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Staff members of the Niles Public Library took the icy plunge this past Saturday to honor Dr. Fred Purcell, the uncle of Patron Services clerk Samantha Menard, who has been diagnosed with ALS. They also commemorated the life of Moira Steiner, a Tech Services clerk who succumbed to ALS in 2006.

Amytrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), better known in the U.S. as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a brain disease that affects the muscles that control speaking, swallowing, and breathing. There is no known cure or even a treatment to slow down the process, which usually overtakes a person in about 3 years. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is a phenomenon that has swept the nation in recent months due to its viral popularity. It seeks to raise awareness about this crippling disease as well as to inspire people to raise money towards research for a cure.

The rules are simple: Film yourself getting cold water dumped over your head, donate, and challenge more people to do the same. The Niles Public Library challenged the Niles Public Library Board of Trustees, Skokie Public Library, Des Plaines Public Library, Park Ridge Public Library, and Chicago Public Library (Edgebrook and Roden Branches). Watch the chilly fun ensue here:

For more information on ALS research, visit www.alsa.org.

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Holidays 2013 Survival Kit Image4

Ah, the holidays.

There are any versions of cherishing the holidays as there are families. They may watch (for the 27th time!) Ralphie’s quest for an air rifle in A Christmas Story or George’s redemption in It’s a Wonderful Life.  Never any shortage of baked goods around this time, either. If a tree is involved, out come dusty boxes of ornaments and in comes a five foot evergreen. Others will light the Menorah to celebrate Hanukkah. It’s all good.

But the holidays also bring something which strikes fear into the hearts of parents: Children with no school to go to!  A few hours of TV-movie nostalgia and cookie-munching and tree decorating may not be enough. Where to find things for them to do, watch, listen to, and — yes, even over the holidays — read?

Here. Video games help the holidays speed by. If the holidays are a “blast your enemies”-free zone, maybe they’d go for electronic hockey or Sims or Diego. If blasting is allowed, they could get in touch with their inner Harry Potter. A little laid-back wizarding — in Kinect, Wii, Playstation 3, Nintendo DS, or Xbox — might be just the thing.

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main entrance

Open for business!

Today at the Niles Public Library we reopened our Main Entrance, revealing new spaces that I have to run downstairs from my 3rd floor office to see every few hours because it is so darn cool.

View photos from our renovation project here!

And there’s another first today, we are starting a new way to let you know about all we have to offer – The Buzz Blog – written by an interesting, intelligent and insightful (and often quite funny) group that includes me and my colleagues.

As the person in charge of promoting the Library, I love to toot my horn for our incredible staff. We know that our community members have other choices they can make to find information and even movies and music; but the access to our knowledgeable and experienced staff is really what separates us from other options that are available.

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