This month, the Glen Ellyn Public Library (G.E.P.L.) in west suburban Glen Ellyn, Illinois will mark the 100th anniversary of the Eastland Disaster and hold a 3D Printing Open Lab. Next month, the Read for Heroes Summer Reading Clubs will complete their literacy and fundraising efforts and the Youth Department will temporarily close down.
To mark the 100th anniversary of the Eastland Disaster, the Eastland Disaster Historical Society will give a presentation at the G.E.P.L. from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 30, 2015 in Meeting Rooms A & B. One can reserve a seat for the presentation online here.
Friday, July 24, 2015 was the 100th anniversary of the infamous Eastland Disaster. On Saturday, July 24, 1915, the steamship Eastland capsized in the Chicago River after Western Electric employees and their families embarked for an excursion in Michigan City, Indiana, where they were to hold the 5th Annual Employee Picnic.
At least 844 men, women, and children died. It was the worst loss of life in the history of Chicago.
As George W. Hilton explained in The Encyclopedia of Chicago, “The ship as built in 1903 was stable but did not meet specifications in speed and draft. Modifications in 1904 to correct those problems created a chronic problem of top-heaviness. The Eastland nearly capsized on July 17, 1904.”
Hilton added, “The Titanic disaster had produced a worldwide movement to increase the boat and raft capacity of ships relative to licensed passenger capacity. Owners who bought the Eastland in 1914 after the ship’s service on Lake Erie did not inquire into its history. On July 2, 1915, they modified it with additional lifeboats and life rafts on its top deck. The ship capsized on the first occasion when it was loaded to its new licensed capacity.”
Three weeks after the S.S. Eastland sank, she was righted and later converted into the U.S. Navy warship U.S.S. Wilmette. She was stationed at the Great Lakes Naval Base.
On June 7, 1921 the U.S.S. Wilmette sank a submarine in Lake Michigan. This German submarine was a war prize that had been on display in Chicago.
The UC-97 was a 56.51-meter-long UC III type double-hulled ocean-going minelayer from the Kaiserliche Marine (Imperial German Navy). Somebody remembered that every single U-boat Germany had was supposed to be destroyed per the Treaty of Versailles (1918).
There will be an all-ages 3D Printing Open Lab in the Youth Program Room from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Friday, July 31, 2015. Participants can design toys, models, name plates, and objects of their own design and pick them up at a later date.
The G.E.P.L. estimates that the adults are about 62% of the way towards meeting their goal and the children are about 61% of the way to their goal.
The Read for Heroes Summer Reading 2015 program ends Monday, August 10, 2015. The challenge is for the adult participants to read a total of 4,500 books and youths to spend 70,000 hours reading.
One can sign up for the Glen Ellyn Public Library Summer Reading Clubs online here. Children from two years old to eighth grade can earn books for reaching certain markers: one book for reading (or being read to) for twenty hours, a second book for reading (or being read to) for fifty hours, and a third book for reading (or being read to) for 100 hours.
High school students can get a t-shirt for signing up and earn $5 gift cards to Amazon or Starbucks. The top reader will win a $150 Ticketmaster gift card. For every fifth book one reads, one earns a $5 gift card and enters a drawing with a grand prize of a $150 Ticketmaster gift card or a ride on a fire truck for oneself and some friends.
Adults get a chocolate bar of one’s choice for signing up. For every fifth book one reads between May 11th and August 10th one receives one entry for the grand prize drawing: one of two $250 gift cards to Absolutely Chicago Segway Tours.
The Friends of the Glen Ellyn Public Library and The Rotary Club of Glen Ellyn will donate money to the Glen Ellyn Police Department’s Madden Scholarship Fund and towards the recruitment of volunteer firefighters. For the Glen Ellyn Volunteer Fire Company, the single biggest factor in their continued success is the ability to attract, recruit, and successfully train new volunteers.
Established in 2007, the Madden Scholarship Fund honors the late Police Sergeant Robert Madden. The G.E.P.L. stated, “The scholarship benefits students from Glenbard West and Glenbard South who wish to pursue a career in law enforcement or a related field of study. Each year, one graduating senior from each high school is awarded the scholarship.”
The G.E.P.L. Youth Department will be closed from Tuesday, August 11, 2015 to Monday, September 7, 2015. The Youth Department is gearing up to undergo remodeling.
The staff will be packing up materials and preparing to move to temporary quarters in the G.E.P.L.’s First Floor Meeting Rooms. The Youth Department is scheduled to re-open to the public in the First Floor Meeting Rooms on Tuesday, September 8, 2015. Limited parts of the collection will be available for circulation whilst construction work takes place.