Censorship, at the library?
Romors are flying around our community that the Forest Park Library Board of Trustees will be voting at their next meeting on Monday, May 16 on whether they should ban a certain book or not.
Libraries don't ban booksâ€"THEY BUY BOOKS!!! Must be just a rumor! Or is it?
Plagiarism, at a library?
I had heard that the library board was going to vote on removing a book from the shelf so I was curious about their mission statement, not sure if they had one. When I contacted the board president, Debbie King, I was told I could see a copy if I filled out a request under the Freedom of Information Act.
I thought this was very peculiar but I complied and found, even more peculiar, the very strong similarity between the Forest Park Library Board's Mission Statement and that of the Oak Park Library Board.
"The Forest Park Public Library strives to provide the best possible library materials and services to meet the informational, education, professional, cultural and recreational needs of our community's diverse population," reads the Forest Park Library mission statement.
"The Oak Park Public Library seeks to provide superior library materials and services responsive to the evolving informational, educational, vocational, cultural and recreational needs of Oak Park's diverse population," reads the Oak Park statement.
The only difference between the two is that Oak Park's mission statement is on their website and to get a copy of the Forest Park mission statement, I had to make a written request to the library director.
I was also told that the Forest Park Library Board Mission Statement would be posted on their website but to date that hasn't happened.
Sen. Harmon seeks to weaken Open Meetings Act
Oak Park residents should know that their State Senator, Don Harmon is sponsoring a bill (S.B. 1296) to weaken the Open Meetings Act for certain communities. The most interesting component of this bill though is that it would not affect any of the communities that Senator Harmon currently represents. However, one community that it would directly affect is the Village of Forest Park, where I, along with four others make up the Village Council. While I appreciate Senator Harmon's interest in Forest Park, I am dismayed by his desire to make it easier for Forest Park elected officials to meet behind closed doors and outside the public view.
Since being elected in 2003, I have fought hard to make Forest Park government open and accessible to all residents. I have reported illegal meetings between village officials to the appropriate authorities. I have succeeded in forcing the Forest Park Village Council to be more open with our taxpayers on such things as tax referenda, consultant fees and new developments.
Pursuing transparency in Forest Park government has had a very positive affect on our community. Today, numerous residents are involved and attend Village Council meetings regularly. Now, people feel more comfortable expressing their views at meetings of the Plan Commission and the Zoning Board of Appeals. This valuable resident input has resulted in better project designs and more creative uses of properties. It has also helped maintain much needed controls on government spending, which has been very beneficial in these tight financial times.
Forest Park is definitely on the move. As Commissioner, I am extremely pleased by this progress and believe that continued public input into an open government process will only enhance Forest Park's success. So, Sen. Harmon, I appeal to you to not turn back the clock on open government and withdraw S.B. 1296 now. Or, if you truly support the concept of weakening the Open Meetings Act, then amend your bill to only affect the communities you represent and leave Forest Park alone.
Theresa (Terry) Steinbach
Thanks from Katie Cares
On behalf of the Katie Cares Foundation, we would like to say "thank you" to all the businesses that participated in our "purchase a car seat placard." As a result of this fundraiser we raised over $1,800. This money will go towards educating the public in car seat safety and supplying parents/caregivers in need, with car seats.
Thanks again to al the following businesses: Doc Ryan's, Molly Malone's, Circle Lanes, Murphy's "R" Place, The Irish Shop, Zambonie's, Duffy's. Shortstop, Scoreboard, Horan's, Friendly Tap, The Bar, Shannahan's, Healy's Westside, McGaffer's, Goldy Burger's and the House of L.A. Due to all of you and your patrons, more children will be safely secured when traveling.
President, Katie Cares Foundation