Transgender Awareness Week: Books, a workshop & resources

Transgender flag drawn in chalk

This November 13-19, we celebrate Transgender Awareness Week, an annual event dedicated to educating our communities about the lives of transgender people. Transgender Awareness Week takes place in the week leading up to Transgender Day of Remembrance (November 20)—a day set aside to recognize each life lost during the year to transphobic violence around the … Read more

Book bans, censorship & intellectual freedom: Attend Saturday’s panel discussion

Headshots of four Barbara Ballinger Lecture presenters on teal background, with Barbara Ballinger Lecture logo

Across the United States, a movement has been growing to censor books in schools and public libraries, especially books by and about people of color and members of LGBTQ+ communities. As your public library, we will continue to make challenged and endangered books accessible to everyone, and to educate our community on the history and … Read more

Library recognized for ‘outstanding efforts on behalf of LGBTQ+ people’

Library group at the awards ceremony

In October, OPALGA+ (Oak Park Area Gay and Lesbian Association) recognized our library for “outstanding efforts on behalf of LGBTQ+ people in Oak Park and the surrounding area.” The library’s Executive Director Joslyn Bowling Dixon accepted the OPALGA+ Mel Wilson Founders Award at the OPALGA+ Annual Scholarship Fundraiser Gala on October 22. Library staff, including … Read more

Celebrating Native American Heritage Month: Books, an event, learning experiences & more

Native American Heritage book display in the Main Library

Oak Park Public Library acknowledges that Oak Park is situated on the ancestral land of the Bodewamiadkiwen (Potawatomi), Myaamia (Miami), Oceti Sakowin, Kiikaapoi (Kickapoo), and Peoria. We honor them and thank them for their stewardship of this land. Source: Your public library is here to connect you with books, videos, online resources, and learning experiences that … Read more

Programs to help you better understand gender identities & be an ally

Hand holding a rainbow

In November, please join us for two adult programs focused on trans and nonbinary identities. As a Library for Everyone, we believe that offering programs like these are a necessary component of us striving to be an anti-racist and equitable organization. Trans & Non-Binary 101 & Allyship Workshop Do you want to better understand trans … Read more

Celebrate Día de Muertos at library & in community

Front row, left to right: Jessy Martinez, Latine Language & Culture Librarian Nora Sanchez, Alma Martinez, Laura Pulido, and Maya Puentes. Back row: Omeyocan Dance Company

Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) is typically celebrated on November 1 and 2. The celebration, which originated in Mexico, is rooted in indigenous practices that existed long before Spanish settlers arrived.  Together with community members, our Latine Language & Culture Librarian Nora Sanchez has been working to bring the celebration to the library … Read more

Partnership for teen mental health wins award

Group photo with Marché Pernell, Stephen Jackson, Dominique Hickman, Robert Simmons, Vann Harris, Ashley Knapp, Latonia Jackson, Synovia Knox, and Alexander Gutierrez in front of a wall mural

Since 2019, the library has been partnering with researchers from Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine to develop a digital tool to help teens with anxiety. Now in the fourth year of a five-year grant, the research partnership has won an award for its strong collaborative research principles and work to impact health and equity … Read more

50 years of hip hop: How we celebrated

Hip Hop graphic with text This project was made possible by: above the Institute of Museum and Library Services logo

Hip hop is more than music and dance, says Director of Equity & Anti-Racism Stephen Jackson. “It is culture. It permeates every fabric of American life. It is the way people talk, the words they use, the way people wear their clothes.” This year, our library was one of more than 30 organizations around the … Read more

Hispanic Heritage books, events, videos & more

Collage of books

Your public library is here to connect you with books, events, learning experiences, and online resources that celebrate Hispanic heritage and culture this month and all year long. On this page, you can: This commemorative month (held September 15-October 15) was officially designated as Hispanic Heritage Month by the U.S. Congress in 1968. Learn more at … Read more

Disability Pride: ‘I really want to go big’

People pose during Disability Pride Month programs. At right, a girl holds a sign reading "Disability is not a bad word!"

When Children’s Librarian Shelley Harris was gearing up for Disability Pride Month celebrations at the library earlier this year, she kept thinking to herself: “I really want to go big. I want to go so big.” Harris spoke recently with WBEZ Chicago’s Reset about the library’s third year celebrating Disability Pride Month, which marks the … Read more

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