Library News

Hayner Library is Passport to Your National Parks Stamp Site!

Looking for Lincoln 2The Genealogy & Local History Library is a Passport to Your National Parks stamp sites! Alton is part of the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area (ALNHA) and was named an official Looking for Lincoln community in September 2017. That designation allowed local organizations to become part of the ALNHA’s National Park Service passport program.

There are a total of 21 Looking for Lincoln passport sites in Illinois. In addition to Alton, ALNHA communities include Springfield, Bloomington/Normal, Quincy, Charleston, and Danville. Each community can only have one or two passport stamp locations, so we’re very fortunate to be a designated site. Passport stamps are free to collect, and if you don’t already have a National Park Service Passport, they are available for sale at the Alton Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB).

The passport program provides opportunities for visitors to explore the communities where Lincoln lived, worked, and traveled in Illinois. The CVB has always promoted the Alton area’s connection to Lincoln and was on board immediately. “Being a passport stamp site is an added benefit for the region,” Alton Regional CVB President and CEO Brett Stawar said. “We have a rich Lincoln heritage in Alton, and bringing in the passport will give visitors a great reason to come walk with us in Mr. Lincoln’s footsteps. The popularity of the National Park Service’s passport program will be another reason to love our destination.”

When the staff at CVB contacted Hayner about being the second Alton site, we were very thrilled. The Genealogy & Local History Library made perfect sense as a passport stamp site. The library has many historic books about Abraham Lincoln and generally has Lincoln photographs and artifacts on display. In the mid-1850’s Lincoln’s law partner, William Herndon was a speaker in the Alton Library Association’s lecture series. We even have some items reportedly owned by Mary Todd Lincoln at the library. We also have an original letter from Mr. Lincoln to Simeon Ryder dated 1844.

In Alton, you can get your National Parks passport stamped at the Alton Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB), 200 Piasa Street, or the Hayner Genealogy & Local History Library, 401 State Street. Being a passport site is very exciting for us, and we are looking forward to being part of the Lincoln experience. For more information about the program, check out the Looking for Lincoln website We hope to see you and your passport at the library soon!

Explore More Illinois: Use Your Hayner Library Card to Save Money at Illinois Cultural Attractions

Hayner Library is pleased to announce our participation in the Explore More Illinois program. Explore More Illinois allows cardholders from participating RAILS and Illinois Heartland Library System (IHLS) public libraries to reserve free and discounted admission, parking, and gift store purchases from cultural attractions in Illinois, including museums, cultural centers, zoos, aquariums, gardens, historical societies, park districts, and more.

To access the offers listed on the Explore More Illinois website:
• Visit or click on the Explore More Illinois icon on the Hayner Library website.
• Select Hayner Public Library District from the drop-down menu.
• Enter your Hayner Library card barcode number (found on the back of your Hayner Library card, do not use spaces between the digits) and PIN.

Once logged in, you will see offers for the upcoming three months. You can also search for offers by date, attraction name, or location. Information about each attraction and the offer is available before making the reservation.

How do I make a reservation?
You must make reservations for a specific date. Using the calendar, choose your registration date and then select the Reserve option under the attraction. A confirmation box will appear, and you will also receive a confirmation email. You have the option to print out a pass at that time, or you can choose to print it later.

Can I cancel a reservation?
Yes, you can cancel a reservation before you print or download a pass.

I cannot log into Explore More Illinois. What should I do?
Please call or visit the library. You may have an issue with your account, such as an expired card or fines. We will be happy to assist you in solving the problem.

How many reservations can I have at one time?
You can have up to three active reservations at one time. Once one of the reservation dates has passed, you may make another reservation.

Can children make reservations?
Adults age eighteen and older can make reservations in Explore More Illinois. You must show a photo ID at the attraction on the day of the reservation.

Can I make a reservation for the same attraction more than once?
Attractions can limit how many times a patron can make a reservation. If you are out of reservations, you will not see the offer when you log into Explore More Illinois.

Will I receive a reminder about their reservation?
Yes, you will receive a reminder email three days before your reservation.

What do I need to bring to the attraction on the day of the reservation?
You will need to bring a photo ID and either a smartphone (if you choose an electronic pass) or a printed copy of the pass. Some attractions require a printed copy, which will be indicated when you make the reservation.

An Explore More Illinois instructional video can be viewed at This video contains step-by-step instructions for logging in and using the site.



Hayner Library TeenSpace

Hayner Library offers fun and FREE programming, activities, and crafting for teens. Visit Facebook, the TeenSpace page on the Hayner Library website, or our quarterly newsletter for dates, times, and locations of our latest teen programs.


In-Person Visits and Curbside Service

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, our library services, procedures, and facilities look slightly different. Here's what you can expect when you visit the library: 

• Click here for hours of operation

Patrons are encouraged to wear a mask while in the library to protect unvaccinated children and other vulnerable library patrons.

• Curbside service remains available to patrons. 

• We are operating at 50% building capacity, based upon the Madison County Health Department’s recommendations for retail outlets. Specific areas (such as the children's area) have capacity limits as well. 

• Patrons should abide by our Board-approved Behavior Policy

• Computer use is limited to two hours per day. We strictly enforce this time limit to ensure that all patrons have computer access.WiFi service is also available. 

• Homebound services resumed April 1, 2021.

• Overdue fines resumed April 1, 2021.

• We have hand sanitizer, masks, disinfecting wipes, etc. throughout the facilities for patron use.

• We continue to offer children’s story times online through our Facebook page and website. Adult in-person programming will resume in the spring (2022) and our children's in-person programming and story times will resume with the kickoff of our annual Summer Reading Program on Monday, June 6, 2022. 

• Notary, voter registration, printing/copying, and faxing services have also resumed. 

Creativebug: Access to 1,000+ Art and Crafting Videos


Hayner Library is happy to announce the newest addition to our digital collection: Creativebug! Creativebug is a high-quality, on-trend arts and crafts instructional video platform that allows users on-demand access to over 1,000 art and craft classes for artists and makers of all levels. Users can enjoy award-winning HD instructional videos on drawing, painting, sewing, knitting, crochet, quilting, baking, and more. All classes are taught by experts, with new classes added daily. The platform also offers downloadable patterns, templates, and recipes. Creativebug offers classes for adults and children.

Creativebug is optimized for mobile and tablet access, so it's easy to use and enjoy from all of your favorite devices. The Creativebug app is available via iTunes and Google Play. Please note that you must first create a Creativebug account online before downloading the app.

Creativebug is available to Hayner Library cardholders 24/7. To create a free Creativebug account using your Hayner Library card:

  • Visit
  • Click/tap on the Online Resources link at the top of the page
  • Scroll to the Arts and Crafts category
  • Click/tap on the Creativebug link
  • Enter your Hayner Library card number into the appropriate text box and click/tap on the Log In button
  • Enter your first name, last name, email address, and a password (of your choice) into the appropriate text boxes and click/tap on the Submit button

Once you create a Creativebug account online, you can continue to access it through the Hayner Library website or you may download the Creativebug app to your phone or tablet.

Creativebug is a great way to spend time this winter. Be inspired to learn a new hobby—or hone your existing skills. Enjoy!

Click here to view Creativebug's introductory video!

Alton ABC: Copies for Sale at the Genealogy & Local History Library

Alton ABC 2In 2019, a small group of Alton High School students and their teacher, Mrs. Lexa Browning-Needham, collaborated with our own Reneé B. Johnson of the Genealogy & Local History Library to publish Alton ABC. The rhyming alphabet picture book is designed to delight and inform, acknowledging the present and the history of our area.

The hardbound books cost $20 each and the proceeds will be split between Hayner Library and the Alton School District.

The second printing of Alton ABC is available for purchase at the Genealogy & Local History Library, located at 401 State Street, Alton, IL. Please note: We accept cash or check payments only, no debit/credit cards. 

Book Bundles: A New Readers' Advisory Service from Hayner Library

JPBBLooking for your next great read? Let us help you find your next favorite author or genre! Hayner Library has an adult book recommendation service to help you find books you like: Book Bundles!

Here’s how Book Bundles works:

Fill out the Book Bundles registration form on the Hayner Library website (located on the homepage, about halfway down the page). You can also email the Reference Department at or call the library at 618-462-0677.

The Book Bundles registration form allows you to specify your favorite reading genres, authors, titles, and other reading preference information. Once you submit the registration form, our staff will select books for you based on your criteria. After we gather the books, we will give you a call and have them waiting for you at your preferred Hayner Library location. It’s simple!

For more information about the Book Bundles program, please email or call 618-462-0677. 

Illinois WorkNET

Are you looking for a job? Perhaps a career change? Or maybe you've been laid off and don't know what to do next. Try Illinois WorkNET. It's a free online resource available 24/7 at

The Illinois WorkNET website offers:

  • Career Exploration: Career guides, skills & interests surveys, wage & trend searches, labor market information, career exploration videos, and more. 
  • Training & Credentials: Public & private training program search, WIOA-approved training program search, apprenticeship opportunities search, adult education opportunities, employer-based training programs, planning & financing training videos, and training & financial aid videos and resources. 
  • Qualify for Jobs: Prepare to find a job guide, virtual job fairs, job skills guides, digital literacy guides, resume writing guides, and job qualification videos and resources. 
  • Job Openings & Recruiting: Hiring for employers, Biz Hub, Illinois WorkNET JobFinder, Illinois JobLink, starting-a-business guides, and more. 
  • Network & Connect: Event calendar, student & trade connections, volunteer guide, social media guide, networking videos & resources.
  • Layoff Assistance: Company layoff search, layoff assistance guide, rapid response layoff reporting & services, WARN reporting services, trade layoff reporting & services, layoff videos & resources. 
  • Updates & Help: News & updates, quick start guide, download & print, workforce & education partners, disabilityWORKS, veteran assistance guide, business hub, youth resources, money management guide, success stories, FAQ, glossary, work success & support videos, and resources.  


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