Donor kicks off River Forest library redo

Children's Room undergoes 'fantastic makeover'

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Print

By Maria Maxham

Staff Reporter

The Children's Room recently underwent renovation, thanks to the River Forest Public Library Foundation and a very generous anonymous donor. 

Elan Long, director of the foundation, said the organization started in 2015 with the goal of raising funds for projects outside the library's regular budget. In 2018, Long said, the foundation received a "major commitment" from an anonymous River Forest family.

"They committed to donate $30,000 a year for five years," said Long. "The foundation identified a project — the Children's Room — that was far down the list of pressing priorities included in the regular library budget."

The goal, said Long, was to raise $65,000 total for the project. With the $30,000 already donated, they needed to bring in another $35,000. Over the summer of 2019, the foundation started a big push to reach their goal, collecting donations from individuals and organizations. 

"There was a Daisy Troop that made a donation from their cookie money," said Long. "A Cub Scout group made a donation too." By the end of the summer, with individual donations that ranged from $10 all the way up to the original $30,000 contribution, they had raised the money they needed.

"People really value the library," said Long. "Seventy percent of residents have library cards. What other entity reaches so many people of so many different ages?"

The renovation involved replacing old, heavy shelving that dated back to 1953 with new and more easily accessible book displays, putting in new carpeting, covering the walls in fresh paint, and a new service desk. The goal was to make the Children's Room more welcoming and enhance the functionality and ADA compliance of the space.

Amy Grossman, Children's Services manager, said she's thrilled with the redone Children's Room. 

"It was amazing to re-envision the space," said Grossman. "When the kids came in after we reopened following renovation, they were wide-eyed and so excited. It was great to see that. It made all the hard work worth it." She added that the new space is much more functional.

"It was a fantastic make-over," Grossman said.

Love the Journal?

Become our partner in independent community journalism

Thanks for turning to Wednesday Journal and OakPark.com. We love our thousands of digital-only readers. Now though we're asking you to partner up in paying for our reporters and photographers who report this news. It had to happen, right?

On the plus side, we're giving you a simple way, and a better reason, to join in. We're now a non-profit -- Growing Community Media -- so your donation is tax deductible. And signing up for a monthly donation, or making a one-time donation, is fast and easy.

No threats from us. The news will be here. No paywalls or article countdowns. We're counting on an exquisite mix of civic enlightenment and mild shaming. Sort of like public radio.

Claim your bragging rights. Become a digital member.

Donate Now

Reader Comments

No Comments - Add Your Comment

Note: This page requires you to login with Facebook to comment.

Comment Policy

Facebook Connect

Answer Book 2019

To view the full print edition of the Wednesday Journal 2019 Answer Book, please click here.

Quick Links

Sign-up to get the latest news updates for Oak Park and River Forest.


            
SubscribeClassified
MultimediaContact us
Submit Letter To The Editor
Place a Classified Ad

Classified Ad