A picture of Representative Janice D. Schakowsky
Janice S.
Democrat IL 9

About Rep. Janice
  • Honoring Fran Roehm

    by Representative Janice D. Schakowsky

    Posted on 2014-12-12

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    SCHAKOWSKY of illinois in the house of representatives Friday, December 12, 2014 Ms. SCHAKOWSKY. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor Frances ``Fran'' Roehm, a librarian extraordinaire at the Skokie Public Library in my district who is retiring after 18 years of remarkable service to our community.

    Fran graduated from the University of Illinois and received a Bachelor's degree in History. As a single mom, she was awarded a scholarship from the then Secretary of State Jim Edgar. This scholarship allowed Fran to return to school and earn her Master's Degree in Library of Sciences, also from the University of Illinois.

    Fran Roehm has worked as the Skokie Net Librarian and Community Liaison with distinction and has guided consumers to resources in the community. Fran is a leader in the library community who works hard to bring the best resources to patrons at the Skokie Public Library. She shines a bright light on our community and the rich resources available at the Skokie Library. Her compassion and leadership inspire the people around her to advocate for others.

    She was nominated by State Senate President John Cullerton to serve on the ``Eliminate the Digital Divide Committee'' and has proudly served on that committee, which distributed $4,000,000 in grants to organizations that serve low-income populations. This important grant program seeks to provide access to computers, telecommunications technologies and related training to disadvantaged communities--a major interest of Fran.

    Fran also offered a wonderful form of outreach to my office. She realized that the library would be a perfect location for neighborhood office hours and from there, we began bringing our constituent services to the Skokie Library in the evenings, once a month, for constituents who cannot meet with our staff during the day for help. This service also allows the public to become more civically engaged. In addition, Fran helped make our annual Artistic Discovery high school art event, which we hold every year at the Skokie library, an extremely successful and welcoming event. Fran is masterful at putting resources and people together. She has been a great advocate and ally to our office.

    Fran is the proud mother of son, Christopher, who lives in California and a proud grandmother to 5-year-old Twyla. Fran is a warm, kind, generous person who has touched and enriched countless lives.

    I join others in the Skokie area and in Illinois in offering my deep gratitude and appreciation of Fran's decades of work and lifelong commitment to providing equal access to community resources. Although she is leaving the Skokie Library, she will remain a leader in our community advocating for the underserved. I wish her well and ask this body to do the same.


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