Foundation Stories

Why I Give: Julie Steiner

My earliest Library memory is of the Oak Park branch. I loved watching the librarian go through the check-out process, stamping each card, tucking it into the pocket on the cover and sliding the books back to me!

These early moments of wonder encouraged my love of reading and learning. I loved that pile of library books to read and then when I returned them, loved the anticipation of new books I would find and check out.

Later on, in adult life, I was contemplating a career change and a move to another part of the country. The library was so important at this crucial juncture, it’s where I research new opportunities and communities.

I began my “volunteer career” with the library when I was elected to the Friends of Johnson County Library’s board of directors. I joined a passionate and dedicated group of people who work really hard to support our wonderful Library. I especially enjoyed working on the summer book sale. When I concluded my terms on the Friends board, I guess I wasn’t done supporting Johnson County Library, because I was recruited to join the board of the Library’s Foundation. I’ve served the Foundation for the past 3-1/2 years.

There hasn’t been a chapter of my life that has not featured libraries, and I want to do what I can to sustain this institution that helps so many people in so many different ways. Serving on the board of an organization I believe in is very fulfilling and has lead to new friendships and an understanding of the many positive and vital ways a library system affects its community.

This is my third year as Library Lets Loose event chairperson. The Foundation supports early literacy initiatives and other innovative learning programs, all designed to enhance the community and keep the Library strong for generations. I hope we’ll see you there, it’s the best party in town!

Because it’s about the library, I should tell you what I’m reading. I recently finished listening to Rules of Civility by Amor Towles.  After narrator Eduardo Ballerini spoke at a Foundation event, I checked out a book he narrated, The Lincoln Highway, also by Amor Towles. So good.

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