Meet Matthew, Leading Edge logo designer

Last summer, we held a logo design contest to help spread the word about the Leading Edge Teen Advisory Board (LETAB), one of the library’s Teen Services initiatives. A volunteer group for students ages 13-17, LETAB’s mission is to offer guidance and a teen-centered perspective to the Oak Park community and the Teen Services team. … Read more

Building community: Beehives at the Main Library

Bees on hand

As part of our ongoing focus to sustain the natural environment and to offer new opportunities to learn, we installed two beehives in the spring of 2019, buzzing with up to 20,000 Italian honeybees, on the Main Library’s Green Roof. With our two rooftop hives, the library joined a small community of beekeepers in Oak … Read more

Improving building air quality & energy efficiency

Work is happening this spring at the Main Library to improve indoor air quality and to reduce electricity consumption and waste.  Air quality and safety: To support safety for our staff and community, we’re reducing the risk of airborne viral transmission by installing an air purification system in our heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) … Read more

Teen Services Manager Stephen Jackson writes about restorative practices in latest Library Journal

Leading Edge Barbershop at the Main Library in 2019

In the April 2021 issue of Library Journal, our Teen Services Manager Stephen Jackson writes about restorative practices and libraries. Read the article online or access the entire digitized issue. He illustrates how our library has integrated restorative practices since he joined the staff in 2016. Examples include the use of circles, annual community conferences, … Read more

How libraries help build bridges to better health

Library leadership team virtual meeting

This week, we celebrate both National Library Week (April 4-10) and National Public Health Week (April 5-11). The American Public Health Association sponsors National Public Health Week every April. The theme this year, during what it calls “the most challenging public health crisis of our lifetimes,” is Building Bridges to Better Health. National Library Week … Read more

Join us for anti-racism circles this spring

What is a circle? With library staff photo grid

This spring, join us for anti-racism community discussions using the model of circles, a restorative practice which honors our stories, community relationships, and ability to keep learning from each other.  Register for upcoming anti-racism circles Wednesday, March 31, 6 pm: Community Circle – Identifying the Real Story of Rosa Parks. Register in Zoom » Thursday, April 15, … Read more

‘The whole world comes together to learn, and it fills me with joy’: Takeaways from the 2021 assistive tech conference

Librarian Shelley Harris points to an AAC board

By Shelley Harris, Early Literacy Librarian Learning is a key and consistent part of my job. The highlight of my learning year is the Assistive Technology Industry Association’s annual ATIA conference. I attend the conference every winter and bring back program and accessibility ideas for the library to implement.  This year, we met virtually, yet … Read more

Hemingway in Oak Park: New Ken Burns film shows photos from your library

Hemingway, the new three-part documentary by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, premieres on WTTW and PBS on April 5-7.  See the WTTW schedule » And if you watch the film, you’ll see some archival images from your library, showing a young Ernest growing up in Oak Park. Our Manager and Curator of Special Collections Leigh Tarullo started … Read more

Meet Tatiana, Restorative Practices Coordinator

Tatiana Swancy, Restorative Practices Coordinator

Last January, Tatiana Swancy was among eight library staff members who trained to become peace circle keepers, or facilitators. “A peace circle is a tool to have community conversations where everyone is valued,” she explains. “It’s rooted in the idea that everyone has a story, and it’s a great way to address difficult topics. It … Read more

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