Here you'll find the answers to a few frequently-asked questions from members of our two communities, Tinley Park and Orland Hills.
- Adult Literacy
- Book Appraisers
- Book Dealers - Used and Rare
- Book Binding and Repair
- Books for the Sight Impaired
- Cell Phone Recycling
- Community Service
- Computer and Appliance Recycling
- English for Non-English Speakers
- 55 Alive Classes
- GED and High School Equivalency Test
- Notary Public Service
- Public Aid and Food Stamps
- Public Internet Access
- Section 8 Housing
- Shelter for Homeless
- Social Security
- Tax Forms
- Tutors for Children and Adults
- Voter Registration
Q: I need a particular tax form -- and quickly!
A: The Tinley Park Public Library distributes commonly-requested federal and Illinois tax forms. We also have selected federal and state reproducible forms, from which you can make copies using our photocopy machines. For people in a hurry, though, both Illinois and federal tax forms and publications are available on the Web. In order to display and print the forms from home, you will first need to download and install a free program called Adobe Acrobat Reader.
To find federal tax forms (or publications), visit http://www.irs.gov/, and click on the "More Forms and Publications" button in the upper left-hand corner.
To locate Illinois tax forms, visit http://www.tax.illinois.gov/taxforms/index.htm.
Q: Where would I go to file for unemployment benefits?
A: The Illinois Department of Employment Security operates a number of offices, called "Illinois workNet Centers," where one can apply for unemployment benefits. The IWC Center nearest to Tinley Park and Orland Hills is located in Harvey, Illinois, at the following address:
16845 S. Halsted
Harvey, IL 60426
For more information about services provided, visit the following website:
Q: Where can I attend classes to help me earn a General Education Development (GED) or High School Equivalency (HSE) credential?
A: Classes are held locally at Moraine Valley Community College and South Suburban Community College. Call Moraine at (708) 974-5340, or South Suburban at (708) 596-2000, ext. 2385, for detailed information. To find other locations in the Chicago area, call the Adult Learning Hotline at (800) 321-9511.
Q: I know someone who was evicted from their apartment. Where can the homeless find temporary shelter?
A: There are several shelters in the area, but some are open only during the winter months (typically, mid-October to mid-April). Also, some shelters are only available to victims of domestic violence. Contact the following agencies for details:
7000 W. 111th Street, Worth, Illinois 60482
CEDA Center for Community Action
53 E. 154th Street, Harvey, Illinois 60426
Crisis Center for South Suburbia
(domestic violence victims only)
PO Box 39, Tinley Park, Illinois 60477
(708) 429-7233 or 429-7255
Morning Star Mission
350 E. Washington St. Joliet, IL 60433
1439 Emerald Ave, Chicago Heights, Illinois 60411
(referrals to other shelters)
South Suburban PADS
414 W. Lincoln Highway, Chicago Heights, IL 60411
Description: An inter-faith program providing shelter and supportive services to homeless persons, available each year from October 1 thorugh April 30. For a list of locations, visit this page: http://www.sspads.org/ST_Sites.html.
South Suburban Family Shelter, Inc.
(domestic violence victims only)
P.O. Box 937, Homewood, Illinois 60430
Q: I know someone who has trouble with reading, writing, and mathematics. Where can they find a tutor?
A: If your friend is still attending elementary or high school, check with the school's guidance counselor for suggestions. Alternatively, the local yellow pages has a list of possibilities under the heading for "Tutors." Some tutors meet with students regularly at the Tinley Park Public Library .
If your friend is an adult, there are a number of options. Programs to improve adult literacy, as well as Adult Basic Education (ABE) programs, are available at many academic institutions in our area, including Moraine Valley Community College, Prairie State College, and South Suburban College. Typically, your friend will be asked to make an appointment for a placement test to determine the level of help needed. Afterward, depending on the situation, the individual may meet with a tutor at a mutually agreeable location, or they might attend group classes at the community college.
Moraine Valley Community College
9000 College Parkway
Palos Hills, IL 60465
Prairie State College
Corner of Halsted and Vollmer Road
Chicago Heights, IL 60411
South Suburban College
15800 S. State Street
South Holland, IL 60473
Another literacy program that offers assistance in our region is ProLiteracy Worldwide (formed by the merger of Laubach Literacy and Literacy Volunteers of America), as well as the following:
South Area Literacy Council
14037 Lincoln Avenue
Dolton, IL 60419
ProLiteracy Worldwide also sponsors a hotline (888-528-2224) to help you to find additional tutors in the area.
Q: I have recently immigrated to the country, and speak very little English. Who can help me?
A: The community colleges listed above all have ESL ( English as a Second Language) programs (as well as the literacy, ABE, and GED assistance programs described above). Contact them for more information.
Q: How do I apply for welfare (public aid) and food stamps?
A: Both the "Temporary Assistance for Needy Families" and Food Stamp ("SNAP") programs are provided by the Illinois Department of Human Services. The following DHS field office is nearest to Orland Hills and Tinley Park. Contact them for further information:
Family Community Resource Center
3301 Wireton Road, Blue Island, IL 60406
Q: Where can I attend a "55 Alive" class?
A: The "55 Alive" program is sponsored by AARP (formerly known as the American Association of Retired Persons). Officially known as the "AARP Driver Safety Program," 55 Alive is an eight-hour course taught in two 2-hour sessions spanning two days, and costs $10.00. Motorists aged 50 or over may take the course (AARP membership is not required), and those who complete the course may be eligible to receive a multi-year discount on their auto insurance premiums. Visit the following AARP webpage to locate the class time and place most convenient for you:
Q: I'm visiting from out of town, and brought along my laptop computer. Where can I connect to the Internet?
A: Tinley Park Public Library has a free wireless network suitable for laptops and other mobile electronic devices. Tinley Park PL also has public Internet access through desktop computers at the library. Residents of Tinley Park or Orland Hills may use our public Internet workstations at no charge; the non-resident fee is $4.00. The library does not provide open telephone lines for connecting laptops via modems, but it is possible to connect to the Internet if you have a network cable.
Three nearby businesses also provide wireless Internet access for the public. Panera Bread, Staples, and Starbucks Coffee all have retail stores in the area. To find the most convenient location (as well as information about cost, printing availability, etc.), click on these links:
Panera Bread Staples Starbucks Coffee
Q: I have a relative who can no longer read books, newspapers, and magazines because the print is too small. What are her options?
A: Depending on the person's degree of sight impairment, there are several options to consider. For those who can still read regular books but with increasing difficulty, we have a substantial Large Print collection at the Tinley Park Public Library, including many current popular fiction authors (and a small number of non-fiction works). The text in these books is roughly twice the size of text in a standard paperback. When even "large type" is a challenge, we have a collection of "Books on Tape." In this format, professional readers are recorded as they read aloud popular works, and the sound of their voices is stored on cassette tapes or compact disks. Both abridged (summarized) and unabridged (complete text) versions of your favorite books may be available.
More comprehensive programs are also available. The local Voices of Vision Talking Book Center, based in Geneva, Illinois, provides audible reading materials for all ages in conjunction with the "Library of Congress National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped." Their service includes access to over 50,000 books and 70 popular magazines, using various types of cassette players to listen to the tapes. (Note that the tapes are not standard cassette tapes; they require a special player to use them.) Although this service is free, the applicant must be certified to have a valid sight impairment by a doctor, nurse, social worker, librarian, or other "competent authority." Our staff would be glad to help you apply for this program; afterward, the patron deals directly with "Voices of Vision" staff.
Similar service is provided by Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic. This national group, based in Princeton, NJ, specializes in educational materials. Membership with RFB&D costs $25.00 per year, with a one-time registration fee of $50.00.
There are other services that provide specialized reading materials, as well as video reading machines that can magnify the image of any print source (Tinley Park PL owns one of these machines for use in the library). Ask one of our reference librarians for more information about these possibilities.
Q: How do new residents of Tinley Park and Orland Hills register to vote?
A: You can register to vote at either the Tinley Park or Orland Hills Village Hall. Bring two forms of identification, with at least one showing your current address. (Note that you must be a resident of a precinct for at least 30 days before applying for voter's registration.) You may also register to vote at any other city or village main offices, at township offices, and at driver's license facilities when applying for other services. You can register to vote year round except for 27 days just prior to an election and the two days immediately following an election.
Q: I have an old computer and a microwave oven that I'd like to recycle. Where can I bring them?
A: The Assistive Technology Exchange Network (ATEN) recycles computers and other technology donated by corporations and individuals to benefit learners with disabilities. Affiliated with Infinitec, Inc., the program has distributed nearly 20,000 complete computer systems, free of charge, to disabled students in public schools throughout the state of Illinois. They are happy to accept older equipment even if it is no longer in working condition. Infinitec also accepts "everything with a cord" (cell phones, CD-players, printers, radios, TVs, toasters, etc.) and other items as well (VHS tapes, floppy disks, CD-ROMs, etc.). The Infinitec Southwest office is located at 7550 W. 183rd Street in Tinley Park (the Arthur and Mary Rubloff building). Their phone number is (708) 444-8460, ext. 231, and they accept donations from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Q: I would like to apply for Section 8 (HUD) housing. How can I do so?
A: The "Housing Choice Voucher Program," more commonly known as Section 8 housing, provides financial assistance to low income renters and homeowners. The assistance is in the form of a rental subsidy, which limits the monthly rent payment of the recipient. This federal program is operated nationally by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), but administered locally.
In our region, the Section 8 program is administered by the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA). Applicants are added to a list, and recipients are chosen by lottery. For more information, call the CHA at (312) 935-2600, or visit their website at www.thecha.org.
Q: I own several old books that are falling apart. Some need basic repairs, and some need to have a new binding. Where can I have this done?
A: Many book binderies will only deal with large institutions like libraries, but the Houchen Bindery will also restore books for individuals. The service is not inexpensive, however; prices range from $125.00 to more than $500.00 for the restoration of a single item like a family Bible. Their general office, located in Utica, NE, can be reached at (800) 869-0420; however, note that materials must be evaluated before they can quote a price, so you must ship the item to them. The cost is a minimum of $25.00 plus shipping and handling.
The A & H Bindery in Broadview (708.344.3300) binds bibles, dissertations, journals, and miscellaneous religious documents. Cost is $48 and up. A complete price list is available at http://www.ahbindery.com/menu.pdf.
If you'd like to try your hand at bookbinding, instructions for do-it-yourselfers are available at http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-bind-your-own-Hardback-Book/. Archival supplies for do-it-yourselfers are sold by Gaylord (http://www.gaylord.com; 800.962.9580).
Q: I lost my Social Security Card and need to get a replacement. Can I request one online? Where is the nearest office?
A: You can request a replacement card, apply for benefits, find documents and forms, and obtain other services online at the following URL: http://www.ssa.gov.
You may also call the following toll-free number to obtain the same services plus a few additional ones: (800) 772-1213.
There are two offices serving the south suburbs of Chicago. Before you visit, please call the number given above to make an appointment.
104 S. Halsted Street
Chicago Heights, IL 60411
10718 S. Roberts Road
Palos Hills, IL 60465
Q: I changed cellular providers, leaving me with an old cell phone I can no longer use. Where can I donate or recycle this phone?
A: South Suburban Family Shelter continues to collect used cell phones as a fundraising venture. They have collected over 3,000 cell phones which are shipped to a company in Florida that recycles and refurbishes the phones. Phones which offer the most value are those under 5 years old, with smaller digital handsets, not older analog phones. There is one collection box in Tinley Park (DeVry University, 18624 West Creek Dr.), but there are many others throughout the south suburbs. For a longer list, click here.
Q: I need to have some papers notarized. Where can I find a Notary Public?
A: Notary service at the Tinley Park Village Hall (16250 S. Oak Park Ave.) is free of charge for residents and non-residents, but you must have a photo ID. Also, most banks offer free notary service for their own customers, but non-customers sometimes pay a fee.
Q: Are there any RV or tenting campgrounds in the area?
A: The only campground in Tinley Park (Windy City) closed in 2008, but here is a list of others in the region:
Enchanted Shores (Public Campground)
11018 W Wilmington-Peotone Rd, Peotone, IL 60468
Goodenow Grove Nature Preserve (Will County Campground)
27064 Dutton Road, Beecher, IL 60401
Emerald Trails (Private Campground)
3132 E Goodenow Rd, Crete, Illinois 60417-5018
Martin Campground Inc (Private Campground)
725 Cherry Hill Rd, Joliet, Illinois 60433-9739
Q: Where can I sell my old books?
A: Here are two used book dealers in the south suburbs. (Note: neither of these businesses do formal appraisals of book -- only informal estimates of value. Note also that Half Price Books buys CDs, DVDs, and other items in addition to books.)
Half Price Books
31 Orland Square Drive
Orland Park, IL 60462
Paperbrack [sic] Trading Co.
8825 Ridgeland Ave
Oak Lawn, IL 60453
Q: I have some old books. Is there someone who can appraise their value?
A: There are some appraisers in the Chicago area who will determine the value of your books, but there is a charge for the appraisals -- and most appraisers will not purchase books that they have appraised (to avoid a conflict of interest).
Chicago Rare Book Center
703 Washington Street
Evanston, IL 60202
Printers Row Fine and Rare Books
715 S. Dearborn Street
Chicago, IL 60605
Q: My son has been given mandatory community service by the court. How can I find a non-profit agency that will qualify?
A: Here are three links to websites with helpul information for those seeking court-ordered community service. The first is an overview of the Cook County community service program; the second has a list of agencies (like Goodwill) that typically offer community service hours, and also provides advice from a professional consultant who works with non-profit groups; and the third is an agency that will actively help individuals find local service opportunities -- for a fee.