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Parenting Your Teen (expires June 30)

Watch the recorded version of this event by clicking here. 

Learn how to recognize normal teenage behaviors and better communicate with your teen. Presented by Licensed Professional Counselor Meg Seth-Smith.

You will find presentation slides and other resources here.

Speaker Bio: Meg Seth-Smith is a Licensed Professional Counselor of Pathlight Mood and Anxiety Center.

This hybrid event was recorded on May 4, 2022.

The Real History of Cinco De Mayo (expires June 1)

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Carlos Tortolero, Founder and President of the National Museum of Mexican Art, will discuss the history and importance of Cinco De Mayo.

Speaker Bio: Carlos Tortolero is the Founder and President of the National Museum of Mexican Art (NMMA) in Chicago, the only accredited Latino museum in the U.S. He founded the museum in 1982 and the museum opened its doors in 1987. From 1975-1987, Tortolero worked as a teacher, counselor, and administrator in the Chicago Public School System. He is a recipient of an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Arts from Columbia College (Chicago), 2016 and an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters in 2017 from the University of Illinois (Chicago).

He was named one of Mayor Lightfoot’s Co-Chairs for her Arts & Culture Transition Team. He has served on numerous boards including the University of Illinois, the American Alliance of Museums, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, the Smithsonian Latino Center, the Illinois Humanities Council, Enrich Chicago, and Choose Chicago. He has won numerous awards for his work including the Ohtli Award which is the highest honor given by the Secretary of Foreign Relations of Mexico to individuals “Who have distinguished themselves in the services of the Mexican community outside of Mexico.”  He was named by the Chicago Sun-Times as one of the 200 most prominent Illinoisans in 200 years of history and was awarded the City of Chicago’s highest honor in the arts – The Fifth Star Award. He has received the Puerto Rican Arts Alliance’s National Cuatro Festival Award. He was awarded the Chicago History Museum “Making History” Award in 2018. He was also honored with a Mexican American Legal Defense Education Fund (MALDEF) Lifetime Achievement Award. Tortolero is a Co-Founder of the Chicago Latino Theater Alliance and serves on the board. He was also selected for the Field Foundation Inaugural Leaders for a New Chicago Award. He is also one of the original members of Enrich Chicago, which strives to eliminate racism in the arts.

Tortolero has written for several books as well as numerous articles for national and international publications.  He has also made presentations across the U.S. and in Mexico, France, Spain, Sweden, and in Argentina. He has also served on several national search committees including the Smithsonian American Museum of Art Director position. He has taught classes at University of Illinois at Chicago, The School of the Art Institute, and Northwestern University. Tortolero has a B.A. in Secondary Education and History from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a M.A. in Bilingual Education Supervision from Chicago State University.

The National Museum of Mexican Art (NMMA) is considered by many as the premier Mexican and Latino arts organization in the country. In 2020, the Ford Foundation named the NMMA as one of America’s Cultural Treasures and in 2021, philanthropist MacKenzie Scott awarded the NMMA $8 million for their excellent work.

This hybrid event was recorded on May 2, 2022.

Ukraine Crisis (expires May 21)

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Geography Professor Jason King discusses Ukraine’s history and geography, the origins of the crisis, and varied perspectives of Ukraine, Russia, America, West Europe, and CSTO.

This hybrid event was recorded on April 19, 2022.

Charlotte Bronte, the Stifled Writer (expires April 26)

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In this dramatic portrayal by Laura Keyes, we visit Charlotte Bronte in 1847 as she reflects on her emotionally-charged experiences as both student and teacher at various boarding schools. Ultimately, she must decide whether or not to submit her deeply personal manuscript of Jane Eyre to the publishers Smith, Elder & Co.

A handout with suggested reading is available here.

Speaker Bio: Laura Keyes has been portraying historic women and lecturing on historic topics since 2008, and loves to sharing these stories with you. Laura Keyes graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BA in English Literature, and from UW-Madison with a Master’s Degree in Library Studies. She is a Librarian in Central Illinois.

This hybrid event was recorded on April 19, 2022.

Buying Your First Home (expires June 30)

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Residential lender Maureen Cipolla shares current information for first-time homebuyers covering credit scores, low down-payment programs, and how to access free down-payment assistance.

A recorded version of this event will be available on the library’s Virtual Event Recordings page through June 30, 2022.

Speaker Bio: Maureen Cipolla provides first-class service to her clients and the community. She strives to help clients achieve the dream of home ownership and provides ideas and guidance to ensure the best mortgage solution is achieved.

This hybrid event was recorded on April 11, 2022.

Self-Care for Busy People (expires May 6)

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Bring balance to your life with inspirational self-care practices from yoga teacher, busy mom, and author Julie M. Gentile. Julie will share ways to start now and stay motivated to make self-care a daily, lifelong habit.

Speaker Bio: Julie M. Gentile
Julie is an award-winning author of 108 Yoga and Self-Care Practices for Busy Mamas and How to Stay Calm in Chaos: An Everyday Self-Care Guide.
Learn more about Julie at

This hybrid event was recorded on April 7, 2022.

The Race to Save the RMS Titanic (expires May 5)

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One hundred and sixty minutes. That is all the time rescuers would have before the largest ship in the world slipped beneath the icy Atlantic. There was amazing heroism and astounding incompetence against the backdrop of the most advanced ship in history sinking by inches with luminaries from all over the world. It is a story of a network of wireless operators on land and sea who desperately sent messages back and forth across the dark frozen North Atlantic to mount a rescue mission. More than twenty-eight ships would be involved in the rescue of Titanic survivors along with four different countries.

At the heart of the rescue are two young Marconi operators, Jack Phillips 25 and Harold Bride 22, tapping furiously and sending electromagnetic waves into the black night as the room they sat in slanted toward the icy depths and not stopping until the bone numbing water was around their ankles. Then they plunged into the water after coordinating the largest rescue operation the maritime world had ever seen and thereby saving 710 people by their efforts.

The race to save the largest ship in the world from certain death would reveal both heroes and villains. It would begin at 11:40 pm on April 14, when the iceberg was struck and would end at 2:20 am April 15, when her lights blinked out and left 1500 people thrashing in 25-degree water. Although the race to save Titanic survivors would stretch on beyond this, most people in the water would die, but the amazing thing is that of the 2229 people, 710 did not and this was the success of the Titanic rescue effort.

Presenter Bio: William Hazelgrove is the National Bestselling author of ten novels and ten nonfiction titles. His books have received starred reviews in Publisher Weekly Kirkus, Booklist, Book of the Month Selections, ALA Editors Choice Awards Junior Library Guild Selections, Literary Guild Selections, History Book Club Selections, History Book Club Bestsellers, Distinguished Book Awarrd. and optioned for the movies. He was the Ernest Hemingway Writer in Residence where he wrote in the attic of Ernest Hemingway’s birthplace. He has written articles and reviews for USA Today, The Smithsonian Magazine, and other publications and has been featured on NPR All Things Considered. The New York Times, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, CSPAN, USA Today have all covered his books with features.  His book Madam President:The Secret Presidency of Edith is in development. He has two forthcoming books: The Brilliant Con of Cassie Chadwick and Writing Gatsby.

Information on William Hazelgrove’s latest novel, Greed in the Gilded Age, is available here.

This hybrid event was recorded on April 6, 2022.