A librarian’s viewpoint
In regards to Jackie Schulz’s column about the library, I have to wholeheartedly agree it is past time to fix this mess of a library we have here in Forest Park. As a professional public librarian myself, I am deeply saddened and embarrassed that this is my hometown library. Due to conflicts from the board, the staff has been reduced to a skeleton and the collection is quickly following suit. The director staffs the desk and can’t seem to answer a lot of basic questions, new books are not being purchased, and the children’s room has a reputation of being a violent, scary place to be.

Do people know how bad this makes Forest Park look? We end up looking like a poverty-stricken community when we can’t buy new books for our library or pay the workers a decent wage. We also look illiterate and unintelligent when we don’t care if we have a good library in our town.

A real problem is that the library’s reputation is almost irrevocably damaged. Throughout the library community, everyone knows what kind of problems there are with certain members of the board and therefore no one with skills, experience or intelligence is going to be willing to interview. At best, the library will get new employees that are going to jump ship as soon as they realize the depth of the problems.

I sincerely hope that Mayor Calderone takes these problems seriously. It is getting very close to the point where drastic action needs to be taken ” either the board needs to be dissolved and a new and more effective director needs to be hired, or the library closes. I would hate to see that happen.

Different month, same great birthday
Dear Jackie,
Thanks for the mention of our granddaughter Gwenivere Eve Dudzik (even if her name is spelled incorrectly), but her 1st birthday will be September 17, 2005, not July 17 as reported in the July 13 issue of your column.

Thank you,
Mike and Eve Dudzik
The happy grandparents

Not so bad after all
To Forest Park Library,
I would like to express to the people that run the library, and all their staff, what a great job they all do. I’m a full time student at Trinity High School and I enjoy the use of the library. I love going there for a quiet sit down reading and the use of the computers. Many people go there just to sit and read magazines, because that is where they feel comfortable and relaxed. The people who work at the library are a joy to talk to. If you need help in any way, they are always there for you with many options to choose from.

Our library is stocked with books from all over the world. There is every category imaginable, so you will have a lot to choose from. But if you still cannot find what you’re looking for, then the library can look it up on their computer and see if any other library in the area has it. This is possible for children’s reading and the more grown up reading.

The thing I enjoy most about the library would have to be the separate floors for the children and the adults. It is convenient for both ages. The parents can research calmly upstairs, while the children can be themselves with all the classes and exciting activities downstairs. The librarians in the children’s department are always on top of the children to ensure they remain calm and become involved with the activities. Therefore, you never have to worry about your child’s safety.

The library provides classes for the children so they don’t have to sit in the house all summer. I especially loved going to the story times and the movies. Also in the children’s department, they offer tutoring all through the school year. It is a great way broaden your knowledge and receive better grades.

So as you can see, the Forest Park Library is molded to suit us. It changes everyday so that we won’t get bored and it has new surprises every step of the way. The library has been there for me every time I needed help with my homework. It could only benefit all of Forest Park’s citizens and anyone else who decides to enter into the wonderful world of knowledge known as the Forest Park Library. Thanks, and stop by the library to see for yourself.

Elizabeth Healy

Forest Park Main Street thanks you for being progressive
The Forest Park Main Street Progressive Dinner / Arts al fresco held on Sunday, July 17, 2005 was a huge success. 445 hungry participants feasted on an array of fabulous appetizers, soups, salads and entrees prepared by the chefs of Bistro Marbuzet, caffe De Luca, Cocina Lobos, Flavour Cooking School, Francesca’s Fiore, Healy’s Westside, Horan’s Snug, Jimmy’s Place, Molly Malone’s, O’Sullivan’s Public House and Shanahan’s. Diners then joined together to enjoy dessert prepared by Bistro Marbuzet, Brown Cow Ice Cream Parlor, caffe De Luca, Harrison Street Café and La Piazza and dessert wines presented by Famous Liquors.

Throughout the dinner participants were treated to the chalk art creations and musical and theatrical entertainment of many local artists and entertainers: Betsy Arias, John and Kathryn Atwood, Jay Boldt, Steve Fisher, Natasha Gordon, Cecelia Hardacker, Winnifred Haun, Georgia Kmetz, Patty Kudlacz, Alice Max, Annie Max, Ellen Miles, Sarah Najera, Diane Peters, Jessica Salisbury, Jennifer Taylor, Rick Carter Pedicabs and Steckman Jazz Ensemble The dessert reception entertainment was provided by The MaGawa Studio African Drum Circle and The Summer Kwai Trio.

The Forest Park Main Street Association would especially like to thank the title sponsor of the 2005 Progressive Dinner, Christopher B Burke Engineering, LTD., along with the many other supporting sponsors, chalk art and entertainment sponsors: AA Rental, A Natural Connection, Arborwood & Briarwood at Altenheim, Brown Cow Ice Cream Parlor, Anthony and Lois Calderone, Carriage Flower Shop, Diane Fay, DNA General Contracting, Fairy Godmother, Inc., Forest Park Chamber of Commerce, Forest Park Development, Forest Park Foot Care, Forest Park National Bank, Forest Park Review, Grow in Motion, Louie’s Grill, Mohr Oil Co., Molly Malone’s, My Best Friend’s Groom & Board, Old School Records, Plan B Gallery, R. Quitsch Florist, Reich & Becker, Schauer’s Ace Hardware, The Painted Board, The Post, Todd & Holland tea Merchants, Two Fish Art Glass.

A special thank you goes out to the staff at Flavour Cooking School for handling registration and answering the questions of new and previous participants, to the staff at the Howard Mohr Community Center for compiling the “goody bags” given out to each of the participants and to 3-Planets for revising the Main Street web-site to enhance registration for this event.

The day of the event requires the hard work of many volunteers for set-up, registration, street patrol and safety, information and clean-up. A special thank you to the following people for their hard work: Tim Gillian, Steve Johnsen, Maureen Martin, Mick McDonnell, Jarod Officer, Amy and Dave Rita, Brian Sullivan, Bill Thompson, Janet Todd, Ann, Joan and Pat White, Village of Forest Park Police and Fire Departments and the Village of Forest Park Public Works Department.

Thank you to the committee who worked many hours to make this event the huge success that it was. Your efforts are truly appreciated. Tracy Cusimano, Cassie Golden, Georgia Kmetz, Caroline Keeley, Christine Malone, Deb Michalak, Heather Steger and Jane Thompson.

Forest Park Main Street is a 501(c)3, not-for-profit Organization relying on funding from membership dues, grants, private contributions and events such as the PROGRESSIVE DINNER / ARTS AL FRESCO.

The Forest Park Main Street Redevelopment Association wishes to thank the participants and volunteers for supporting our fund-raising efforts so that we may continue to improve the social and economic environment of this great community of Forest Park.

See you at next year’s event.

Dorothy Gillian
Event Chairman