Library gets new Web presence

The Forest Park Public Library unveiled a revamped Web site last week, touting the redesign as a more convenient resource for patrons. The updated look, found online at,  features staff book reviews, event registration, an interactive blog and a detailed calendar, according to a statement released by the library.

The library is the beneficiary of an influx of tax dollars that has prompted several improvements in recent months. Computer terminals, books and other published material, infrastructure and staffing have all been beefed up at the hands of an adjustment to the library’s tax rate approved by voters in November 2006. The change is expected to put an additional $500,000 into the library’s budget on an annual basis.

Charitable efforts

At a recent awards banquet hosted by the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago, two recipients with ties to Forest Park were honored for their charitable work. Kitty Watson, a resident of the village, was named one of three outstanding volunteers of the past year for her performance as the vice president of a fundraising committee for South-Southwest Suburban United Way.

The West Suburban PADS organization, which targets issues surrounding homelessness, was named as the United Way’s outstanding agency partner.

Both recipients were recognized during a June 27 banquet held annually to pay tribute to those agencies and individuals that have exemplified the ideals of the United Way, according to a statement from the nonprofit. In the greater Chicago area, United Way reaches some 238 communities in six counties and is the largest non-governmental funding source for health and human service programs.

County sees swell in new voters

Interest in the upcoming November presidential election is apparently spurring huge increases in voter registration figures within Cook County. According to a statement released by the Cook County Clerk’s office, more than 16,000 new voters registered during the month of June, an 11 percent increase over the same period during the last presidential election year in 2004. Likewise, in the first six months of 2008, some 90,000 new voters have turned out. Compared to the first six months of 2004, that figure represents an 18 percent increase in new registrants.

“I’ve said for months that 2008 is going to be a big year for participation and our numbers so far show that to be true,” Clerk David Orr said in a prepared statement.