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Congratulations Summer Readers!

Posted: October 2, 2018
By: Melissa Hilt, Youth Department Assistant Director

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GEPL Reads for SCARCE. Kids hold up green recycle image.GEPL Reads for SCARCE officially ended on Sunday, September 2, and I am happy to announce that we surpassed our goals! The Youth Department exceeded our reading goal of 70,000 hours with 71,532 hours read – well done! The Adult Department also exceeded their goal of 4,000 books, reading 4,151 books. As the result of the program’s success, the Friends of the Glen Ellyn Public Library and the Glen Ellyn Library Foundation will provide funds to purchase 2,000 books, which SCARCE will distribute during the 2019 DuPage County Back-to-School Fair.

In an effort to improve the summer reading program, this year we simplified the reading logs. Each level represented 10 hours of reading and activities, which provided more prize levels. An overwhelming number of members preferred these smaller increments.
We also had positive feedback on the addition of activities to the program, and some of you even shared ideas with us for future activities! We added this option to learn in ways other than reading in response to studies that show that summer slide occurs across all subjects, not only reading.

In this fifth summer of our elementary school challenge, 10 elementary schools from Districts 41 and 89, St. James the Apostle, and St. Petronille competed. We divided the number of hours logged at each school by the number of participating students from that school to calculate each school’s average participant reading time. St. James was our winner, with an average of 47 hours read per participant! Westfield took second place honors for average reading time, and St. Petronille was third.

We would like to thank all of the sponsors that helped make the 2018 GEPL Reads for SCARCE program a success! We couldn’t do it without you! Thank you to Ackerman Sports & Fitness Center, Barone’s of Glen Ellyn, Brookfield Zoo, Brunswick Zone of Glendale Heights, Chicago Fire Soccer Club, Chili’s Grill and Bar of Wheaton, Chipotle, DuPage Children’s Museum, DuPage County Fair, Galloping Ghost Arcade, Glen Ellyn Sweet Shoppe, Holes and Knolls, Kane County Cougars, KidsKickforFree.com – Sky Centers Martials Arts, Kuipers Family Farm, Learning Express, Lombard Roller Rink, My Gym of Wheaton, Pixel Blast Arcade, Pump It Up of Lisle, Rockin Jump of Carol Stream, Sky Zone of Elmhurst, Studio Movie Grill, Sunset Slush, Superstar Karate, The Bookstore of Glen Ellyn, and Wendy’s of Glen Ellyn.

New Nature-Themed PlayPacks Available at the Library

Posted: September 10, 2018
By: GEPL Staff

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PlayPacks contain toys designed to help children learn new skills.Play is an essential literacy skill and an important part of how children learn. With the library’s new PlayPacks, kids can check out toys to take home, just like they do a book.

Libraries across the country are starting to circulate items besides books and audiovisual items. “We’ve seen significant research that says how much of an impact play has on growing minds,” said Katy Almendinger, Early Literacy Librarian. “It seemed like a natural fit for us to make toys available for checkout because play can have direct benefits to literacy development.”

PlayPacks are carefully curated to offer sensory play experiences that build early literacy, developmental skills, gross motor skills, fine motor skills, and social skills. Each PlayPack features items such as toys, puppets, puzzles, games, or pretend play sets centered around a theme. They also include tip sheets featuring additional activities, extending learning moments and allowing children to apply existing background knowledge to a new subject.

Since their debut in 2016, PlayPacks have circulated over 430 times.

And the library recently partnered with the Glen Ellyn Park District to bring four new nature-themed PlayPacks into the collection. “Learning happens everywhere, inside and outside,” said Almendinger. “Glen Ellyn has wonderful parks and nature reserves that are perfect for budding scientists and explorers.”

The library looked to the Glen Ellyn Park District for help deciding what items to select for the new nature-themed PlayPacks. “Renae Frigo, Glen Ellyn Park District’s Naturalist, selected items so families can experience meaningful outdoor play opportunities,” said Almendinger. “She also created fabulous scavenger hunts and other activities that are unique to Glen Ellyn’s park system.”

Each PlayPack can be checked out for three weeks. Below are details on the four new nature-themed PlayPacks.

Animal Tracks: Learn pattern recognition, observations, vocabulary, critical thinking, fine motor skills, and the ability to assess risk by looking for and identifying animal tracks that are encountered in parks.

Backyard: Learn pattern recognition, observations, vocabulary, writing, critical thinking, cause and effect and fine motor skills by exploring nature in your backyard.

Pollinators: Learn vocabulary, visual tracking, critical thinking, cause and effect, and problem solving by exploring insects and spiders.

Trees @ Lake Ellyn: Learn pattern recognition, observations, vocabulary, critical thinking, cause and effect, fine motor skills and gross motor skills by exploring trees.

Celebrate Healthy Aging Week With Fun and Educational Programs

Posted: September 2, 2018
By: GEPL Staff

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Healthy Aging Week Runs September 2-8

Group of seniors standing around.The Glen Ellyn Public Library promotes health, mobility, and safety for older adults during Healthy Aging Week.

Healthy Aging Week does more than offer lecture, screening, and exercise classes. “Libraries and librarians strive to connect people with quality information and resources – whether it’s other people, technology, organizations, or books,” said Sarah Kleiva, Outreach Librarian.

This is the fourth year the library has held a week of programming aimed at helping older adults live healthy, happy lives. “Healthy Aging Week is all about connection older adults and their families with local resources, information, and performance groups that will help them live their best life in DuPage County,” said Kleiva.

During Healthy Aging Week, adults 55 and over can “Try the Y,” relive the magic of old time radio with Radio Players West, and so much more. Below is the full list of Healthy Aging Week programming.

Healthy Aging Week Programs

Try the Y
During Healthy Aging Week, all regularly scheduled YMCA Land Fitness classes (excluding Zumba classes) are free to those 55 and over when they present a Glen Ellyn Public Library Card or Guest Pass at the B.R. Ryall YMCA in Glen Ellyn. Ten spots are available per class for YMCA non-members. For more information call 630-858-0100.

How’s Your Hearing?
Tuesday, September 4 | 10-11 am
Discover how loss of hearing affects you and your family, friends, and coworkers from John Hartman and Dave Columbo of Audiologic Services in Glen Ellyn. Hartman, an Audiologist, and Columbo, a Hearing Instrument Specialist, will discuss what it means to lose your hearing and the correlation between hearing loss and cognitive functioning. Reserve your spot.

Hearing One-on-One Screenings
Tuesday, September 4 | 11 am-1 pm — NEW 1-4 pm
Meet one-on-one for a complimentary 15-minute hearing screening with an Audiologist from Audiologic Services in Glen Ellyn. Only a few openings remain – reserve your spot.

Medical Cannabis
Wednesday, September 5 | 7-8:30 pm
Medicinal cannabis, or medicinal marijuana, is now available in Illinois. Discover why Illinois and more than 25 other states have their own medical cannabis program with Kirsten Velasco, Patient Advocate for Illinois Women in Cannabis. Velasco will discuss the science, biology, and laws, as well as common misconceptions. Reserve your spot.

Those Were the Days
Thursday, September 6 | 7-8 pm
Relive the magic of old time radio when Radio Players West recreates radio programs from the 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s. Using live sound effects and original scripts, players will perform Who’s on First and Sherlock Holmes: Scandal in Bohemia. Reserve your spot.

Make Public Transportation Work for You
Friday, September 7 | 2-3 pm
Sarah Blair, Mobility Outreach Coordinator for the RTA, will discuss public transportation options on Pace and Metra for older adults and individuals with disabilities and how to make public transportation work for you. Reserve your spot.

Intergenerational Storytime at Atria Park of Glen Ellyn
Saturday, September 8 | 10-11 am | 95 Carleton Avenue
Bring your family to a special storytime with friends at Atria Senior Living. Sing songs, chant rhymes, and listen to fun stories celebrating families.

Glen Ellyn Public Library Partners with SCARCE for Summer Reading

Posted: June 4, 2018
By: GEPL Staff

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GEPL Reads for SCARCE Runs Now Through September 2, 2018

GEPL Reads for SCARCE | May 29 through September 2For the past five years, the Glen Ellyn Public Library has tied the Summer Reading program to a philanthropic cause – embracing the volunteer spirit of the community – and challenging members to not just read, but to read for a benevolent purpose. And this summer is no different, as the library partners with SCARCE, an award-winning nonprofit that provides environmental education through hands-on programs to schools, organizations, and the community. This year, the library challenges kids to read for 70,000 hours and adults to read 4,000 books.

“Glen Ellyn is a community of readers,” said Dawn Bussey, Library Director. “Members know that their reading – something they already love to do – could also make a difference in their community. It creates a buzz in the community, as people want to know what cause they will read for this summer.”

If the community reaches this goal, the Friends of the Glen Ellyn Public Library and the Glen Ellyn Library Foundation have each pledged funds to purchase 2,000 books, which SCARCE will distribute during the DuPage County Back to School Fair in August. Members can register for Pre-reader, Youth, Middle School, High School, Adult, or new this year, the Independent Summer Reading program. This program makes GEPL’s Summer Reading program more accessible to members of the community best served by differentiated learning. The Independent category has no age restriction.

Exciting prizes are available, from passes to the Brookfield Zoo Amazing Arachnids exhibit, to coupons for The Bookstore of Glen Ellyn donated by the Glen Ellyn Rotary Club. Learn more about the Glen Ellyn Public Library’s Summer Reading programs by visiting GEPL Reads for SCARCE.

Throughout the summer, a variety of rain barrels will be on display at the library with information on where to purchase. And many library programs will focus on the concepts of Think Global, Act Local and Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Here’s what’s on tap for June:

Water Conservation Made Easy
Thursday, June 7 | 7-8:30 pm
Kay McKeen, founder and director of SCARCE, will teach simple and easy-to-implement tricks that will help with your consumption of water both indoors and outdoors, as well as save you money. Reserve your spot.

Upcycled Jewelry
Monday, June 11 | 2-3 pm
Use recycled materials to create beautiful pieces of jewelry. For grades 3-5. Reserve your spot.

From Trash to Crafts
Thursday, June 21 | 3-4 pm
Recycle discarded household items into a bird feeder, piggy bank, or lantern. For grades 3-5. Reserve your spot.

N-41: Family Bingo Night
Thursday, June 28 | 7-8 pm
Bring the whole family to an environmentally-themed Bingo night. Make connections between everyday items and the natural resource used to make it. Reserve your spot.

Donations from Kiwanis Club of Central DuPage and Glen Ellyn Infant Welfare Society Help Fund Bus to Books Program

Posted: April 23, 2018
By: GEPL Staff

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Photo of a yellow school bus.Glen Ellyn Public Library’s Bus to Books program is a summer time partnership with schools and agencies serving children who live in or attend school or programs in Glen Ellyn. In 2018, the library will run three Bus to Books programs serving approximately 135 Glen Ellyn students.

The Kiwanis Club of Central DuPage donated $1,000, which will help cover part of the cost of the program. “Kiwanis members were thrilled to have the opportunity to help the library reach out to local children who may not be able to readily access the public library during the summer,” said Susan DeRonne, Adult Department Director. “Bus to Books is a great local program that keeps with their mission.”

A generous grant from the Glen Ellyn Infant Welfare Society will also help cover part of the cost of the program. The exact amount of the grant won’t be determined until late May.

For over 15 years, the library has conducted Bus to Books, a literacy-based program, with the intention of combating summer slide in the most at-risk students in our community.

“We are very aware of the key role we play in the community by providing equitable access to resources for families,” said Amy Waters, School Liaison. “In addition to providing access to materials, technology, programming, and a safe place to interact, we continuously seek other ways to help meet the needs of Glen Ellyn’s families.”

Students who take part in Bus to Books have several needs met. They have access to library materials and can participate in the same summer reading program as their peers. For several weeks, they get to look forward to a fun outing at the library where they receive a nutritious lunch. Every student in Bus to Books receives three prize books of their choosing to take home. Research shows that having books in the home is an important indicator of future academic success.

“We believe programs like Bus to Books and Summer Meals, a partnership with the Northern Illinois Food Bank, are essential ingredients to equitable access and quality of life for some of our more vulnerable residents,” said Waters.

What Our Members Have To Say

Posted: April 9, 2018
By: GEPL Staff

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“We love our library. It’s an incredible resource. So very grateful for the time, thought, and intentionality that goes into the programming and resources that are available there. Thank you for your hard work!”
– Survey Respondent

Members participate in a discussion of the book Frankenstein and its continued cultural influence.The Glen Ellyn Public Library — our librarians and staff — strive to listen to the community and incorporate the needs of our members and the community into future programs and services. Libraries today do so much more than providing access to typical library services and resources such as a wide-ranging collection of books, music, and movies. The Glen Ellyn Public Library acts as a community center: a place to stay up-to-date on the latest trends in business and technology, learn a new hobby, and interact socially with others who share similar interests.

Our value is measured by the impact we have on residents: helping residents learn a new skill, gain knowledge about a subject that interests them, or find information that helps them get a new job, finish a project, or accomplish a goal. We serve as a safe, inclusive place for members of all abilities to meet, socialize, study, and, for our youngest community members, play.

In a recent survey conducted by the Village of Glen Ellyn, the library was one of the top-rated government entities, with 90 percent of residents rating the library and its services positively.

  • Seventy-eight percent of residents reported using the library within the past 12 months, with 53 percent using it once a month or more.
  • Among children, usage of the library is even higher, with 82 percent of grade schoolers and 67 percent of Kindergarten and younger children using the library at least once a month.
  • More than three-fourths (78 percent) of survey respondents said the library reading and reference materials meet the needs of their family.

The Glen Ellyn Public Library’s ratings are higher than the national benchmark, demonstrating higher usage of our public library compared to the national average. We are proud to offer programs and services that our community values and continue to work hard to support the Glen Ellyn community.

Kids and their grown-up listen to songs and stories about Miss Jamie's Farm.If you’ve joined any of our programs at the library, chances are you’ve also received a survey from us. Our surveys help us evaluate and improve our programming, so we can continue to provide quality programs and services for our members. Looking at 2017 survey data, 91 percent of survey respondents rated our programs positively, with 56 percent rating them excellent. The majority of respondents also planned to attend more programs and share information learned with friends and family. See what our survey respondents have to say about the library:

  • “I think the Glen Ellyn Library does a fabulous job of offering many different programs appealing to all ages and various interests.”
  • “I can’t imagine not having my library. It is truly an important part of the community.”
  • “Excellent job making the library stay relevant in today’s world.”
  • “I can’t stress enough how important the library staff is in the helpful, friendly, and engaging manner they interact with the community.”
  • “I love the partnership between the library and Glen Ellyn Schools. I feel the staff is so supportive of classroom initiatives and teachers.”

But we don’t just consider the good (though we admit we love to hear it)! Your opinion matters, and your survey responses provide valuable input on ways we can improve our programming and services. We read and evaluate all survey responses and work to incorporate changes that will enhance our future offerings.

If you haven’t visited the library recently or attended one of our programs yet, you should! We are grateful for all the feedback — both positive and constructive — that helps us create programming and services that truly benefit our community. You are what helps the Glen Ellyn Library be “so much more than books!”

Library Foundation Donates $50,000 to Library for New Cafe

Posted: March 26, 2018
By: GEPL Staff

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Foundation Board Treasurer Merrill Rajeck presents a check for $50,000 to Library Board President Chris CrawfordThe Glen Ellyn Library Foundation presented a check for $50,000 to the Glen Ellyn Public Library Board of Trustees at Monday night’s library board meeting.

“We are grateful to all of the community members who supported our 2017 fundraising efforts to bring this library donation goal into reality,” said Kelley Kalinich, Glen Ellyn Library Foundation Board President.

The donation, the majority of which comes from The Jungle Book Ball proceeds, will help fund the library’s new café, which is planned as part of the Phase III Renovation currently underway at the library. The café, operated by an outside vendor, will sell hot and cold beverages as well as snacks.

“The Foundation is thrilled to be able to support the library renovation through a $50,000 donation,” said Kalinich. “A café has been a frequent community request over recent years.”

Merrill Rajeck, Glen Ellyn Library Foundation Board Treasurer, presented the check to Glen Ellyn Public Library Board of Trustees President Chris Crawford at Monday night’s meeting.

During the previous two renovation phases, Foundation donations paid for the creation of The Lounge, located on the second floor, and specialized audio/visual equipment for the Youth Program Room. Visit gepl.org/foundation to see photos of the Foundation’s past projects at the library.

The Glen Ellyn Library Foundation, an independent, non-profit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization, was established in 1998 to build an endowment to ensure that future residents of Glen Ellyn enjoy high-quality library services in an attractive, state-of-the-art facility. The public library is at the heart of the Village, serving residents of all ages, races, creeds, and socioeconomic levels.

Congratulations Kathy Hollahan!

Posted: March 12, 2018
By: Dawn Bussey, Library Director

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Kathy Hollahan and Dawn Bussey.Kathy Hollahan is one of those library employees whose work and talent occur behind the scenes. Yet her work impacts every person walking through the doors of the library, as she is responsible for all the signage both inside and outside the building.

Kathy has created a brand that the community recognizes, particularly through The Guide, the library’s quarterly mailing which is delivered to all the households in the Village. The Guide is designed and produced under her direction.

Kathy has worked for the Glen Ellyn Public Library for almost 30 years in a variety of different roles, going back to the days at the Crescent Boulevard location.

Although the public may not be able to put a face to her name (until now), Kathy’s contributions to making the library a great community resource is invaluable.

Kathy received her Library Employee of the Year Award at the Glen Ellyn Chamber of Commerce’s Community Awards Breakfast on March 3. Upon receiving her award, Kathy said, “There are many library employees who are deserving of this recognition; I am honored at being selected. The Glen Ellyn Public Library has a caring and talented staff who work diligently to offer the best possible service to our members and the community. It’s really my privilege to work alongside them.”

Congratulations Kathy and thank you for your years of great service.

Why Frankenstein Still Connects with Us 200 Years Later

Posted: March 5, 2018
By: GEPL Staff

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In 2018, the world is celebrating the creation of Dr. Victor Frankenstein’s monster.

Thanks to the movies, many of us have a picture of Frankenstein’s monster in our heads as a giant, green-hued goliath marked with stitches and held together with bolts. But the vision in Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein: Or, The Modern Prometheus was a bit more human: more man than monster, however disfigured. His tragic path may be why the story of Frankenstein’s monster still resonates with readers 200 years later: a distressing story of a creature who wants to belong but remains always on the outside, lonely and misunderstood and eventually unable to temper his baser instincts, turning evil in his rage.

The horror in Shelly’s tale comes not only from a scientist doing the unthinkable — going against nature to create life from death and decay — but also from that creation’s eventual revenge on and destruction of his creator. In film and fiction, stories abound of the fear of humankind’s creations becoming our demise, from Frankenstein’s monster to AI androids to evil clones. Because the unnaturalness and fearsome appearance of his monster disgust him, Frankenstein rejects his creation. And the monster, at first wanting only to find his place in the world, swears his revenge for being created in a world where he is feared and hated.

The lesson here is that some evil is in our power to conquer. Frankenstein’s monster began as a hideous but innocent and intelligent creature with a passion for learning, who became warped by his isolation and rejection. If Frankenstein had acknowledged and guided him, the story may have had a different ending. But the creature was too monstrous for him to accept, and a legend was born.

But perhaps at its heart, what we, as readers, most react to is a fear of what seems unnatural, of what we can’t understand. That fear is universal and enduring and applies to so many aspects of modern life, from technology to science and even to differing points of view. With the dawn of artificial intelligence, cloning, and advancements in science and technology, the fear of going against nature — and whether that could lead to our own destruction — is even more relevant today than when the novel was released in 1818.

Join us on Wednesday, March 7 from 7-8 pm for Frankenstein: 200 Years of Literary Excellence. Kate Seiferth, English instructor at College of DuPage, discusses the masterful delights of Mary Shelley’s astonishing novel and the tidal wave of imitations and cultural influence that the book left in its wake. Reserve your spot.

If you love Frankenstein, then check out this list of modern takes on Shelley’s masterpiece, as well as other classic horror stories:

Modern Takes


Classic Tales