Search the Catalog:

Vickie L. Novak

Direct Line

A Quarterly Message
From Library Director
Vickie L. Novak


It is with great pleasure that I introduce you to Kate Stack, a Glenview student and active Glenview Public Library patron. A creative thinker, passionate problem solver, and technology enthusiast, Kate was an integral part of the Springman Middle School MakerSpace Club—which plans maker events to showcase student craft, science, engineering, and other “do-it-yourself” projects. Kate’s involvement further sparked her imagination.

Since Kate was three years old, she has been one of the growing number of American children with a food allergy. Kate began to think of all the kids who need epinephrine injections to stave off life-threatening reactions. Injections are scary and instructions on the device can be intimidating. Kate began to ask herself, “How can I make this more engaging, interactive, and friendly?” In answer to these questions, Kate created the concept for Epi-Spot, a furry friend to help young people learn to administer lifesaving epinephrine injections.

Using materials from Springman’s MakerSpace, teaching herself the computer coding necessary for the product design from books that she got at the Glenview Public Library, and reaching out to teachers and neighbors for advice, Kate created a product prototype. This project ultimately won her a $10,000 grant from the Infosys Foundation USA InfyMaker contest to be awarded to the nonprofit of her choice, plus an additional $1,000 which she will be putting toward her college fund.

I recently received a phone call from Kate’s mother, Karen, to ask approval for Kate to designate the Glenview Public Library as her chosen grant recipient for the Infosys Maker Space Award—a staff training and cash award that we are able to use to create a MakerSpace in the Library. When I asked Kate why she selected her public library, she responded, “My library is a place where many people have access. Tons of students, no matter their background or which school they go to, will be able to take advantage of the award.” Kate wants to make the world a safer place through education and tools such as Epi-Spot. She hopes to inspire other students to think creatively and to challenge themselves in ways which make an impact on people’s lives.

Kate used Glenview Library resources to teach herself the computer coding necessary for her project and, as a result, she was proud to be able to give back. As a participant in the Library’s Summer Reading Program for many years, as well as a Library literacy volunteer, she was eager to be able to help the Library add a MakerSpace to its many services.

Kate will be a freshman at Glenbrook South High School in the fall and has been accepted into its STEM program, a rigorous curriculum that prepares students for careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. I am proud to share the accomplishments of a modest, articulate, and incredibly talented Glenview innovator, Kate Stack.

Email Your General Questions, Comments & Suggestions to the Library Director