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Vickie L. Novak

Direct Line
A Quarterly Message
From Library Director
Vickie L. Novak


On April 13, library colleagues and volunteers gathered together with community members for a celebratory reception to honor Irene Overman Kreer’s more than 50 years of dedicated service to the Glenview Public Library. Simply known as “Rene” throughout the community, this remarkable woman has made an indelible mark on the Library and the Friends of the Glenview Library.

Rene’s most notable contribution was her vision for the Friends’ Used Book Store. She first proposed the idea to me early in 2006, when the old library was bursting at the seams. We were able to eke out a small space on the mezannine and take advantage of an offer for some donated, secondhand shelving. With the Library Board’s approval, the Friends’ Used Book Store was up and running by July! From its inception, Irene Kreer’s goal was to make the book store the finest on the North Shore.

Once the “go ahead” for the new library was given, Rene was involved in the planning, layout, and fundraising for the new Used Book Store. Since its inception, she has also served as the day-to-day manager of the Used Book Store’s 60+ (and growing!) volunteer staff, whose efforts support the Library’s mission, while enriching the lives and the bookshelves of Glenview residents. Always elegant, never ruffled, there is no job too large or too small for this dynamic woman. While sorting out the big picture of any undertaking, she can also be seen sitting on the floor sorting, pricing and categorizing hundreds of used books.

To celebrate and commemorate her vision and dedication, the Friends’ Used Book Store was renamed by the Glenview Library Board of Trustees in honor of Irene Overman Kreer at the April 13th reception.

Several of Rene’s many contributions were also highlighted:

Glenview Library Trustee and Board Officer (1970-1975) involved in pivotal decisions that helped steer the course of the Library’s future

A driving force for major fundraising activities of the Friends of the Glenview Library, which have raised over one million dollars in support of popular library programs, technology, and collections

The catalyst behind the continuity of the Endowment Card program, ensuring that every child in Glenview is able to enjoy the benefits of a library card even when their parents cannot afford the state-mandated fee for residents of unincorporated Glenview

From her small town roots, Rene has transformed herself into a global citizen. Travelling throughout the world, she returned from each trip with new insights about art, architecture, and archeology, which she has shared in many community forums. Irene Overman Kreer’s keen intelligence, organizational prowess, selfless generosity, and limitless energy have touched countless lives since she first settled in the Village of Glenview 68 years ago.

Irene Overman Kreer’s willingness to share her vast storehouse of knowledge, to mentor a new generation of organizational leaders, and to dedicate herself to every aspect of community service speak for themselves. The residents of Glenview are truly blessed that Irene Kreer chose her path to personal fulfillment through a life of service to her neighbors.

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