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Bringing the Library right to your door

Like many of our library visitors, Pat Draper loves to read. She always reserved books online from her Schaumburg home, then visited the library to pick them up. But as the years wore on, Pat found it increasingly difficult to walk through the Library parking lot. Unwilling to forego her favorite pastime, she continued picking up her titles, despite the challenge.

Then one day…

“By chance I went to a program at the Prairie Center, and there was a Library table there with Lisa (Nusret),” Pat said. “I told her I get books all the time, but it was getting hard for me. She told me there was an Outreach program and they could deliver books to my house…and it was free. I said ‘sign me up!’ I still go sometimes, like for the Senior Scams program, but Outreach is wonderful.”

Pat said she greatly appreciates the kindness shown to her by Lisa, as well as Hermez Biko, both of whom bring books and movies to her door. She additionally values the assistance offered by other areas of the Library.

“One day I suddenly had Windows 10 on my computer, because it had updated,” Pat said. “I went to the Computer Assistance area because I didn’t know how to get into my email. The woman at the desk helped me and told me about the Windows 10 class, so I signed up.”

Pat says she also enjoys the Library’s day trips, and doesn’t even mind the times when she goes solo, because there are always friendly people on the buses.

“You have a fantastic library,” she said. “It’s the best thing.”

More Library success stories:
HIRED, thanks to the Teen Job Fair

Moneyball to motivational speaker

Uncovering his family’s history

Student Advisory Trustee follow-up: Avni Bavishi

Learning new technology and research skills

Learning new technology and research skills

Recently awarded the Conservation@Home certification by the Barrington Area Conservation Trust, Schaumburg resident Herb Demmel is using Schaumburg Library to document his work in Sarah’s Grove. With help from the Library’s Local History Librarian Jane Rozek, Technology Instructor John Morgan and Digital Media Specialist Jeremy Slayton, the 85-year-old recently learned a few new tricks. He can now work with Photoshop to manipulate photos and PowerPoint to create slideshows. With these useful tools in his pocket, Herb was able to share his conservation efforts and historical research with many others in the community.

“I initially wanted to write a book about Sarah’s Grove and Friendship Village,” Herb said. “Then I thought about self publishing a book of photos, but it’s very expensive and would take too much time and money. I mentioned it to Jane Rozek, and she suggested PowerPoint, so that’s what I started doing.”

Before Herb began work as a conservationist and historian, he had a lengthy career in the corporate world, followed by a second career as a teacher at Elmhurst College. He eventually began using his passion for nature to preserve woodlands by removing the non-native weeds and brush, and clearing paths so others could enjoy the beauty and serenity of the woods.

“I started taking photos as I worked in Sarah’s Grove, then researching its history,” Herb said. “My first PowerPoint, ‘The Oaks of Sarah’s Grove,’ had 65 slides. I got all kinds of help from John with manipulating photos, using the scanner and PowerPoint. Next I researched the original owners of Sarah’s Grove. Jane helped with that. Then I did one on the Friendship Village woods, and Jeremy helped with the audio. This year I put together a presentation for Earth Day and showed it at Friendship Village.”

Herb says he’s continuing his work and plans to create more presentations…with a little assistance from his friends at the Library.

More Library success stories:
HIRED, thanks to the Teen Job Fair

Moneyball to motivational speaker

Uncovering his family’s history

Student Advisory Trustee follow-up: Avni Bavishi

Bringing the Library right to your door

Experience Butterflies

Most monarch butterflies live for just a few weeks. But the generation born at the end of the summer is an exception: this group lives long enough to fly to Mexico!

These special monarchs migrate up to 3,000 miles to escape the coming frosts of winter. Travelling up to 250 miles per day, they make their way to central Mexico, returning to the same trees each year. When spring comes, the monarchs fly back north to the United States and Canada to breed.

We are lucky enough to have some of this late summer generation of monarchs at our libraries! You can now see the monarch caterpillars on display at Central kidsZone and Teen Place, and at our Hoffman Estates and Hanover Park Branches. They will be caterpillars for about two weeks, then they’ll create a chrysalis to protect them while they take another two weeks to transform into butterflies.

While you can stop by any time to see the monarchs for yourself, we’ll have a special program for you to get the full butterfly experience – including tagging and releasing some adult butterflies at Town Square so they can begin their migration to Mexico.

Butterflies: Thursday, Aug. 4, 1-1:45 p.m. at Central kidsZone

Searching for even more butterfly facts? Visit section J 595.78 in kidsZone or 595.7 in non-fiction for some great butterfly books.

Meet Dot and Dash

We recently welcomed two new members to our Library tech family: Dot and Dash, the coding robots.

Dot is the brains of the outfit. Dot interacts with the world through his sensor eye and brings to life the code you create. Dash is all about action. Dash can dance, hop and move around the room based on the information you send him.

So how do they work?

Dot and Dash are controlled by apps on a smartphone or tablet. These apps turn coding into games, making it fun and simple for kids of any age to learn. Before you know it, you’re coding! The code you write can turn Dot into a hot potato for a fun game with friends, or navigate Dash through an obstacle course.

“Dot and Dash spark kids’ curiosity,” says the Library’s Youth Services Director Amber Creger. “Kids get so excited to discover new games and activities for the robots. And all the while they are learning coding, looking at the world in a new way and using their imaginations.”

Look for Dot and Dash at upcoming Youth programs, including two Tween programs in September 2016.

More Library success stories:
HIRED, thanks to the Teen Job Fair

Moneyball to motivational speaker

Uncovering his family’s history

Student Advisory Trustee follow-up: Avni Bavishi

Student Advisory Trustee follow-up: Avni Bavishi

Each school year, we welcome Student Advisory Trustees (SATs) to our Board of Trustees. These SATs attend the board meetings to learn what’s happening at the Library and to share the views of the junior high and high school students who use the Library.

Earlier this summer, we decided to check in with Avni Bavishi, SAT from the 2011-12 school year, to see where life has taken her in the last few years.

“I attended University of Illinois at Chicago for my undergraduate years, and I’ve just completed my first year at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine,” Avni said.

Wow! Color us impressed.

“I’m planning on becoming an academic physician,” Avni continued. “That’s still pretty distant in my future, but I’d like to incorporate both teaching and clinical practice in my career.”

Avni remembers her time as a Student Advisory Trustee fondly, saying it was a fantastic opportunity to go behind-the-scenes at a large, well-respected organization. She specifically noted her work in planning the Teen Place, saying, “It’s immensely satisfying to go back and see how much the teens use the area.”

So what advice does the future Dr. Bavishi have for current high school students?

“Get involved and get to know the people in your school,” Avni said. “My best memories and friendships from high school were formed through activities and sports. And if you love the Library, you should definitely consider applying to be a Student Advisory Trustee.”

More Library success stories:
HIRED, thanks to the Teen Job Fair

Moneyball to motivational speaker

Uncovering his family’s history

Meet Dot and Dash

Uncovering his family’s history

Hoffman Estates resident Fred Luft began using our genealogy research materials about two years ago, but his work on his family history began much earlier.

“I first started a family tree by hand around 1970,” Fred said. “My mom was my inspiration. She started sending letters to Chicago Catholic parishes and to other family members in the 1950s, looking for more information about her family.”

Today, Fred attends our monthly genealogy programs and uses the Library’s free genealogy materials to continue his research.

“Between my wife and I, we have 3,472 people in our family tree on Ancestry.com,” Fred noted.

But Fred is uncovering more than just the names of his distant relatives, he’s uncovering some very interesting stories, too.

“The history of my great grandfather Charles Ory was very unexpected,” Fred said.

Fred and his family always believed that Charles lived most of his life in Chicago with his wife and daughter. However, after much research, Fred learned that Charles Ory was born in France and lived there until 1888 when, at age 28, he immigrated to the United States with his wife and daughter. Then, while living in the Chicago area, Charles had three more children with that wife, and when she passed, he remarried and had five more children. Then, in 1905, Charles moved to Michigan with his wife and many of his nine children.

There’s even a story to accompany Charles’ passport photo, which Fred discovered through his research.

“In 1919,” Fred said, “Charles got his passport and went to New York City where he planned to take a boat to France to visit his brothers and sisters.”

But Charles’ steamship was held on the docks due to a union strike and Charles was never able to travel to France.

“I want to thank Schaumburg Library for having a person like [Genealogy Librarian] Tony Kierna who is always looking for additional ways to help us find more information about our families.”

Stop by our monthly genealogy programs, or visit SchaumburgLibrary.org to begin your family history research. You never know the stories you may uncover.

More Library success stories:
HIRED, thanks to the Teen Job Fair

Moneyball to motivational speaker

Student Advisory Trustee follow-up: Avni Bavishi

Meet Dot and Dash

HIRED, thanks to the Teen Job Fair

In February, more than 200 teens came to the Library in hopes of landing their first job. We gathered local businesses looking to hire teens, provided experts to give teens tips on improving their resumes and interviewing skills, and made it simple for teens to connect with potential employers.

The best part about the Teen Job Fair? Teens got hired!

One lucky teen is Victoria Smith. She was hired by British Swim School as an instructor and is already busy teaching swim lessons to little ones. Victoria is a former swim team member and has been swimming since she was young.

“This is my dream job,” Victoria said. “I love the water and working with kids, so this is the perfect job for me!”

“We were very lucky to find Victoria at the Library’s Teen Job Fair,” said British Swim School Aquatics Director Brian Gibboney. “I’m so glad we took the time to attend the fair. We walked away with lots of great candidates and were able to hire Victoria right away.”

With another successful Teen Job Fair under our belt, we think it’s safe to say, Mission: Accomplished.

And there’s no need to wait until next February if you or your teen is looking for a job now. Stop by any time and we’ll help connect you with the tools and resources you need for a successful job search.

More Library success stories:
Moneyball to Motivational Speaker

Uncovering his family’s history

Student Advisory Trustee follow-up: Avni Bavishi

Meet Dot and Dash

Moneyball to Motivational Speaker

Born with a club foot, Jim Mecir overcame his disability to find success in the big leagues as the pitcher for the Oakland A’s team depicted in the bestselling book and movie Moneyball. Now a resident of Kildeer, Jim has teamed up with Ellen Schnur from The Second City and created ImprovTalk, a presentation all about teamwork, communication and innovation.

“On the mound, you have to make strong connections with your team to be successful,” Jim said. “The same is true in business. We make sure people walk away from our presentations with a few new communication tools in their belts.”

But starting a business is never easy. Jim turned to our Business Liaison Librarian Patti Smolin to help build his list of contacts and find the best places to bring ImprovTalk.

“Patti’s vast knowledge about business and marketing gave us great ideas to kick start our search,” Jim said. “She showed us many valuable tools that have helped us make lots of contacts and earn more bookings. We’ve even developed relationships with other area libraries, and our contacts in those communities continue to grow.”

Since meeting with Patti, Jim regularly uses library resources, including online databases to research more contacts, the digital production studio to record podcasts and videos for his business, and online learning tools like Gale Courses.

“Library services have changed a great deal recently,” Jim said. “I would definitely recommend businesses check out their local library for resources.”

More Library success stories:
HIRED, thanks to the Teen Job Fair

Uncovering his family’s history

Student Advisory Trustee follow-up: Avni Bavishi

Meet Dot and Dash