Tech Talk Scholarship

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Palestine Public Library is pleased to announce ‘Tech Talk Scholarship’ provided by Diana Hughes and Doug Davis.  The scholarship is for upcoming seniors who are willing to volunteer at the library and upon completion of a minimum of 36 hours per school year will receive $600 for tuition.

Jacob Eckert was the first recipient of the scholarship for the school year 2017-2018.  Jacob volunteers at the library after school on Mondays and Fridays from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.  He is available to help with technology questions and has helped the library with updating the website.

Jacob Eckert, son of James and Shari Knoblett Eckert, is graduating this spring with an outstanding record.  He recently was awarded Illinois State Scholar for 2018, along with National Honor Society, and Sons of the American Revolution Award.  He is a member of the Scholastic Bowl Team, Drama Club, Math Team, Envirothon Team, WYSE, History Club, Pay It Forward, and Band.  He has been a dependable volunteer for the past six months at the library.  Jacob is interested in attending the University of Illinois-Champaign, University of Michigan or Indiana University, DePaul and Purdue.

The selection of Jacob for our first recipient couldn’t have been better. – Laurel Adams, Director

Diana Hughes, the founder of the scholarship, lives in Port Townsend, Washington.  She grew up in the country south of Palestine.  She recalls having a Rural Route, Robinson address, a Flat Rock phone number, and went to Palestine schools.  After graduating from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale in 1972, her first job was at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, in Wisconsin. She taught Communication Disorders and Speech Communication classes, having earned a Master’s degree in both fields.

Diana met Doug Davis at the gymnastics gym at UW-Whitewater—there was “open gym” which he supervised as a senior, majoring in Art with a Physical Education minor. After he graduated, he worked as a coach in gymnastics clubs in Louisiana, Wisconsin, and Illinois. After knowing each other for about 10 years they decided to get married. After Diana earned her Ph.D. in Speech and Hearing Sciences, the couple moved to Mount Pleasant, MI in 1983, and Diana taught for 20 years at Central Michigan University there. Doug worked as a gymnastics coach in Midland, MI, started his own club in Ithaca, then began a business making and selling gymnastics training equipment—that grew into Tumbl Trak (see ).

Currently, the couple is hard at work on a new project, the Heart Tech Plus human generator with an app.  The generator is powered by pedaling which can produce electricity that can power devices such as a small fan or a cell phone. These portable machines offer a hands-on experience in generating human power.   The app is currently available for school physical education programs.  It allows students’ heart rates to be displayed in a form that lets students view their activity level and records that activity for later access.  Doug demonstrated this device at Palestine Library’s Summer Reading Program in 2016. 

 ‘Tech Talk Scholarship’ was created by Davis-Hughes to foster volunteerism at the library to help patrons with technology. Diana and Doug became interested in funding some programs of the Palestine Library for several reasons. Diana knew Don Winter who was a big proponent of the new library building. In Jefferson County, Washington, the county library offers a “Tech Tuesday” program which Diana has used.


We realized that people in Palestine could benefit from computer and other technology programs that could be offered by the library. We hope that residents of all ages in Palestine will take advantage of the tech help that is offered through the Palestine Library. This will result in increased computer/technology literacy.–Diana Hughes

 The ‘Tech Talk Scholarship’ was created to meet several needs at one time.  It promotes volunteerism, generation to generation cooperation, higher education and community support.  The scholarship awards the recipient $600 for volunteering at the library during the student’s senior year of high school.  Applicants from the junior class (ages 17 – 18) are encouraged to apply.

The scholarship selection period is currently open for junior high students for the 2018-19 school year.  The deadline for applications is April 2, 2018, at 4:30 pm. Submissions can be emailed to or turned in at the front desk at Palestine Public Library, 201 S. Washington St., Palestine, IL  62451.

The scholarship(s) will be awarded at the awards ceremony at the high school in May along with Jacob Eckert’s award for completing his year of ‘Tech Talk.’ 

If you are interested in helping bolster the community, there are many creative ways to go about doing so.

The library is excited by this new encore movement- the boomers who wish to give back to the community to help build a better future.  ‘Tech Talk Scholarship’ will benefit everyone involved- so get involved. – Laurel Adams, Director


For more information, contact Laurel Adams, Director, Palestine Public Library District at 618-586-5317.

The library has enjoyed having Jacob Eckert as our first Tech Talk Scholarship winner.  Thank you, Jacob, for a school year of service.  You have been such a great addition to the library and we look forward to hiring you for our summer programming.

Jacob volunteers after school on Mondays and Fridays from 3:30-4:30 p.m. He is here to help anyone who has technological questions and also helps the library with updating the website on these days.

The scholarship applications for next year are now open. The application deadline is April 2, 2018, at 4:30 p.m. Click on the button for the application or pick one up at the library today.

All books can be placed on hold or ordered with our SHARE button found on each web page.  Use your library barcode for your username and the last four digits for your PIN #.  Order books and we'll call you when they are ready!

Doug Davis is seen here visiting from Port Townsend, Washington.  He has with him his Heart Tech Plus pedal human generator.  The kids at the Summer Reading Program are pedaling to generate the blue fan.  That is one step closer to bottling up all of their energy!  Tumble Track App

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Higher Education Workshops

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The computer workshops, provided with the Leo Herning Foundation Grant, will continue throughout the year.  

These will include:

 Intro. to Online Learning,

Quickbooks for Intermediate Users,

Windows 10,

Basic Computing,

File Management,

Excel, and

Securing Yourself Online.

Sign up below or call 618-586-5317.

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Palestine Public Library District in Palestine


Mon, Wed, Fri

10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Tues & Thurs

10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

​Closed Sat & Sun

Be sure to register for our Summer Reading Programs starting May 30th! 

Call 618-586-5317 today!

Visit our events page for more info.

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