Here’s a progress report on changes we’ve been able to make at the library since passage of the tax rate referendum on Nov. 7, 2006. Though the increased tax revenues have not actually begun to flow into our coffers, we have been able to make improvements to our staffing and services in anticipation of augmented revenue.

First, we were able to make all video checkouts free to our cardholders, starting in December. I’m happy to report that circulation of these items nearly tripled in response to the change. You like this change; we got the point!

Next, we expanded our hours so that the doors open at 9 a.m. Monday through Saturday, rather than at 10 as we had done before. We hope you will take advantage of the added six hours per week that we are open.

Anyone who uses our public access Internet computers will recognize the next change, which is that we replaced all six of our older machines on the main level with brand new, top of the line equipment.

And finally, we have been working on augmenting our staff. Already two part-time employees have been moved to full-time, and part-time clerks have been added at the front desk and in the Youth Services Department. Next on the agenda is a full-time Reference and Technology Librarian for the Adult Services Department, and a library monitor to promote a welcoming and orderly atmosphere for all of our patrons.

Love Your Library Day

Because we love you, our wonderful patrons, and appreciate the love you show for us, we are planning a special day on Sunday, Feb. 25, to honor “Library Lovers’ Month.” Come join us for this festive afternoon. Here are some of the features of the day:

Fine and Charge Amnesty: Forest Park card holders can come to the library on Love Your Library Day for amnesty on up to $25 in fines and charges on items from our collection. Our clerks will be ready and willing to help you.

Community Organization Information Tables: Register to vote in the April election, or receive information from the Friends of the Library, Parks District, and community center about their programs and services.

Door Prizes: Enter the drawing for door prizes. But, you must be present to win.

Face Painting: Free face painting for children in the Youth Services Department

Magic: Enjoy the strolling magician, who will amaze you with his feats of legerdemain.

Music: Family friendly music in the Austin Room.

All in all, we just want to return some of the love our taxpayers have shown us by their approval of the referendum last November. Please come and enjoy a day when the library will be even friendlier, but maybe a little less “library like” than normal.

Thanks for everything you do for us here at the library. We will do our best to brighten your day when you come to the library.

Information submitted by Forest Park Public Library staff