Mon – Thur: 9AM to 9PM | Fri – Sat: 9AM to 5PM | Sun: 1PM to 5PM
4613 N Oketo Ave, Harwood Heights, IL 60706 | 708-867-7828
Mon – Thur: 9AM to 9PM
Fri – Sat: 9AM to 5PM
Sun: 1PM to 5PM
4613 N Oketo Ave
Harwood Heights, IL 60706
708-867-7828

4613 N Oketo Ave, Harwood Heights, IL 60706 708-867-7828

Mon – Thur: 9AM to 9PM | Fri – Sat: 9AM to 5PM | Sun: 1PM to 5PM

Island Within a City: Call for Stories


In 1989, we published, Island Within a City: A History of the Norridge-Harwood Heights Area by Tom McGowen. In 2019, for the book’s 30th anniversary, we began planning an update, exploring more recent history. Those plans were derailed by COVID-19. But now we’re back on track and, this time, we’re asking for your help.

History comes alive when we hear directly from those that experienced it. So we’re offering an opportunity for you, the community, to shape future historical understanding of Norridge and Harwood Heights by writing short essays about your connections to the area.

Below you’ll find writing prompts to spur your memories. Write 250-500 word essays or short stories inspired by one or more. While we welcome all of your stories, the published book will contain only those related to local history since 1990. Stories outside of that scope may be made available to read online.

Want to participate but not interested in writing? Let us know and we’ll arrange for someone to interview you.

We’re also looking for photos or other images related to local history. Digital images can be submitted along with or in lieu of essays. For physical photos and documents, we’re available to help with scanning. Please call 708-867-7828 for help.

Deadline: May 31, 2023

Guidelines

Essays may be submitted online below, in-person at the Library Services Desk, by email to island@eisehowerpld.org. Or send them in the mail to:

History Essays
4613 N Oketo Ave
Harwood Heights, IL 60706

Each submission must include:

  • Your Name (as you would like it to appear in print)
  • Whether you live in Norridge, Harwood Heights, or other. If other, specify where and detail your connection to this community.

Please note that a signed waiver and release form is required with each essay submission. Ask for a copy at the library, or download a printable release.

Writing Prompts


General Essay Prompts


Have you established any family traditions that involve living in the community? Please describe them.

What is one thing you’d like someone to know about your experience over the last 30 years in this community?

Select a photo of your family taken in Norridge or Harwood Heights that is meaningful to you. What is the story behind that photo?

What memory of the past 30 years stands out to you the most about being a part of this community?

What is the most interesting thing you’ve witnessed in the community in the last three decades?

What do these phrases make you think about: businesses you miss; shopping local; island within a city; swimming pool; park; community; Ridgewood; school; church; recreation; school band; eating; nature; music.

What stories do you have of the “unwritten history” of Norridge or Harwood Heights?

You know you’re from Norridge/Harwood Heights when…

The Library


Describe your experiences at the Eisenhower Library.

What role has the library played in your life and the lives of your family members?

If you visited the library before 2008, do you have any memories of the old building?

Did you use the community gardens at the old library? What do you remember about your experiences with them?

Gone But Not Forgotten


Tell us about places or things that used to be here but no longer are. What do you miss about them?

What local activities did you do in the past?

Family Life


If you grew up here, why did you decide to stay or move back?

What fond memories do you have of your childhood?

Describe your neighborhood.

Welcome to The Island


How is this community different from other places your family has lived?

If your or your family moved here from somewhere outside the U.S., how did you pick this community?

Forgotten History


Tell us a piece of forgotten history or a little know fact about this community leading up to 1990.

Shop Local, Shop Global


Why are Norridge and Harwood Heights great places to do business?

What is the importance of retail to the community?

Why did you chose to locate your business in Norridge or Harwood Heights?

How has the business community and doing business here changed since 1990?

How did the rise of the internet affect local business?

Village Government: Keeping the Island Afloat


How do you think governance of the community has changed in the last 30 years?

Why choose to get involved with your village?

Why run for office?

What makes our community unique?

Police & Fire: To Serve and Protect


Why chose to serve the community here?

How have things changed since 1990?

9/11?

Talk about serving the public during the pandemic.

Do you know a civilian with a story you think they would like to share about the police or fire department?

The Park District


What role did the Norridge Park District play in your life in the community?

What do the following words mean to you: Pool; Bocce Ball; Playgrounds; Dance; Park District Programs.

Faith Communities


If you attend a local place of worship, describe how your faith community has enhanced your experience of Norridge and Harwood Heights.

If you are a faith leader, talk about your experience in our community.

Community Events: Working Together. Coming Together


From carnivals to fundraisers, there are many groups who have put on events here. How have events such as these brought the community together?

Talk about any volunteer experience you have from your time in the community.

Schools: Student & Parent Perspectives


Tell us about the local schools you attended and your experience there.

Tell us about your current experience at a local school.

Did you or your kids play sports in school? How important are sports in this community?

Theatre & band experiences? How about art competitions?

Schools: Educator Perspectives


How did you decide to become an educator in this community?

Write about an experience you’ve had as an educator that has made an impact on your approach to education.

Female Leaders & Influencers


Describe any changes you’ve seen as more women have become involved as community leaders and influencers.

Describe your experience as a local woman leader since 1990.

Pandemic


How did your life change during the COVID 19 Pandemic and lockdown.

What did you discover about yourself and/or your community during this time?

Changes


Thinking about the community in 1990 and now, what changes have your witnessed?

How have member of the community responded to the changed you’ve noticed?

How has this community stayed the same in the face of those changes?

Talk about the qualities that defined this community as an “island” and whether they still exist.

We Remember


Write about someone who has passed away that left an indelible mark on this community.

Looking Forward


This community has been described as “steadfast.” What is its greatest strength and how will this strength benefit the community’s future?

What do you see for the future of Norridge and Harwood Heights?

What challenges do you expect the community to meet in the future?

Submit Your Essays or Photos


Essays and photos may be submitted using this form. They may also be submitted in-person, by email, island@eisehowerpld.org, or via mail:

History Essays
4613 N Oketo Ave
Harwood Heights, IL 60706

Please note that a signed waiver and release form is required with each essay submission. Ask for a copy at the library, or download a printable release.

    Categories: Adults, Anniversary, Blog, Kids, Teens, and Upcoming Events.

    Island Within a City: Call for Stories


    In 1989, we published, Island Within a City: A History of the Norridge-Harwood Heights Area by Tom McGowen. In 2019, for the book’s 30th anniversary, we began planning an update, exploring more recent history. Those plans were derailed by COVID-19. But now we’re back on track and, this time, we’re asking for your help.

    History comes alive when we hear directly from those that experienced it. So we’re offering an opportunity for you, the community, to shape future historical understanding of Norridge and Harwood Heights by writing short essays about your connections to the area.

    Below you’ll find writing prompts to spur your memories. Write 250-500 word essays or short stories inspired by one or more. While we welcome all of your stories, the published book will contain only those related to local history since 1990. Stories outside of that scope may be made available to read online.

    Want to participate but not interested in writing? Let us know and we’ll arrange for someone to interview you.

    We’re also looking for photos or other images related to local history. Digital images can be submitted along with or in lieu of essays. For physical photos and documents, we’re available to help with scanning. Please call 708-867-7828 for help.

    Deadline: May 31, 2023

    Guidelines

    Essays may be submitted online below, in-person at the Library Services Desk, by email to island@eisehowerpld.org. Or send them in the mail to:

    History Essays
    4613 N Oketo Ave
    Harwood Heights, IL 60706

    Each submission must include:

    • Your Name (as you would like it to appear in print)
    • Whether you live in Norridge, Harwood Heights, or other. If other, specify where and detail your connection to this community.

    Please note that a signed waiver and release form is required with each essay submission. Ask for a copy at the library, or download a printable release.

    Writing Prompts


    General Essay Prompts


    Have you established any family traditions that involve living in the community? Please describe them.

    What is one thing you’d like someone to know about your experience over the last 30 years in this community?

    Select a photo of your family taken in Norridge or Harwood Heights that is meaningful to you. What is the story behind that photo?

    What memory of the past 30 years stands out to you the most about being a part of this community?

    What is the most interesting thing you’ve witnessed in the community in the last three decades?

    What do these phrases make you think about: businesses you miss; shopping local; island within a city; swimming pool; park; community; Ridgewood; school; church; recreation; school band; eating; nature; music.

    What stories do you have of the “unwritten history” of Norridge or Harwood Heights?

    You know you’re from Norridge/Harwood Heights when…

    The Library


    Describe your experiences at the Eisenhower Library.

    What role has the library played in your life and the lives of your family members?

    If you visited the library before 2008, do you have any memories of the old building?

    Did you use the community gardens at the old library? What do you remember about your experiences with them?

    Gone But Not Forgotten


    Tell us about places or things that used to be here but no longer are. What do you miss about them?

    What local activities did you do in the past?

    Family Life


    If you grew up here, why did you decide to stay or move back?

    What fond memories do you have of your childhood?

    Describe your neighborhood.

    Welcome to The Island


    How is this community different from other places your family has lived?

    If your or your family moved here from somewhere outside the U.S., how did you pick this community?

    Forgotten History


    Tell us a piece of forgotten history or a little know fact about this community leading up to 1990.

    Shop Local, Shop Global


    Why are Norridge and Harwood Heights great places to do business?

    What is the importance of retail to the community?

    Why did you chose to locate your business in Norridge or Harwood Heights?

    How has the business community and doing business here changed since 1990?

    How did the rise of the internet affect local business?

    Village Government: Keeping the Island Afloat


    How do you think governance of the community has changed in the last 30 years?

    Why choose to get involved with your village?

    Why run for office?

    What makes our community unique?

    Police & Fire: To Serve and Protect


    Why chose to serve the community here?

    How have things changed since 1990?

    9/11?

    Talk about serving the public during the pandemic.

    Do you know a civilian with a story you think they would like to share about the police or fire department?

    The Park District


    What role did the Norridge Park District play in your life in the community?

    What do the following words mean to you: Pool; Bocce Ball; Playgrounds; Dance; Park District Programs.

    Faith Communities


    If you attend a local place of worship, describe how your faith community has enhanced your experience of Norridge and Harwood Heights.

    If you are a faith leader, talk about your experience in our community.

    Community Events: Working Together. Coming Together


    From carnivals to fundraisers, there are many groups who have put on events here. How have events such as these brought the community together?

    Talk about any volunteer experience you have from your time in the community.

    Schools: Student & Parent Perspectives


    Tell us about the local schools you attended and your experience there.

    Tell us about your current experience at a local school.

    Did you or your kids play sports in school? How important are sports in this community?

    Theatre & band experiences? How about art competitions?

    Schools: Educator Perspectives


    How did you decide to become an educator in this community?

    Write about an experience you’ve had as an educator that has made an impact on your approach to education.

    Female Leaders & Influencers


    Describe any changes you’ve seen as more women have become involved as community leaders and influencers.

    Describe your experience as a local woman leader since 1990.

    Pandemic


    How did your life change during the COVID 19 Pandemic and lockdown.

    What did you discover about yourself and/or your community during this time?

    Changes


    Thinking about the community in 1990 and now, what changes have your witnessed?

    How have member of the community responded to the changed you’ve noticed?

    How has this community stayed the same in the face of those changes?

    Talk about the qualities that defined this community as an “island” and whether they still exist.

    We Remember


    Write about someone who has passed away that left an indelible mark on this community.

    Looking Forward


    This community has been described as “steadfast.” What is its greatest strength and how will this strength benefit the community’s future?

    What do you see for the future of Norridge and Harwood Heights?

    What challenges do you expect the community to meet in the future?

    Submit Your Essays or Photos


    Essays and photos may be submitted using this form. They may also be submitted in-person, by email, island@eisehowerpld.org, or via mail:

    History Essays
    4613 N Oketo Ave
    Harwood Heights, IL 60706

    Please note that a signed waiver and release form is required with each essay submission. Ask for a copy at the library, or download a printable release.

      Categories: Adults, Anniversary, Blog, Kids, Teens, and Upcoming Events.