More Than a Model: Community members collaborate with us to share cultural heritage

In May, Oak Park residents Pem Hessing, Nicole Sumida, and Yoko Terretta organized a family celebration at the Main Library in honor of Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. In addition to literary readings, fine art, food, and martial arts demonstrations, they celebrated notable Asian Americans and also challenged definitions of who is considered … Read more

2020 Library Levy Request

The current Main Library building

The Board of Library Trustees approved the library’s 2020 budget at its October 2019 meeting, setting clear priorities to address building and IT infrastructure and maintenance needs and to achieve greater wage and salary equity. Drafts of the 2020 library budget were discussed at the August and September board meetings. Following state law as a … Read more

Let’s celebrate! 1,000 Books turns 2

This November, our early literacy program 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten turns 2. And to celebrate these not-at-all-terrible twos, we’re highlighting a few graduates of the long-term program.  To help prepare our community’s babies, toddlers, and preschoolers to arrive at kindergarten ready to learn, the program asks families to read 1,000 books together before their child … Read more

‘Filled with the spirit of unity’: Community members collaborate with us to share cultural heritage

This year’s Community Kwanzaa Celebration will be the third one that Oak Park resident Juanta Griffin has organized at the Main Library. Here, Griffin shares what the celebration means and what she’s looking forward to this year. “We believe that inclusion fosters understanding, and understanding builds respect, and with respect there can be peace,” she … Read more

Art in the library: Inspiring empathy, connection

In November, two traveling art exhibits that inspire empathy and connection are on display at the Main Library. When Home Won’t Let You Stay, in the Idea Box, shares stories and portraits of refugees. Community on a Shelf, in the Lobby Community Engagement Space, explores the human side of mental illness, community support, and libraries. … Read more

‘My mission is transmitting the folklore’: A volunteer’s story

Of all the Peruvian folk dances that Oak Park resident Kathy Valdivia has studied and taught, her favorite is the Huaylarsh. It’s “a happy dance,” she says, one that recalls agricultural work and courtship among young people in the central Andean highlands of Peru, where Valdivia is originally from. When Valdivia (pictured) moved to Oak … Read more

November is Native American Heritage Month

Jingle Dancer book cover art

Each November, The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum pay tribute to the rich ancestry and traditions of Native Americans during National Native American Heritage Month. Learn more at nativeamericanheritagemonth.gov » Native reads for … Read more

‘A place at the table’: Community members collaborate with us to share cultural heritage

Oak Park resident Dima Ali, who organized a family Ramadan celebration at the Main Library in May

In April, Oak Park resident Dima Ali (pictured above) came to the library with a concern—and an idea. Ramadan was coming up in May, and there were no public programs yet planned at the library to recognize it, this holy month of spiritual reflection and fasting for Muslims around the world.  “There is a need … Read more

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