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Ashton: League of Women Voters to present citizenship series

By voting in elections, paying taxes and conducting our lives in a law-abiding fashion, most of us feel we’re fulfilling our duties as good citizens.

There’s more to it, though, as the League of Women Voters of Downers Grove, Woodridge, and Lisle wants you to know.

This fall, the League will present a series of programs entitled “Citizenship 101: Participation in Democracy.”

These programs are intended to inspire citizens to learn how their local government entities work, how local institutions are changing and how you can become more directly involved in the support and direction of those organizations.

The first program in the series will focus on local public libraries.

It will take place on Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Community Room of the Downers Grove Fire Department, 5420 Main St.

Colleagues Susan McNeil-Marshall from Woodridge, Shannon Halikias from Lisle and I will give brief presentations and respond to questions. We’ll describe how your local public libraries are organized, governed, supported and run.

We’ll try to update our listeners on the physical, technological, intellectual, financial and other challenges we are facing.

We’ll try to avoid plunging too deeply into the mysteries of Illinois library law, and we promise not to distribute a quiz on the Dewey Decimal System. 

Like most public libraries in the United States, Illinois libraries are locally organized, locally governed, locally funded and uniquely positioned to respond to the needs and wishes of their local communities. Therefore, we are very happy to be featured in “Citizenship 101: Participation in Democracy.”

While we will convey a good deal of information about our institutions and their work, I am sure that we will learn just as much from the questions and comments of the residents who attend. 

I look forward to a stimulating and productive evening, and I am grateful to the League of Women Voters for making it possible.

Rick Ashton is executive director of the Downers Grove Public Library.

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