Improving our service to Spanish-speaking patrons

Group of library staff pose together against an artwork backdrop

To meet our community’s growing needs, we partnered with Triton College this spring to offer an eight-week conversational Spanish course for 12 library staff members at the Main Library. The course was designed to help staff provide more responsive customer service and build relationships with Spanish-speaking community members who frequent the library. Rashmi Swain, Adult … Read more

Partnering for teen mental health

Three people pose in front of a backdrop reading Northwestern Medicine Feinberg School of Medicine. Two hold framed certificates.

American teens are in a mental health crisis, according to the Office of the Surgeon General and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—and it began even before the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s why, since 2019, assistant professor and researcher Ashley Knapp (pictured above, left), who studies teens, technology, and mental health at Northwestern University’s Feinberg … Read more

The Storyline returns: Summer issue now out

Cover of the summer Storyline magazine

This latest issue of the library’s magazine (pdf) highlights summer reading programs for kids, teens, and adults, plus: We love to see how you use your public library If you have an idea or story to share with us for a future issue, please contact us at You can also share stories, photos, and more through … Read more

Creative Studio turns 1

3D printer printing an octopus

We’re celebrating the first anniversary of the Creative Studio! Since the digital makerspace officially opened last April on the Main Library’s third floor, it’s been a fantastic year of learning, expanding offerings, and, of course, lots of creativity. “The Creative Studio provides access to technology and tools that help patrons realize their personal, professional, and … Read more

2023: A year in review

Cover images of 2023 impact reports

Our library strives to be a library for everyone, one that prioritizes: To report on the impact of work in these areas, the library shares monthly public updates at its Board of Library Trustees meetings, and creates annual, year in review impact reports. These reports showcase library work that shared the information, services, and opportunities … 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

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