Expect Nothing by Alice Walker

Expect nothing. Live frugally
On surprise.
become a stranger
To need of pity
Or, if compassion be freely
Given out
Take only enough
Stop short of urge to plead
Then purge away the need.

Wish for nothing larger
Than your own small heart
Or greater than a star;
Tame wild disappointment
With caress unmoved and cold
Make of it a parka
For your soul.

Discover the reason why
So tiny human midget
Exists at all
So scared unwise
But expect nothing. Live frugally
On surprise.

When I Have Fears by John Keats

When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has glean’d my teeming brain,
Before high-piled books, in charactery,
Hold like rich garners the full ripen’d grain;
When I behold, upon the night’s starr’d face,
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
And think that I may never live to trace
Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;
And when I feel, fair creature of an hour,
That I shall never look upon thee more,
Never have relish in the faery power
Of unreflecting love;–then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
Till love and fame to nothingness do sink.


HEY! Is Ben in? I need to talk to Ben about something. No, that’s okay, I’ll just come back when Ben’s in.

Anyone who is a regular at the Forest Park Public Library knows Ben- the “Big Cheese” of the Reference Department. He orders those rad CDs you get from the library, runs a super popular non-fiction book club, and can track down just about anything. But what’s Ben actually like? Funny, a little silly, and smart!

What’s your name? Got a nickname? Who were you in a past life?
Benjamin- most people call me Ben. I think one life is about all I can handle!

How long have you been working at the Forest Park Public Library?

Four years.

What book do you think everyone should halt their lives to just read already?

Reading should be a part of your life, not an obstacle to living it! But I’d recommend Jane Eyre to anyone.

Tell us about yourself using no more than three adjectives.

I can’t!

If you had to exist as a character in a book, who would you be?

One of the Hardy Boys- or maybe Encyclopedia Brown.

You’re stranded on a desert island where only three foods grow. What are they?

Barley and hops? Seriously though, corn, beans, and squash. Why mess with tradition?

Draw a map of your desk:

Inbox- full. Telephone- ringing? PC- flying toasters screensaver. Here there be dragons.

Getting Past 1864- The Challenges of African American Genealogy

The year 1864 can be a challenge for genealogy researchers and possibly a triumph. Every family tree hits the brick wall at some point–the burned courthouse, the swamp in Tennessee, the brothers who “went west.” For those doing African-American research the huge brick wall is the year 1864.

Spend an evening learning about the doors, windows and paths into this past, and the depositories that hold treasures.

Register online or at the Reference Desk and we’ll see you on Monday, February 2nd at 7pm!

Award-winning performer Patti Ecker returns to the library for St. Paddy’s Day songs! MacNamara’s Band, Danny Boy, and an Irish lullaby or two. Plus, pub songs like The Unicorn, folk songs from The Emerald Isle and a tall tale about a wee Leprechaun and his pot of gold! Come spend time at the library on Sunday, March 15th from 2-3:30pm to enjoy this all ages program!

Join the Letter Writer’s Association at the Forest Park Public Library on Saturday, September 13th from 1-3pm for a free letter writing social! Stationary, typewriters, envelopes, snacks and more will be provided. Get back in touch with an old friend or find a new pen pal at this unique event!

The library is hosting part of the One Earth Film Festival on Sunday, March 8th at 3pm.
We will be screening the documentary Unacceptable Levels.
One Earth Film Festival is the Midwest’s premier environmental film festival, creating opportunities for understanding climate change, sustainability and the power of human involvement.
After the film, Dr. Susan Buchanan, Director of the Great Lakes Center for Children’s Environmental Health at the UIC School of Public Health, and Ruth Kerzee, Executive Director of Midwest Pesticide Action Center, will be leading a discussion.

Register online for this all ages, informative program!

Forest Park Comics Club meets to discuss Hiromu Arakawa’s manga series, Fullmetal Alchemist, on Thursday, March 19th at 7pm!
Alchemy: the mystical power to alter the natural world; something between magic, art and science. When two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric, dabbled in this power to grant their dearest wish, one of them lost an arm and a leg…and the other became nothing but a soul locked into a body of living steel. Now Edward is an agent of the government, a slave of the military-alchemical complex, using his unique powers to obey orders…even to kill. Except his powers aren’t unique. The world has been ravaged by the abuse of alchemy. And in pursuit of the ultimate alchemical treasure, the Philosopher’s Stone, their enemies are even more ruthless than they are. 

Pick up a copy at the comic store or the Forest Park Public Library. Meet at Defiant Comics, at 7234 W. Madison Street in Forest Park!

Laser Tag @ the Library!

Join Teen Territory for after hours laser tag at the library! The Youth Services floor becomes an arena for target practice. Beat the heat with friends and snacks- we’ll see you Friday, June 20th at 6pm!

Don’t forget to register!


You don’t need an expensive cable or pricey subscription service to enjoy new, popular television. Check out these great series on DVD from the library today!

House of Cards

The Good Wife

American Horror Story

Game of Thrones


Breaking Bad

January Staff Picks!

Diane, Outreach Librarian chose The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman

From the beloved, bestselling author of The Dovekeepers, a mesmerizing new novel about the electric and impassioned love between two vastly different souls in New York during the volatile first decades of the twentieth century.Coney Island: Coralie Sardie is the daughter of the impresario behind The Museum of Extraordinary Things, a boardwalk freak show that amazes and stimulates the crowds. An exceptional swimmer, Coralie appears as the Mermaid in her father’s “museum,” alongside performers like the Wolfman, the Butterfly Girl, and a one-hundred-year-old turtle. One night Coralie stumbles upon a striking young man photographing moonlit trees in the woods off the Hudson River.

Maureen, Librarian, chose Life Itself by Roger Ebert

In this candid, personal history, Ebert chronicles it all: his loves, losses, and obsessions; his struggle and recovery from alcoholism; his marriage; his politics; and his spiritual beliefs. He writes about his years at the Sun-Times, his colorful newspaper friends, and his life-changing collaboration with Gene Siskel. He remembers his friendships with Studs Terkel, Mike Royko, Oprah Winfrey, and Russ Meyer (for whom he wrote Beyond the Valley of the Dolls and an ill-fated Sex Pistols movie). He shares his insights into movie stars and directors like John Wayne, Werner Herzog, and Martin Scorsese, and more.

Des'iree, from Tech Services, chose The Wicked + The Divine by Kieron Gillen
Every ninety years, twelve gods incarnate as humans. They are loved. They are hated. In two years, they are dead. The team behind critical tongue-attractors like Young Avengers and PHONOGRAM reunite to create a world where gods are the ultimate pop stars and pop stars are the ultimate gods. But remember: just because you’re immortal, doesn’t mean you’re going to live forever.


Join us this Friday, July 11th at 1:30pm for a free screening of John Huston’s The Maltese Falcon, as part of our popular summer mystery film series.

A private detective takes on a case that involves him with three eccentric criminals, a gorgeous liar, and their quest for a priceless statuette.

Snacks will be served!

Join the Fiction Book Club!

Join the fiction book club on Thursday, July 26th at 7pm to discuss Walter Mosley's When the Thrill is Gone

Mosley fills his third thriller featuring New York City PI Leonid McGill with insights even deeper than the mysteries McGill is trying to solve. Chrystal Tyler, a potential new client, tells McGill that she’s afraid her billionaire husband is having an affair and may kill her. While McGill realizes the woman is lying, he needs the case and agrees to see what he can do to make her husband back off. Meanwhile, McGill’s wife of 24 years, Katrina, is having an affair; his favorite son, Twill, has a new scam working; and longtime boxing mentor Gordo Tallman is living in his apartment, fighting cancer. Readers will encounter the full panoply of complex Mosley characters, from deceitful women to ruthless killers, but it’s the often surprising bonds of love and family that lift this raw, unsentimental novel.


Now that the end of basketball season is (finally) here, more sports minded folks have baseball on the brain. We’ve got a plethora of great choices for every baseball fan, and here are a few great selected titles!

In The Baseball Codes by Jason Turbow, barriers of hand signals and secret modes of communication are broken down and analyzed. Turbow approaches America’s pastime mathematically, and provides the reader with a unique insight to analyzing plays, strategies, and more.

Girls of Summer by Lois Browne traces the history of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League from the World War II era. Powerful ladies swung the bat and hit home runs, threw fierce fastballs and made gravity defying catches while the men of the country fought in the war.

High Heat by Tim Wendel draws on interviews with baseball historians and current pitchers to help us learn more about how a human being can hurl a baseball at over 100 miles per hour. The author delves into the factors that make throwing heat an elusive challenge that few have accomplished, and even fewer can perfect.

Wrigleyworld by Kevin Kaduk explores the Chicago neighborhood of Wrigleyville for an entire year. Described as a young man’s book about baseball, Kaduk explores the “barbaric world of broads, beer, and bleacher seats” that makes Wrigleyville a draw to more than a million people every season.

These books are more are available at your local library today!