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Shlah: True value defies calculation at the Stickney-Forest View Public Library District

Community Voice

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013 2:21 p.m. CDT
(Photo provided)
Heather Shlah is the director of the Stickney-Forest View Public Library District.

Regular library users already know about the “soft” virtues of library service.

When I am out in our communities promoting the library services at the Stickney-Forest View Public Library District, I find, oddly enough, the praises sung about the library have little to do with the books in our collection. 

What I hear most is how helpful the staff is, how friendly we are, how insightful the discussion was, how fun and creative the program was and how nice it was to stop in for a little chat. I am suggesting that as a public library we are actually in the “feel good” business. Yes, we still offer traditional resources, classes, computer help and story times – and we do a top notch job at all of that – but what we do even better, defies value calculation.  

Have you ever stopped to consider what a cost-saving experience library usage offers?  If you borrow five books, five magazines, five movies and three music CDs, you have saved yourself nearly $200. I’m not even including glitzier services such as free music downloads, a window to every library in the world through Interlibrary loan, downloadable audio and eBooks, museum passes, programs, instruction, reference assistance and reader’s advisory service, because, well, that would just hit home the point even harder: That the most valuable card in your wallet is your library card. 

And yet, our true value rests in how we treat you while you are here. As the leaves turn, and we slide through fall and into winter, I ask you to help us to help others. Please give us a call or stop by to find out about our food for fines amnesty, our “adopt a family” wish tree and the ways that you can help us give back to our communities. 

Also, a sincere thank you to those who have donated to the library to fuel our dream of a renovation this spring; please don’t stop!

For more information about upcoming library events, call 708-749-1050, or check us out at, or on Facebook.

See you soon!

Heather Shlah is the director of the Stickney-Forest View Public Library District

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