get galactic with us on Star Wars Day! 

Don't forget all the amazing things you can do with your library card! Check out new databases, learn a new language, and check out the hottest new books or movies!

Summer Fun at the Library




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