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

Juneteenth 2023: Commemorate & celebrate

Juneteenth banners and photos in the Main Library Idea Box; artist Tia Etu in her studio with Juneteenth-inspired artwork "The Call"

Above left: June 2022 Main Library Idea Box exhibit. Above right: Local artist Tia Etu with her Juneteenth-inspired artwork. Read more about The Call. On Monday, June 19, all library locations will be closed for Juneteenth. This national, state, and Oak Park holiday celebrates African Americans’ freedom from enslavement in the United States. Juneteenth titles … Read more

Supporting the freedom to read

All across the United States, there is an unprecedented campaign to censor books in school and public libraries. In March, the American Library Association (ALA) reported that 2022 saw the highest number of attempted book bans in 20 years, nearly double the number in 2021. “Overwhelmingly, we’re seeing these challenges come from organized censorship groups … Read more

Meet Christine, our new Environmental Programming Specialist

Christine Poreba with a background of trees

Christine Poreba is the library’s new Environmental Programming Specialist. In this position, she helps connect people to resources, information, programs, and community groups focused on sustainability. A poet and former teacher, Poreba has been working for the library since last May. As she shifts into this new role, she’s taking on an area of strategic … Read more