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Shlah: Things are blooming at the Stickney-Forest View Public Library

Published: Thursday, July 17, 2014 2:39 p.m. CDT
Heather Shlah is the director of the Stickney-Forest View Public Library District.

As we progress more deeply into the dog days of summer, our library community is basking in the glow of the success of our PAWS to READ Summer Reading Program and the library's new STEM garden, which was recently planted with the help of state grant.

The Stickney-Forest View Public Library’s STEM garden is overflowing with herbs, vegetables and wild flowers. Kids have planted cucumbers this summer, in order to learn about pickling this fall, and our newly hatched chicks in the Youth Services Department are growing. Even Belle, our infamous library turtle could not contain her excitement over our PAWS to Read summer fun, and jumped out of her tank to take a walk around this amazing library that she calls home.   

I share these anecdotes to highlight a weightier concept, and that is, that everything needs to be nurtured to thrive and grow. 

This – you guessed it – is a metaphor for our library’s strategic direction and how we view our community relationships. Whether it is a garden, baby chicks, a library or a community – all good things must originate with an initial effort, be nurtured to grow and then preserved for the future. 

Thanks to a generous $5,000 grant from Stickney Township and the instrumental advocacy of Stickney Township Supervisor Louis Viverito, the library recently purchased laptops for a mobile computer lab.  What originated as a simple meeting has blossomed into a full blown partnership and an opportunity to take our show on the road, partnering with the Stickney Township to deliver computer application software classes, job search and resume workshops (in both Spanish and English), as well as book discussion groups, a cookbook club, photography lessons, after school teen/youth programs and weekly story times at the Stickney Public Health Clinic. Library programs will begin at this location Sept. 15.  

Of course, we still need to see you in our main building and thanks to a partnership with the Central Stickney Park District there will be a bus service, free of charge, provided for story time and other big library events. Check the library website for the bus service schedule.

See you at the library!

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

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