Foundation | Oak Lawn Public Library
Oak Lawn Community Library Foundation historic photo

Current Board of Directors (January 2020)

Margaret Hayes, President
Glen Kato, Vice-President
Dr. Ted Gasteyer
Carole Onwiler
Joseph Skibinski
Robert Thompson
Tom Javorcic

To Make a Donation

In May, the Community Library Foundation launched a Foundation Donation campaign to benefit the Local History Unit at the Oak Lawn Public Library. Manager Kevin Korst and his team of devoted assistants and volunteers are entrusted with precious memories and valuable artifacts. The Local History Unit at OLPL is the only organization actively preserving Oak Lawn’s rich history. To safeguard the Village’s past, we the Foundation’s Board of Directors ask fore your support. Consider a tax-deductible donation to the Oak Lawn Community Library Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established in 1993.

Your gift will make an enormous difference and enable Local History to: create annual exhibits, purchase artifacts, develop programs and cultivate online databases. For more information, or to include the Library Foundation in will or estate plans, participate in a corporate match program, or make a gift of stock, contact Kevin Korst at 708-422-4990.


Oak Lawn Community Library Foundation

Preserving Oak Lawn’s History

The Oak Lawn Community Library Foundation was founded in 1993 to seek private sector support for maintaining the excellence of materials and services offered by the Oak Lawn Public Library.The Foundation is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization governed by a volunteer board of community members whose time and energies allow us to operate without administrative costs.

Why Have a Library Foundation?

With tax caps, diminishing state and federal funds and the increasing costs of materials and supplies, library service cutbacks are inevitable if new sources of funding are not developed. The Foundation was formed to ensure the the Oak Lawn Public Library will continue to meet the needs of the community.The Library Foundation also provides an opportunity for private citizens and businesses to make tax-deductible contributions to sustain and expand library programs, materials and services.

How Does the Library Foundation Support the Library?

Donations made to the Oak Lawn Community Library Foundation are invested into a professionally managed Endowment Fund established for the long-term security of the Oak Lawn Public Library. Over the years, this reserve will grow and become large enough to fund major capital projects at the Library.

The Foundation & Local History

As the Local History program continues to grow and expand, there are many archive storage, display, equipment and staffing needs that go beyond the Library’s regular budget. In response to a growing interest in the history of our Village, the Oak Lawn Public Library re-established a Local History program in Nov. 2006.

In 2014, to help preserve the history of Oak Lawn, the Oak Lawn Community Library Foundation revamped its mission in order to solely support the Local History Unit of the Oak Lawn Public Library. Since Local History moved to its existing location on the second floor in April 2015, exhibits are now accessible all 70 hours a week the Library is open. This has translated to an increase of visitors. More than 500 community members alone attended the opening night remembrance, “Voices in the Wind,” honoring the 50th anniversary of the devastating 1967 tornado.

The impact of the Local History Unit reaches beyond just its physical space at the Library. Kevin Korst leads education programs at area libraries, in classrooms, and on walking tours highlighting Oak Lawn’s historic structures and landmarks. In 2017, there were more than 25,000 searches conducted in the Local History database, which currently contains 14,000+ items including oral history interviews, audio and musical recordings, photographs, postcards, artifacts, phone books, and yearbooks.