Coal City Library recognized by Grundy Chamber

GRUNDY COUNTY CHAMBER of Commerce & Industry recognized Grundy County libraries with its Organization of the Year Award. Chamber president and CEO Christina Van Yperen [from left] presented the award to Jolene Franciskovich, Coal City Public Library director; Lauren Offerman, Three Rivers Public Library District, and Resa Mai, director Morris Area Public Library District.
Courtesy photo

As the nominations were received for this year’s Grundy County Chamber awards, numerous submissions pointed to the libraries in Grundy County.

So, the Grundy County Chamber of Commerce & Industry Board decided to recognize the area libraries—Coal City Public Library District, Morris Area Public Library District and Three Rivers Library District—with its Organization of the Year Award.

“When talking with our library leaders for this I was reminded numerous times that libraries are so much than books. You all are absolutely more than books, you are the heart and soul of our communities,” said Christina Van Yperen, the Chamber’s president and CEO.

The materials and programming local libraries offer have always been top-notch. During the prime of the pandemic from March 2020-March 2021, the libraries collectively put just under 139,000 books in the hands of community members. This does not include magazines, DVDs, hot spots and other resource materials.

“When the pandemic hit, it was never an option for them to shut down. In fact the library teams knew they were needed more than ever. So the staffs did what they do best - they got creative. They became virtual chefs, online story-time entertainers, social media stars, curbside and delivery drivers, and experts in quarantine and sanitation,” Van Yperen said.

Each of the libraries received a custom book award, Coal City’s was accepted by Jolene Franciskovich, the library’s director. She was joined at the awards ceremony by Debbie Trotter, president of the Board of Trustees.

Awards were also accepted by Resa Mai, director of the Morris Public Library, and Lauren Offerman, director of the Three Rivers Library in Channahon and Minooka.