• School is out, and summer programs are in full swing everywhere, including the library. Our summer reading programs have room for everyone, children and adults alike. Signing up is easy, whether for our kids’ program, “Mission: Read,” or for our adult program, “Go Anywhere with a Book.” There are lots of great incentives for participating, and if you would like a recommendation on what to read, any of our librarians will be glad to assist.
  • Our Youth Services Department has a great new addition that is worth a visit in itself. Thanks to a generous grant from the Community Bank of Oak Park and River Forest, we have two brand new, state of the art computer stations. These stations feature the latest in learning programs for small children and hardware to match, including keyboards and mice adapted especially for small hands.
  • While you’re in Youth Services, pick up some of our “Safe Internet” bookmarks. The Illinois Library Association, in cooperation with My Space.com, have designed and distributed a series of bookmarks that provide useful tips for children and their parents on safe and proper use of the Internet, including social networking sites. We all think the ‘net is a great resource when used properly and safely, and these bookmarks are a valuable tool to help you and your children do exactly that.
  • Coming later this month is a new and improved version of SWAN, our online catalog. This upgraded version will provide many new capabilities, such as relevancy rankings of results when you perform keyword searches for materials; popular searches, such as children’s audio books, that will help you browse more productively; spell checking, like that provided by Google.com, and the chance for you to rate materials, as customers do on sites such as Amazon.com. And remember, you can access our catalog from anywhere you have Internet access. Start by going to the web address on your library card, and follow the SWAN link.

Contributed by Rodger Brayden, director Forest Park Public Library