Category: Maywood Public Library

Maywood Library Director to Be Inducted Into the National Civil Rights Hall of Fame

Screen Shot 2017-03-29 at 5.47.52 PM.pngWednesday, March 29, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews

Stan Huntington, the longtime executive director of the Maywood Public Library, will be formally inducted into the National Civil Rights Hall of Fame during a ceremony held on April 7 at the Charles A. Hayes Center in Chicago.

Huntington will be honored along with other luminaries, including former Chicago Bulls player Bob Love, late boxing icon Muhammad Ali and Chicago TV news anchor Suzanne Le Mignot.

In the official induction letter, Huntington is commended for his role in a successful 1994 referendum that paved the way for the construction of the library’s $8 million addition in 1998.

“Mr. Huntington’s most important part is seeing the library debt for the new building paid off,” the letter reads. “Virtually all of this has taken place under Stan’s watch.”

In an email statement, Huntington explained the library’s most recent state, four years after financial conditions forced it to close for several days in October 2013. After securing a loan from the now-defunct Seaway Bank, the library reopened.

“The library paid off the Seaway Bank loans in 2016, receiving all five canceled notes in November along with the release to the title of the corner property,” Huntington wrote. “That having been said, the library is operating with $800,000 less income than it had as recently as 2010.

“Due to the continued decline in the EAV (Equal Assessed Valuation) of all property in Maywood, the library’s 2016 levy collectible in 2017 is reduced a further $100,000. The library continues to operate under the twin handicap of a declining EAV and the many parcels of real estate in Maywood that are either unoccupied and/or boarded up.”

Currently, Huntington serves on the board of the Maywood Bataan Day Organization and is acting chairman of the Maywood Chamber of Commerce.  He’s also past president of the Maywood-Proviso Rotary Club.

Huntington has a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University-Fort Wayne and a master’s degree from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. He has been a member of the American Library Association and the Illinois Library Association. VFP

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Maywood Public Library Shares $9K Big Read Grant | Take A Summer Reading Challenge


The novel Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea. 

Friday, June 3, 2016 || By Michael Romain 

The Maywood Public Library will share a $9,000 National Endowment for the Arts Big Read grant with five other area libraries to explore immigration-related issues through the novel Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea.

The library is one of 77 nonprofit entities across the country to receive the grant, which will also be allocated to the River Forest Public Library, the Oak Park Public Library, the Forest Park Public Library, the Berwyn Public Library and Dominican University’s Rebecca Crown Library.

The novel, which is selected by the NEA, is designed to “unite communities through literature,” according to a statement released by the Oak Park Public Library last month.

“Our hope is that neighbors in this group of racially and economically diverse communities will Into the Beautiful North and take new opportunities to learn and connect through informative conversations with each other and local experts,” said David J. Seleb, the Oak Park Public Library’s executive director, in a press release last month.

Urrea’s novel centers on 19-year-old protagonist Nayeli, a taco shop worker who lives in Mexico and “dreams about her father, who journeyed to the US to find work,” according to a synopsis of the novel on Urrea’s website.

“Recently, it has dawned on her that he isn’t the only man who has left town. In fact, there are almost no men in the village — they’ve all gone north. While watching The Magnificent Seven, Nayeli decides to go north herself and recruit seven men — her own ‘Siete Magnificos’ — to repopulate her hometown and protect it from the bandidos who plan on taking it over.”

“Maywood’s participation in the NEA Big Read will increase awareness of some of the lesser known struggles that people who are immigrating into the United States of America must face,” said Victor Dixon, head of information services at the Maywood Public Library District.

“In our area, there are local organizations that help people to triumph over these difficulties, such as the Quinn Community Center, with Gabriel Lara as its director, and P.A.S.O. (West Suburban Action Project), whose executive director is Mony Ruiz-Velasco.”

Maywood bookstore challenges residents to summer reading fun


Afriware Books, 1701 S. 1st Ave., Suite 503, is challenging residents to read a minimum of 15 minutes a day in June and July. Those who accomplish the feat won’t just gain insight, but they could also win a gift card valued at up to $10. The challenge is limited to participants who are at least 17 years old.

The form to enter the challenge can be downloaded below or by clicking here.

“Studies show that adding culturally specific titles to a child’s education can increase GPA up to two letter grades,” note Afriware’s owners. “Stop in to select your own titles or we can make recommendations. Afriware Books has plenty of books for children and teens to choose from!” VFP

U P C O M I N G  E V E N T S 

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Raise the Barre

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Saturday, June 18, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., First Congregational Church of Maywood, 400 N . 5th Ave., will host its annual rummage sale.

Come get bargains on bargains on bargains! Lots of kid clothes, books and toys. All kinds of miscellaneous merchandise to tickle your fancy. Even fresh baked goods. Come find that perfect thing and have come fun with us.

J U N E  E V E N T S  A T  M A Y W O O D  L I B R A R Y

Maywood Library II

Wellness Wizards

The Wellness Wizards will meet at the Maywood Public Library District from June 2 through July 1 on Thursdays from 2:00 to 5:00 pm. This is a program for kids from 3rd through 5th grade which will involve outdoor games, educational activities, and healthy snacks. People who are interested in this event must complete a registration form available in the Youth Services Department of the Library. Parental consent is required. This program is free.

Summer Program for Kids

Get in the Game and READ! The Maywood Public Library District’s Summer Program will take place from June 6 through July 13. Kids will be able to develop their skills, drop in for shared reading, treasure hunts, board games, raffles and prizes. For more information, please visit the Youth Services Department on the second floor of the Library.

The Conflict in Syria

On Monday, June 27, from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., the Maywood Public Library District will show “Five Years of Conflict in Syria: The Road Ahead,” a film produced by the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. This film shows a panel discussion of the situation in Syria that has now lasted for 5 years.

Eating Healthy During the Summer

Whitney A. Henderson, Nurse Practitioner and Community Outreach Nurse of the Loyola University of Chicago and of the School-Based Health Center at Proviso East High School, will visit the Maywood Public Library District on Monday, June 13, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 pm, to instruct people on healthy eating habits.

Henderson states that practicing healthy eating habits can help people feel good about themselves, while giving them the energy they need for their daily activities.  It can also help people maintain a healthy weight, while preventing diseases like diabetes and heart disease.  Old habits may have to be changed, but eating well may be a lot easier than one realizes.

Maywood Preps for Two 5K Run/Walks & A ‘Billion Steps’ | Earth Day Cleanup Channels Spirit of Lennel Grace

Maywood Earth Day Cleanup.jpg

Some of the participants in last Saturday’s Illinois Prairie Path Earth Day Cleanup gather inside a village-owned building on 11th Avenue and the Prairie Path. The event channeled the spirit of its late organizer, Lennel Grace, who passed eight weeks before it was to have taken place. | Photos courtesy Alise Buchmeier 

Earth day cleanup photoWednesday, May 4, 2016 || By Michael Romain 

Pastor John Yi, the former president of the Neighbors of Maywood Community Organization and an active presence in Maywood’s parks, said when he embarked on this year’s Illinois Prairie Path Earth Day Cleanup last Saturday, he was taken by surprise.

“There was a lot less garbage this year than there normally is,” Yi said. “It was at least half what it usually is.”

Many of the roughly 40 participants in this year’s walk agreed with Grace’s sister, Diane Brown, who noted that the trail appeared as if her brother, the event’s longtime organizer Lennel Grace, took to the path before everyone arrived and cleaned up.

Grace, the beloved community activist and Maywood native who passed suddenly in March at the age of 67, was a frequent user of the path.

His early morning routine involved leaving the nearby apartment building where he lived and walking the trail alone or with friends, often bending over to pick up trash. Sometimes, he’d phone or text the village manager or a department head about the path’s condition.

When Grace passed, eight weeks before the cleanup was to have taken place, his friend JoAnn Murphy stepped in and took over the organizing.

“I really didn’t want the ball to be dropped,” said Murphy, the village’s deputy clerk and an active, longtime member of NOMCO, which Grace helmed at the time of his death.

“I knew it was important to him and plus I love I the environment,” Murphy said, adding that all it took was a call to the Illinois Prairie Path Association notifying the organization of Grace’s passing. Grace was a member of the organization’s board.

“We were glad to be out here doing the work, but your heart was saddened, because Lennel wasn’t here,” said Grace’s cousin, Twyanna Rand. “So you miss that aspect, but you know his heart was here. We just want to keep the positive momentum going.”

While this year’s event was somewhat embittered by Grace’s voluminous absence — and by a constant, gray overcast and rain that dampened clothes — it was also sweetened by the presence of residents who were partaking in the cleanup for the first time.

“I feel like I have to be here, because I wasn’t here before,” said Alise Buchmeier, a close friend who noted that Grace helped maintain her garden. “He’s there with me in my garden, too.”

Buchmeier and resident Rolando Villegas, who moved to Maywood, in part, because of Grace’s insistence, called themselves “spoiled,” by their friend, Maywood’s omnipresent senior citizen — who many said had the energy of someone half his age.

“He’s the reason my garden isn’t being done right now,” Villegas admitted, before laughing. “What he did by himself, we’re doing right now. We kind of took him for granted in a way. If something needed to be done, we’d always say, ‘Oh, Lennel will do it.’ But it’s nice to continue what was so important to him. It’s important to me, because it was so important to him. The way he cared about things was infectious that way.”

“I came two years ago toward the end,” said Grace’s close friend Tony Favela, who recalled the activist’s stubborn insistence. “He kept asking, ‘Are you coming? Are you coming?”

“Last year, I overslept. But this year, I had to come because of Lennel,” Favela said. “I had to. This is our responsibility now.”

Two 5K walk/runs to premier in Maywood this summer

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Two separate 5K races are scheduled to be held in Maywood this summer: one in June and another in September.

Maywood native Bridgette Chatman-Lewis, who owns a business consulting firm in Oak Brook, is spearheading the organization of a 5K Run/Walk for youth programs and economic growth, to be held on June 11.

The event is part of a more comprehensive effort by Chatman’s consulting group to adopt Maywood, a process that entails enticing numerous developments, such as grocery stores and manufacturers, to the village.

“The end goal is to create a bustling local economy, create jobs, decrease crime, improve the aesthetic landscape and increase per capita incomes,” said Lewis during an interview with this publication in February. “That can be done through supermarkets, restaurants, other businesses and manufacturing.”

Lewis said her firm has created a “sustainable platform for year-round youth programs” and a series of initiatives designed stimulate job creation, decrease crime and enhance the local landscape.

To register for the event, click here; to donate, click here; to become a sponsor of this event click here; or call (630) 613-7210. To volunteer, click here.

The walk/run will take place on June 11, 8 a.m., at Miller Meadow Forest Preserve Trail, 2199 S. 1st Ave., Maywood. Registration costs: $35.00 adults/ $25.00 children and seniors.

You can also register in person at the following locations: 

LA Fitness, 200 Broadview Village Square, May 12, May 16 and May 31

The Maywood Public Library, 121 S. 5th Ave., every Saturday in May and June 4 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Oak Park Public Library, 834 Lake St., every Saturday in May from 1 to 3 p.m. and on June 4, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

The Second Baptist Church in Maywood, 436 S. 13th Ave.,  every Sunday after the church’s 11 a.m. service.

PLCCA, 411 W. Madison Ave., Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., throughout May

You can pickup your race packets at: Fleet Feet Sports, 102 Marion Street, Oak Park, from June 4 through June 10

‘Maywood in Motion 5K Walk/Run’

MPD newsletter.pngOn September 24, the Maywood Park District, in partnership with Proviso Partners 4 Health, plan on hosting the first-ever Maywood in Motion 5K Walk/Run, which is designed to foster healthier lifestyles among residents.

For more information, visit the park district’s website here or its Facebook page here. You can also call (708) 344-4740.

You can also access the park district’s brand new newsletter by clicking here, or on the adjacent image.

Take the ‘1 Billion Step Challenge’ today 


The American Public Health Association is looking to see if communities throughout the country can take ‘1 Billion Steps’ by May 31. Proviso Partners 4 Health, an APHA team, is urging community members to register for a fitness tracker, designed to monitor their movement, and to tell their friends, family and co-workers about the app as well.

To learn more about the simple three step registration process and setup your own fitness tracker, click here.

Upcoming Maywood Public Library Events 

Maywood Library II

ELA/ESL Classes will take place at the Quinn Community Center

The Maywood Public Library District will continue to sign people up for an English Language Acquisition course, but this class will now take place at the Quinn Community Center. For more information, click here or call the Quinn Center at 708-343-6120.

How to Get a Summer Job

Getting a summer job is always challenging. Find out the best ways to look for work through this interactive session for the entire family.  Learn about new online resources, discover new opportunities, and have access to summer jobs (and more) that are available now. This free presentation will take place at the Maywood Public Library District on Saturday, May 7th, in room 201 at 11:30 am, and will be presented by a representative from Triton College. Students and parents are invited to come.

Vet Center

The Vet Center will be in the rotunda of the Maywood Public Library District onTuesday, May 10, from 3:30-5:00 pm.  The Vet Center offers outreach, counseling, and referral services to veterans who are eligible for their services, so that they may adjust to living in a post-war environment. For information on the Vet Center, please call 708-457-8805, or click here.

SAT and ACT Changes: Q&A

The Huntington Learning Center will visit the Maywood Public Library District on Wednesday, May 11th, from 4:00-6:00 pm in room 201. They will be explaining some of the changes that have been made to the SAT and the ACT exams, and answering questions concerning them. The first hour will focus on questions that students may have, and the second hour will focus on questions that parents and adults may have. This presentation is free to the public.

Buck-a-Bag Book Sale

The Buck-A-Bag Book Sale will continue through May at the Maywood Public LibraryDistrict. Each bag filled with hardcover or softcover books will only cost you $1.00. Bags for this sale will be supplied by the Library. For more information, please call 708-343-1847 x 10. VFP

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Maywood Library Director Says, ‘We’re Open For Business’ Despite What Some May Believe

Maywood Library Job CenterThursday, June 4, 2015 || By Michael Romain 

“We are getting a fair number of people who still think the library is closed,” said Stan Huntington, the executive director of the Maywood Public Library, during a recent interview in his office within the library’s original 110-year-old Carnegie building.

Huntington said it’s been hard navigating two poles of perception — if there are people who think the library is still closed, there are those who think everything with the 140-year-old institution is smooth sailing now that its doors are open. Neither are terribly accurate, Huntington said.

In October 2013, after reeling from the financial crisis of 2008-09, the library was forced to close its doors due to a lack of sufficient operating revenue. But the institution was closed for less than a month. By November, it was back up and running; albeit with a limp.

During the time it was closed, a group of sympathetic residents seemed to band together to help raise funds for the fragile institution. There was talk of going after individual donations, corporate money, pulling the heartstrings of Maywood’s famous and well-to-do natives, but that moment of buoyant optimism quickly collapsed.

“That never went anywhere,” said Huntington, referring to the fundraising attempts. “When we reopened as quickly as we did, I think people thought, ‘Oh, well, they got their funding and are off and going.’ But it’s been a struggle.”

The reality, Huntington affirmed, is that the library is adamantly opened, albeit with reduced operating hours; however, it still has been forced to cope with the same circumstances that drove it to the point of temporary closure two years ago — drastically diminished property tax revenue due to depressingly low property values and an out-migration of residents.

“We’re still laboring under a sizable loss of income,” Huntington said, adding that more than 95 percent of the library’s revenue comes from property taxes. But he said he’s optimistic.

“As the tri-annual reassessment of the town hopefully improves and people begin to move into these empty homes—those are the two things that will make the biggest difference for us,” Huntington said.

The library administrator said he’s even more optimistic because of the direction of the institution’s programs and partnerships.

Huntington touted the library’s first floor job center, right off of the computer lab, where people can go to look at the lasting job listings and gather employment tips. Huntington said that there are many small businesses that are run out of the library and a small business school worth of local entrepreneurs that utilize the facility’s computers.

He said he envisions the library as a hub of reading clubs, art galas and poetry slams in the future. And while operating and employee hours, in addition to some past programs, have been scaled back, Huntington said “we’ll do our very best to hold exactly what we have here.”

“This has really been a labor of love on the part of everyone who works here,” Huntington said, touching on what’s perhaps the most underappreciated aspect of the venerable institution in a time when suburban taxing bodies have been racked by corruption, graft and incompetence.

The library, which levies its own taxes, may very well be the most trusted governmental unit in Maywood, if only because it may be the best run. It has a pension fund that is, according to library officials, virtually 100 percent funded. It burned the mortgage on an $8 million annex dedicated in 1998 years ago and will likely pay off the remaining few hundred thousand dollars it owes on money borrowed to pay that mortgage down within the next year or so, Huntington said. And two years ago, in the throes of the funding crisis, its employees went to work without knowing when (or if) they’d be paid.

“Make sure you get that down,” Hunting said. “It’s a labor of love for everyone here at the Maywood Library.”

As if he even had to repeat it. That much has been demonstrated. VFP

Photo: Maywood Library’s job board. 

The Maywood Public Library is open Mon. and Wed. (12 PM to 7 PM); Tue. and Thurs. (12 PM to 5:30 PM); and Sat. (9 AM to 5:30 PM). It’s closed on Friday and Sunday.

What’s New at the Maywood Public Library 

How to Find a Summer Job

Rich Williams, Triton College’s director of Career Services, will be visiting the Maywood Public Library District on Thursday, June 11th, at 4:00 pm, to offer a workshop on how to find a summer job.  This workshop will help students look for summer work that will benefit them with their future careers.  Topics will include identifying web sites and search engines to maximize outreach, learning about new directions and approaches, preparing for job interviews, and getting ready for the first day on the job.

Medicare: Information Session (Humana)

On Tuesday, June 23rd, from 2:30-3:30 pm in room 201, there will be an information session on Medicare at the Maywood Public Library District.

Quilting: Step-By-Step Instruction

Making a sampler quilt is a great way to learn or practice different piercing and quilting skills.  In learning to quilt, a variety of specially chosen quilt blocks can be used to familiarize yourself with twenty different piercing techniques. Full-sized patterns are given along with instructions and diagrams to make quilting fun. The quilting class previously completed a small group project using Freedom Quilt Code Blocks, while others used Appliqué, Hand Embroidery, Pre-Stamped Pillow Panels, and a variety of Hand Made Quilt Blocks.

If you are interested in learning how to construct quilts, please leave your information for Mildred A. Green at the Library by calling 708-343-1847, and ask for Information Services. The Quilting class meets at the Maywood Public Library District on every Tuesday from 12:00 noon until 2:30 pm in Room 202.

Instructions in Sewing

People who are interested in learning some of the basic skills involved in constructing clothing will want to take this free class in room 202 of the Maywood Public Library District on Thursdays from 12:00 noon until 2:30 pm.  Space is limited. In order to begin taking classes, please leave your information for Mildred A. Green at 708-343-1847.

Adopt-A-Book Program

The Maywood Public Library District would like to invite you to our Adopt-A-Book program. This is a wonderful way to honor or remember someone special in your life. For more information, please click here.


The Maywood Public Library District is now on Facebook! Click here, log into your Facebook account, and type “Maywood Public Library District” in the Search box. Now click on the “Like” button. This will allow you to keep up with all of the events that are taking place here at the Library.

Have you wondered about the value of your Maywood Public Library card?  Take a look at our webpage devoted to all of the privileges our Library patrons have with their Maywood Public Library card (click here). VFP

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Maywood Public Library Awarded $61K Technology Grant

Maywood Library(The Maywood Public Library. Photo by ABC7 Eyewitness News).

Wednesday, July 9, 2014 || By Michael Romain 

The Maywood Public Library has been awarded $61,000 through the state’s Eliminate the Digital Divide grant program. The grant, which was awarded by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) last month, is designed to provide funding of up to “$75,000 to plan, establish, administer and expand Community Technology Centers (CTC’s) and to support basic computer literacy training programs,” according to the Secretary of State’s website.

Entities that serve as CTC’s according to the grant’s requirements include “public hospitals, libraries, park districts, state educational agencies, local educational agencies, institutions of higher education, public and private nonprofit or for-profit educational organizations. Additionally, a CTC must provide at least twelve (12) hours of general computer access and basic computer literacy training services to the public each week.”

Eligible CTC’s must be “located in and serving communities where: 1) Not less than 40 percent of students are eligible for a free or reduced price lunch under the National School Lunch Statistics; or 2) Not less than 30 percent of students are eligible for a free lunch under the National School Lunch Statistics.”

In five years, the grant program has invested $23 million in 256 locations across the state and has funded the training of 39,000 individuals each year in the area of technology literacy, according to statistics provided by DCEO.

According to a 2009 U.S. Census Bureau survey, 31 percent of American households and 43 percent of minority households don’t use internet at home and are thus reliant on CTC’s such as the Maywood Public Library.

This is the second time that the Maywood Public Library has been awarded the Eliminate the Digital Divide grant. In 2011, it was awarded about $34,000, based on a search conducted through DCEO’s online grant tracker. At press time, Maywood Public Library officials could not be reached for comment. VFP

Villegas Monuments