Lanark Municipal Building/Library Breaks Ground - Finally!
By TOM KOCAL | Prairie Advocate News
Participating in the Lanark Municipal Building & Library Official Groundbreaking Ceremony were (l to r) Rich Hartman, Alderman Mark Macomber, Sen. Tim Bivins, Rep. Jim Sacia, JL Hunter, John Huggins, Karen Sturtevant, Mayor Ed Stern, Alderman Anne Lindsay, Jan Gillfillan, City Clerk Jackie Hawbecker, Alderman Ed Fehlhafer, Bob Zuck, Sharon Pepin, Rich Delp, and Janie Dollinger. (PA photo/T. Kocal)
LANARK – The Lanark Municipal Building & Library project was as difficult to get in motion as the ground was hard during the Official Groundbreaking Ceremony held Saturday, June 23, 2012 at the site of the project. But with a push here, and an extra push there, the project finally came together, as did the golden shovels breaking ground.
Darcie Feltmeyer of the Lanark Public Library Board (LPL) welcomed the throng of nearly 100 citizens participating in this historic moment in time. She introduced the guests of honor that included Illinois State Senator Tim Bivins, State Representative Jim Sacia, former Rep. I. Ron Lawfer, Lanark Mayor Edward Stern, Aldermen Anne Lindsay, Ed Fehlhafer, and Mark Macomber (who worked diligently with the Library Board for over 4 years as Chairman of the City Planning Committee), JL Hunter, President LPL, Karen Sturtevant, President of the Friends of the LPL, Sharon Pepin of Community Funding & Planning Services, Rich Hartman of Ringland Johnson General Contractors, past president LPL Jan Gillfillan, current president Bob Zuck, Rich Depl, past president of the Lanark Lions Club, John Huggins, former alderman and current President of the Lanark Chamber of Commerce, Janie Dollinger, LPL Director, and Denise Krysiak and Carol Kruzek, Co-Chairmen of the Friends.
(Rt to left) Co-Chairpersons of Twice Sold Tales Book Store Denise Krysiak and Carol Kruzek present a $5000 “check” to Lanark Public Library Board President J. L. Hunter at the groundbreaking ceremony. Seated at left are Sen. Tim Bivins and Rep. Jim Sacia, who were later presented with a “Friends” t-shirt by FLPL President Karen Sturtevant. (PA photo/T. Kocal)
Feltmeyer read a letter from Ann Craig, Director of the Illinois State Library Board, congratulating the Library in this community effort.
Rep. Jim Sacia said, “This project shows tremendous work and dedication toward the Library and literacy. It is an honor and a privilege to be here for a project that will benefit generations to come.”
Sen. Tim Bivins expressed his delight with an economic development angle: “We NEVER get tired of attending groundbreaking ceremonies! Whenever a community is putting shovels in the ground, it’s a good thing.”
Feltmeyer read a letter from former Lanark resident Tom Lindsay, now Assistant Superintendent of School in Mannheim District 83, Franklin Park, IL (the full text accompanies this article), who congratulated the LPL for “pursuing its vision.’
Igniting a Passion for Learning
Igniting a passion for learning. What does that mean? Igniting . . . setting something on fire. Passion . . . a deep love for something. Learning . . . the fuel of the mind. How can we relate these 3 very different terms in to an idea that can transform the present in to the past or the future and cost absolutely NOTHING? Simple - by picking up a book and reading. Reading is the fuel for learning.
Learning to read is the hardest thing that we ask our brains to do. After all, our oral language is hard wired in to our brains, but reading must be taught, practiced, modeled, practiced, over and over and over until it becomes an automatic part of our being, just like 2+3 is 5 and r-e-d is RED. Having language and being able to read sets us apart from the rest of the animal kingdom, but it takes time and practice to become a reader. After those basic phonemic and phonetic skills are well grounded and fluency interweaves these parts in to an understandable whole, we start making the connections to our actual experiences or our vicarious experiences to create meaning.
Reading and comprehension is about making connections and meaning. Reading is not meant to be a passive activity but rather one which gets the reader involved in the story as he connects to other reading texts, himself, or the world around him. Students are more willing to continue to read if they become active participants in the process.
Many factors come in to play whether or not a child becomes a reader and a life long learner. Of course, schooling plays a big part in the process, as literacy is the backbone of most curricular subjects. However, factors outside of the school are also very influential in the development of a reader.
Family involvement in sharing the love of reading is absolutely important. We learn many behaviors by imitating others who we love and respect. By being a “reading family” whereby a time is set aside for all to select a good short story, magazine, novel and enjoy a quiet time of relaxing and imagining creates a love for reading and relaxation. Then sharing what we read with each other helps promote outside interests and a way of developing a literacy bond between family members. Setting aside as little as 15 minutes of undisturbed reading time where everyone reads or a family member reads aloud to everyone sets a wonderful mood. Too often we think that only young children like to be read to. We know that everyone, young and old, loves to hear a story. The oral art of storytelling still permeates all cultures; storytelling preceded reading before books were in existence. Telling, reading, and sharing stories brings a family together as life-long learners.
There is another very important factor that helps ignite a passion for learning and that is accessibility. Books can be very expensive to buy these days, and most people are on tight budgets that do not allow them the opportunity to purchase books to read. Well, that is where public libraries come in to play. Public libraries help create equal opportunities for all families in a community to gain access to free and obtainable pieces of literature that they might not be able to afford otherwise. A book swap in a library whereby patrons exchange books that they have read allows for a diverse mingling of books to enjoy. Some library patrons have even established “book chain letters” whereby one person sends 5 people a used book and then, if the chain keeps going and remains unbroken, they end up with 50 books. Book clubs, discussion groups, storytime at the library, guest readers and speakers…. There are so many ways that a public library can contribute to the literacy development of a family and a community.
I remember visiting the library when Mrs. Mathias was the librarian in a very small building on Locust Street, next door to Jack Zink’s Barber Shop. That was 50 years ago when I was 10 years old. There weren’t many books then, but I remember the excitement when Mrs. Mathias was able to buy new books and proudly display them for everyone to page through them and check them out. She always tried to have books that supplemented what we were learning in school. Back then we thought she was old and scary, but we still enjoyed taking a snack to the library after school and looking for our favorite books that were shelved at our reachable levels.
In closing, I offer my congratulations to the Lanark Public Library Board in pursuing its Vision for the Future activities. By promoting the continued focus on reading and literacy, you are contributing to the development of a strong community of life-long learners.
On the 23rd, seize the day and celebrate literacy. Help ignite that passion for learning. After all, you learn to speak by speaking, you learn to think by thinking, and you learn to read by reading.
Tom Lindsay, Assistant Superintendent of School
Mannheim District 83
Franklin Park, IL
Class of 1970- Fighting Beavers
Janie Dollinger, Director of the LPL, was introduced next. She thanked everyone involved for their dedication to the project, calling it “a shining light in the heart of Lanark.”
Denise Krysiak and Carol Kruzek, Co-Chairmen of the Friends, presented a check for $5000 to JL Hunter. Krysiak explained that this is the amount raised from sales at the Twice Told Tales Book Store, “50¢ and $1 at a time!”
She thanked their landlord Kipp Meyers for his generous donation of space (the book store is located in office space adjacent to Meyers’ attorney’s office). The group raised $5000 within a 14-month period.
Knowing that the cost of this project includes not only the construction phase, but also equipping the interior of the library, Hunter graciously thanked the Friends. “We’ll put this money to good use!” Hunter said.
With that, the honored guests donned their hard hats, grabbed a golden shovel supplied by Hartman and Ringland Johnson, and put some “oomph” behind the effort to truly break the hard ground.
All good things generally take time and effort, and the payoff is of great benefit. Such is the saga of the new Lanark Municipal Building and Library.