Amy Grossman’s work engaging infants and children with reading and a love of learning became even more challenging with the pandemic.  As Manager of Children’s Services at River Forest Public Library (RFPL), Amy is responsible for programs and services normally provided from the  RFPL building, which typically sees over 98,000 patron visits a year.  The answer for Amy and her colleagues was to use RFPL’s Anne T. Smedinghoff Memorial Garden more.  Amy says, “June through September, we had nearly 2,000 children and care-givers attend 43 programs and activities in the Garden.  We offered story times, art activities, a storyteller performance and 7 interactive book displays.  People were anxious to get out of their houses and connect safely here.”

Amy’s colleagues in Adult & Teen Services also took greater advantage of space beyond the building, holding programs such as yoga classes, Coffee Mondays, Teen Tasters, and the wildly popular Dooley Band concert outside.   Local residents regularly used the Garden for visits with friends,  reading, and even for working utilizing RFPL free WIFI.  

The RFPL Foundation supports the Garden with grants to fund maintenance, beautification and by sponsoring special community events like The Dooley Band concert.  Foundation grants have also funded an update to the Children’s Room, a new self-checkout machine  and  innovative special programs. The Foundation helps ensure the vitality of the Library for future generations and takes some pressure off taxpayers.  

Your gift to the RFPL Foundation helps Amy and her colleagues serve our community delivering engaging programs and services for all ages.  Please learn more and donate at

Photo caption:
Amy Grossman, RFPL Manager of Children’s Services reads with young patrons during Story Time in the Anne T. Smedinghoff Memorial Garden at the Library.

River Forest Public Library Foundation

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