What's Up at the Library?

For the tenth consecutive year, Arlington Heights Memorial Library (AHML) has received a five-star rating in Library Journal's national rating of public libraries. Five stars is the highest rating that a library can receive. Over the ten editions of LJ's ranking of Star Libraries, 606 libraries have been named Star Libraries in one or more years. A total of 69 libraries received stars in each of the ten rankings. Of those, AHML is one of only 13 public libraries nationwide to have earned a five-star rating each and every year.
“We continue to remain strong in library visits, circulation and program attendance. We attribute this to exceptional staff and an engaged community that strongly support the library,” said Mike Driskell, Acting Executive Director. “This award is really about being in tune with our community and providing the services that they want, when they want them. Responsive change to align services with needs is key to receiving this award year after year. Our mission is to focus completely on the community to identify the services and programs that our residents need and do whatever we can to make them happen.”

This year, 7,409 U.S. public libraries qualified to be rated in the Index. In this edition, there are 259 Star Libraries, each receiving three-star, four-star or five-star designations.Twenty two libraries in Illinois have been named Star Libraries for 2017, and out of these, AHML is just one of six public libraries in the state to earn a top five-star rating. Read more here.

“Here’s where it all began, at the library. That’s why I’m able to stand where I am and share my passion for books,” said New York Times bestselling author Laura Numeroff, known for books such as If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Raising a Hero and What Mommies Do Best/What Daddies Do Best.
Numeroff spoke to an audience of over 200 adults and children in the library’s Hendrickson Room on Sunday, November 12. She showed some of her favorite books (Harry the Dirty Dog, Eloise, Stuart Little), talked about her early life, showed her favorite pages from her books and answered questions during a Q&A session.
During her appearance, Numeroff read If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, which led to laughter and amusement from the crowd.
She also read her book Raising a Hero, which tells the story of a puppy training to become a service dog. The book is a part of her new series, Work for Biscuits, which tells the stories of dogs who have jobs.
Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) brought along several service dogs in training to the event. One dog named Danica went on stage to show attendees how it is trained to pick up medicine if it falls on the floor. Numeroff later told the audience that a dollar from every copy of Raising a Hero that is purchased will be given to CCI.
After reading her stories, she shed some light on the inspiration behind her other work.
“One day I saw a Dalmatian and I just got an image in my head, wouldn’t that dog look funny in red sneakers?” she said as she talked about her book Dogs Don’t Wear Sneakers. Other works she talked about include Sometimes I Wonder If Poodles Like Noodles, Laura Numeroff’s 10-Step Guide to Living with Your Monster and Ponyella.
After the event, the library celebrated the work of Laura Numeroff in Kids’ World. Many fun activities were available for children such as arts and crafts based on books like If You Give a Pig a Pancake, beanbag tossing games, a scavenger hunt and a meet-and-greet session with the mouse from If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.


Opening remarks from Debbie Smart, Board of Library Trustees President
Arlington Heights Memorial Library Committee of the Whole meeting, October 30, 2017

Welcome to tonight’s Committee of the Whole meeting, used by board and staff as a tool for planning and communication. It is transparent in nature so that the community is aware of upcoming projects, priorities, issues and business decisions. No official business will be approved or voted on tonight.

Over the last several weeks, inaccurate information has been circulating, which the board wishes to address:
1. At no time did the board direct staff to cancel the immigration programming. Staff made the proper decision to do so as safety concerns arose for both staff and potential participants. In fact, the Library Board reaffirmed our support of the immigration programming at our September 25, 2017 board meeting.
2. On January 17, 2017, the Board amended the Arlington Heights Memorial Library Vision and Values to reflect diversity and inclusion as part of our institutional values. We support free and equal access for all. Task forces were started by staff to address audience development, south side resident inclusion and expanding services for people with disabilities.
3. This summer, our board fully supported our Inspiring Understanding and Build a Better World initiatives by attending programming and participating in workshops.
4. During February and May, the board approved budget amendments adding the following resources:
• A grant and development position to apply for new revenue streams to support initiatives
• A community engagement liaison to better identify community needs.
• A bilingual specialty services advisor for our Hispanic community’s needs.
All of these positions help better serve the underserved and to assist in gauging our community’s current needs.
5. The Board recently approved the funding for the 2018 XOXO exhibit, which highlights interactive experiences about love, understanding and forgiveness.
6. The library board, first and foremost, serves our community.
As public officials, library trustees have a duty to take such actions as are reasonable to provide an efficient and well-managed library. Library trustees solely make decisions that they deem in the best interest of the community. At the end of the day, the board is ultimately responsible for the library’s performance. This board has always been very transparent in nature. However, we cannot and will not comment on any performance or personnel issues on the advice of our attorney.
Our board will continue to be governed by the Arlington Heights Memorial Library’s Vision and Values, library policies, those of the State of Illinois Local Library Act, guidelines from the American Library Association and American Library Association Library Bill of Rights.


A message to our Valued Customers and Residents from Mike Driskell, Acting Executive Director

Dear Valued Customers of Arlington Heights Memorial Library,
The library is currently in the midst of leadership change. We are determined to do everything we can to make the transition seamless in the eyes of our customers. We are particularly proud of all our staff at this time, especially those in roles that you interact with every day. It is important for us to continue listening to our employees and our residents so that we can emerge from these changes positively.

As we move forward, we will continue to follow the library’s core values, which include unparalleled customer service, free and equal access, diversity and inclusion, fiscal responsibility and a focus on the Arlington Heights Community.



The Board of Library Trustees meeting schedule can be found here.


The Arlington Heights Memorial Library is now offering two new resources to help aid genealogy and history research. The first is Proquest Historical Newspapers, which adds to the access the library already had for the historical Chicago Tribune (1849-1993). New historical titles include The New York Times (1851-2013), The Chicago Defender (1910-1975), the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (1874-1922), The Baltimore Sun (1837-1991) and The Irish Times/The Weekly Irish Times (1859-2015). These are fully-scanned articles and pages from the original newspapers, complete with photos, advertisements, classifieds, obituaries and death notices, and are especially valuable both to genealogists and students working on history projects (looking for primary sources, historical price information, etc.).
The second resource is American Ancestors, a collection of genealogy databases maintained by the New England Historic Genealogical Society with over 14 billion records pulled from military sources, vital records, family histories, census data, etc. Full access to records is available inside the library. Users outside the library have limited access to freely-available records.
Resources such as Proquest Historical Newspapers can be found by visiting the library's Research webpage and clicking on the Databases tab.


"I want to assure you that we are absolutely committed to free and equitable access to information, programs and services to everyone."
Mike Driskell, Acting Executive Director

Trusted resources recommended by our librarians
Legal information online and some free consultation
Illinois Legal Aid Online
Ayuda Legal
Immigrant Legal Resource Center
Know Your Rights
Available in multiple languages
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
Know Your Rights
Immigrants’ Rights – What to Do If You Are Stopped video:

Printable wallet card from the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights
Where can I find the information that was going to be presented at the Workshop?
The website of the group that was scheduled to present the workshop can be found here http://www.calachicago.org/

Where can I find the meeting schedule of the Library Board of Trustees meetings?
The schedule for board meetings is posted here: http://www.ahml.info/about/information
What are the guidelines the Library uses to make programming decisions?
Arlington Heights Memorial Library Vision, Values and Priorities
Arlington Heights Memorial Library Code of Ethics Policy
American Library Association Library Bill of Rights
American Library Association Professional Ethics
FAQ regarding our Know Your Rights Workshop
What was the workshop Know Your Rights about?
It was an informational program for anyone who would like to learn more about immigration rights presented by the Community Activism Law Alliance. It was scheduled for Monday, September 25, at 7 p.m.
Why was the workshop cancelled?
The program was cancelled for the safety of workshop participants, customers and staff.
What led the library to believe that safety was an issue?
Library staff had multiple interactions with members of the public about the Workshop. Reference was made that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would be called to be present at the program.

Our top priority is to ensure the safety of attendees at our programs. Given the direct and implied threats being made, we did not feel we could adequately ensure that safety, so we made the difficult decision to cancel the program for that reason.

Will the program be rescheduled?
We are talking about that right now. At this point, nothing has been rescheduled. We steadfastly remain committed to the principles outlined in our Vision, Values and Priorities and will continue to offer programs guided by them:  http://www.ahml.info/about/AHML
How can I give feedback about this program?
We would welcome hearing the views of the entire Arlington Heights community on this topic. Please use our online form which can be found here: http://www.ahml.info/contact
Updated October 6, 2017

"We choose to live the way we do and participate the way we do," said Dave Eggers to an audience of more than 350 people who packed the Forest View Auditorium on Thursday evening October 12 to hear the award-winning writer, editor and philanthropist speak as he touched on topics like privacy, surveillance and free choice -- all central themes in his dystopian novel The Circle, the 2017 One Book, One Village (OBOV) selection.
In an interview-style program moderated by the library's Info Services Supervisor Pam Schwarting, Eggers settled in and talked about his artistic path, which began in the first grade in the Lake Forest public schools and continued with "an uninterrupted string of awesome teachers" who helped spark his interest in writing. A focus on painting followed in middle school and high school.
"I trained as an artist, every bone in my body thought I'd be a painter," Eggers said.
It was as a sophomore studying at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign that Eggers switched his focus from painting to journalism and his life as a writer took hold.
“I came of age with a desktop computer and learned to write on a Mac," Eggers said, then joked, "I'm inherently a slob so the desktop allowed me to revise, revise, revise.”
This process of writing, and re-writing, continues still today. Eggers, who describes himself as "an endless reviser," shared with the audience his typical work day. He writes in his home office in his converted garage where there is no phone or internet.
“It's taken me a long time to get settled and to remember where I am with what I'm writing," Eggers explained. "I have a chair, a wingback chair...I sit in that chair for eight hours to get 45 minutes done.”
This process has resulted in an extensive eclectic body of work. Eggers is the author of 10 books including fiction and nonfiction. His debut, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, was a New York Times bestselling memoir and a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2001. Other works include Zeitoun, Heroes of the Frontier, A Hologram for the King, a finalist for the 2012 National Book Award, and the international bestseller, The Circle
Eggers told the audience he took notes for about 10 years on situations involving individual's freedoms and privacy versus society's safety and right to know before writing The Circle.
"I do believe a human under surveillance is not free," Eggers said. He described the rise of social media and the increased use of measurements as "the new neediness." While reflecting about the choices his characters make in The Circle, Eggers described their situations as "51/49" since they deal with the ever-pressing struggle of finding ways for improving the world without stripping people of their rights.
Following the 60-minute onstage presentation, Eggers took questions from the audience, which highlighted some of his philanthropic work including 826 National, a network of tutoring centers around the country including one here in Wicker Park.

An Evening with Author Dave Eggers and his appearance in Arlington Heights came on the heels of Eggers receiving the prestigious Carl Sandburg Literary Award in Chicago on October 11. Reflecting on this honor, which is presented to a writer in recognition of the totality of his or her work, Eggers said, "I'm very humbled and happy that I can sit in my garage and write."


It was all eyes skyward as hundreds gathered in North School Park for today's viewing of the first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse in nearly 100 years! People settled in, many setting up picnic-style at this library event, to take in the eclipse as it unfolded overhead. Even the clouds that rolled in couldn't dampen the crowd's enthusiasm as people took turns sharing viewing glasses and together marveled at the cosmic experience with comments like "look up, look up....awesome and totally amazing!"
In addition to viewing the eclipse with solar glasses, the library also offered telescope viewing at the park, eclipse-themed crafts and a monitor for watching a live feed from NASA as the eclipse made its way coast to coast. The NASA feed was also shown in the library's Training Center and Hendrickson Room.

Adults, Family
It's a wrap! Thanks to all of the filmmakers, judges and student film supporters involved in making this year's Teen Film Fest a success.

Congratulations to the winning films:
  • Best Animation: Lightlife in the Woods by Valerie Depa
  • Best Comedy: 5 Steps to Getting Your Teacher to Like You by Allison Flondro
  • Best Drama / Documentary:  Soldier's Journey Home by Andrew Wisniewski
  • Best Experimental / Music Video: Wanderlust by Kathleen Oku
  • Best Horror: E.D. by David Petratos
  • Best Overall: Epic Rap Battles of History: Woodrow Wilson vs. Theodore Roosevelt by Jeevan Archarya
Thank you to our judges, Tamara Chambers, Robert Kraybill and Dann Gire.

Summer months were busy ones as families and readers of all ages worked to Build a Better World through this year's summer reading challenges. Parents enjoyed working with their children to practice kindness. Tweens and teens came out in record numbers, pushing themselves to read more diverse books. And hundreds of adults shared thanks for the people in their life who go above and beyond on our interactive chalkboard displays.

Overall, more than 4,000 babies, kids, tweens, teens and adults participated, broadening their reading selections and their world view. Some children who completed the summer reading program even used their final book prize as an opportunity to give back. They were excited to choose a book, not for themselves, but to share with a younger child.
What new experiences did you read about this summer? How did you give back to the community? It's never too late! Let’s all be inspired to Build a Better World all year long.

The library is now offering cardholders access to a new database called Pivot, a major resource for researching grants and funding opportunities. Pivot is intuitive and easy to use. Customers can use Pivot to research grant sources for organizations, small businesses and individuals.
Just some of the areas included in Pivot's research include STEM Education, Clean Technology, Energy Industry, Sustainable Design, Green Buildings, Cloud Computing and Urban Farming.
Learn more by visiting Pivot from our Online Databases page. 

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6.012 Patron-Generated Content

The Library offers various venues in which patrons can contribute content that is accessible to the public.  These include, but are not limited to, blogs, reviews, forums, and social tagging on the Library’s website and catalog.  Any instance in which a patron posts written or recorded content to any of the Library’s venues that are accessible to the public is considered “patron-generated content” and is subject to this policy.
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Patrons are liable for the opinions expressed and the accuracy of the information contained in the content they submit.  The Library assumes no responsibility for such content.
The Library reserves the right not to post submitted content or to remove patron-generated content for any reason, including but not limited to:
  • content that is profane, obscene, or pornographic;
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