|Board Members - D. Carter, E. Proctor-Harris and G. Dudley ©Toni Ruppert|
This is the first public building in the US named in honor of President Barack Obama.
It’s good to know the history of this library.
|Phoenix Library Board President Jessica Buckner|
and Recording Secretary Martina Mahaffey ©Toni Ruppert
In the Phoenix Rising, a publication of the Village of Phoenix, writer Martina Mahaffey shared the history of Phoenix’s pursuit of a library of their own. The Phoenix Public Library Board of Trustees was established in April of 1987. Over time, the residents were serviced by the Harvey, IL Public Library. A “library room” was eventually established in the William Hawkins Multi-Purpose Center in Phoenix. After four years of planning and visiting other libraries--the new library was established as a partnership between the Phoenix Public Library, the Village of Phoenix and the South Holland, IL School District 151.
|Library Director -Kaleena Woodard |
and artist Toni Ruppert. ©Toni Ruppert
The Barack Obama Learning Center - celebrated by many.
One resident, Barbara Stewart and I talked about the value of education and the seeds of knowledge established in us as children. I was impressed to hear that her grandmother instilled in her a love of reading by having her “read” comic strip pictures and share what she thought the pictures were about. Barbara is now a journalist.
|The Stewart family celebrates. ©Toni Ruppert|
|Mayor Terry Wells and Thornton Township|
President Frank Zuccarelli ©Toni Ruppert
|Dr. Florine Robinson and Toni Ruppert|
I also celebrated with Dr. Florine Robinson, Chair of the Senior Citizen Committee for the Village of Hazel Crest, IL. It was absolutely fabulous seeing her again - Dr. Robinson was the first person who purchased a painting from me.
What I LearnedI have 3 takeaways from speaking to people at the event including Mayor Terry Wells, former Mayor January Belmont and her daughter June Mitchell:
|Phoenix Mayor Terry Wells|
and Brett Fickes(School District 205)
|Former Mayor January Belmont |
with her daughter June Mitchell ©Toni Ruppert
- If you’re going to do something, do it right. - The ceremony, the open-house and the library itself is first class.
- Teamwork makes the dream work. - This library was built via a “tri-partnership” as Martina Mahaffey called it in her article. I noticed an overlapping of the faith-based, political, community and educational arenas. Pooling resources together made this building possible.
|Brenda Mason and Mae Buchanon |
were in charge of the beautiful tables of food.
- Human relationships are ultra important and perhaps more so than financial capital. I noticed a genuineness as I connected with people. Having good relationships builds projects...and public libraries.
If you’re in the Phoenix, IL area which is about 35 minutes south of Chicago, IL, do visit the library. It is a testimony to dreams.