From Allison, who does such cool stuff at KPL:
The Kankakee Public Library has been featured in the June 11 OP-ED page of the New York Times. Pulitzer Prize Nominated author, and Kankakee booster, Luis Alberto Urrea was asked to write several opinion pieces for the Times. One topic he chose was the Kankakee success story. Urrea writes, “Kankakee is pulling itself back from the brink. And it all started with the library.” “Our cities are scrambling to find fresh paradigms for a new America. Maybe, just maybe, the Midwesterners, librarians, and Mexicans of Kankakee, Illinois, have found theirs.”
Listen to the Luis Urrea podcast from his talk at the Kankakee Public Library: http://lions-online.org/Podcasts.html
Head of Adult Services
Kankakee Public Library
And this quote from the NYT piece is just TOO HOT:
When Provena Health abandoned its headquarters in the seven-story Executive Center in downtown in 2002, it was the community’s idea to convert it into a library. Less then a year after the renovations started, the Kankakee Public Library moved from a dilapidated 105-year-old building into a sophisticated showplace that extended over three floors.
This new public library had become the cultural hub of the city, crucial to its downtown revitalization. A new band and a satellite university campus have already been completed and a park with a water fountain is on its way. “It all started with the library,” Mayor Green said. “I can’t tell you how proud that makes our community.”