November 12, 2012
The Chicago Public Library Foundation is an organization of extraordinary reach and vision, and I believe it has played a huge part in helping the Chicago Public Library remain a vital jewel in this city. I am a former teacher who became a writer of children's mysteries, and the CPLF first came to my attention when they gave me the 21st Century Award, in 2006. As a writer lucky enough to receive this wonderful vote of confidence, I feel the CPLF gave me a tremendous 'running start' in the field, and I can now see what a powerful gift their awards have become; each year they celebrate and stir together writers of life-long renown with those just starting out. The message is clear: they celebrate the written word, and their interest in both discovery of new talent and ongoing celebration of the better-known is infectious. There is a feeling of adventure, of relevance, and of edgy momentum to the CPLF's work in other areas as well; they have added tremendously to the everyday vitality of the CPL by supporting meaningful programs of many kinds for children and teens, drawing these younger readers into the library year-round and supplying ample electronic outreach as well. They are crucial in making the CPL one of the greatest assets Chicago offers its residents. I cannot recommend them highly enough.
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