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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

We're Hopelessly Devoted to You!

First of all, a great big CONGRATULATIONS to the winners of our "99 Summer Things" contest, the Branick Family: Mom Lissette, son Brian and daughter Melissa! Thanks to the Branicks and everyone who participated. We really want to make PlainTalk a place where the Des Plaines community can share information and opinions in a positive, encouraging way, so please continue to send us your comments.

Now, you might already be watching the slideshow of photographs up above - it's the Des Plaines 4th of July parade 2008! We had so much fun on Friday morning and we are super-proud of the Cart Wheels, our book cart drill team - renamed the Pink Ladies and T-Birds just for this year. The Cart Wheels are led by library employee Gail Bradley, and include: Kathy Kyrouac, Roberta Johnson, Bob Blanchard, Arlene Steiner, Gwen LaCosse, Phyllis Johnson, and new to the drill team this year, Eileen Gladish and Rachel Kamin. If you watched the parade or are gazing intently at the photographs above, you may notice we also had a Prom King and Queen. Librarian John Lavalie played the role of Prom King, and yours truly glommed onto the role of Prom Queen -- how could I resist an excuse to buy a prom dress at this stage in my life? We'd like to thank PJ's Trick Shop in Arlington Heights, IL, for assistance with John's costume (and valuable instructions on how to wave), and Dennis Kytasaari, who drove the King and Queen in style in his groovin' set of wheels.

Thanks to you, too, Des Plaines, for the warm welcome we received on the parade route. Cute kids waving the American flag at us, happy dogs barking, folks shouting out hellos from lawn chairs and apartment balconies: it was as good as it gets. Watch the photo slideshow, because it not only features the Library staff, but many of the other parade walkers and floats. We're also working on a short video of the parade, so check back to our YouTube channel,, really soon. In fact, we also have more pictures to share! Thanks to Raul Silvestry, Linda and Ken Knorr, Dennis Kytasaari, my dad Bob and lots of other people for taking video and pictures.

HINT: If the pictures are moving too quickly for you, hover your mouse over them and you'll see controls for pausing the slideshow. Click on the slideshow and you'll be taken to Picasa, a photo-sharing site on Google, where you can see the images in a larger format.

One last reminder: if the 4th of July holiday inspired you to take time to honor those who have fallen in war, visit the Library between July 11 and July 18 for the very moving "Portrait of a Soldier" exhibit. Artist Cameron Schilling of Mattoon, Illinois, has been sketching portraits of Illinois servicemembers killed since September 11, 2001. A display of the portraits will be shown here at the Library beginning this Friday. The exhibit is open to the public and free of charge, including an opening dedication ceremony on July 11 at 10 AM. Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn and Illinois Senator Dan Kotowski will be on hand for the ceremony. When asked if he is trying to make a political statement with his work, Schilling responded, "No.
The only statement I'm making is, 'Hey, we need to look at these families and what they're sacrificing, and we need to pay attention to what they're going through. Maybe take a little time out of our day and realize what others are sacrificing.'" To read more about Cameron Schilling and "Portrait of a Soldier," see this article in the Chicago Sun-Times.


  1. The DP Parade Video at is AWESOME! The Library’s Cart Wheels are GREAT! The slideshow of the parade made me feel like I was right there at the curb watching everything. Thanks web librarian for a wonderful show. ~ Toozer

  2. I’m going to have to write me a book. Of course, nothing in the life of a cat is fictional. My book will start out dark. I will have to expel invaders from another planet. There will be light moments when I play with white mouse and brown mouse. An (artificial) bug on a string is one of my favorite games. Then there’s a tent that I jump out of. My clever exploits will entertain everyone. Yes, my picture will grace both the front and back covers, and on the inside flap as well. Now, I must get back to writing, playing, and napping. ~Maggie


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