Our new manager of public safety asks, ‘How can I empower others?’

As our library’s approach to public safety has evolved over the past five years, library staff member Aaron Alonzo has grown along with it. He started at the library in 2017 in a part-time role, and has since worked to become a leader in the organization. This month, Alonzo was promoted to Manager of Public Safety. … Read more

Join us for two anti-racist book discussions in December

Register now for December 1: Stamped: Racism, Anti-Racism, and You Join us on Tuesday, December 1, 6-7:30 pm​ for the third family and community discussion of Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Dr. Ibram X. Kendi. Register now » Stamped offers a history of racist and anti-racist ideas in America, from their roots in Europe … Read more

Books Empower: How we’re partnering to give new books to people who need them most

Books Empower: Book delivery

‘The kind of project that makes us love Oak Park’ With funding from the Illinois State Library, we’ve launched an initiative to distribute new, free books to community members who are most in need of resources. Recipients will be able to keep these books forever and use them to build their home libraries. This new … Read more

‘Kids are reflective and ready to do this work’: Supporting anti-racism in Oak Park middle schools

Beronica Puhr and Katy Alejos load van with boxes of books

“Schools are a reflection of our society, so in the wake of social justice and anti-racism demonstrations, we must support our students in becoming global citizens in a diverse democracy.” —Oak Park Elementary School District 97, Anti-Racism in District 97 All Oak Park Elementary School District 97 middle school students are reading and discussing Stamped: … Read more

How we’re partnering ‘to develop young minds’ during COVID-19

Parent and child with computer

While so much has changed this year, our priority to support early childhood learning remains strong. “We work with educators, children, and caregivers to develop young minds,” says Early Childhood Community Engagement Specialist Jenny Jackson. “We set a foundation in social and emotional learning, and through that foundation we focus on literacy and connectedness.” Connectedness … Read more

Now virtual, English conversation program ‘has really blossomed’

People on Zoom computer screen

“I live alone, and so I don’t have anyone to talk to. I feel great that today I had a chance to meet others virtually, and I learned many new words in English.” -Participant in English Language Conversation program Before the pandemic, English language learners came together every Saturday morning at the Main Library to … Read more

‘Take a deep breath,’ ‘figure out how to grieve’: Virtual health & wellness with your library

Woman meditating outside

As this uncertain and difficult year goes on, we know our community’s need for health and wellness support is only increasing. Library programs focused on health and wellness—Midday Meditation, Grief Journaling, and more—offer opportunities for community members to carve out time and space for their mental and physical health. “Since March, much of our programming … Read more

Supporting Power of Partnerships, a new virtual tutoring collaborative

District 97 E-Team Library Dominican logos

Logistical aspects of this partnership are currently in development. Information will be updated here as more details are formalized. To support Oak Park families and educators who will participate in remote learning, the library is partnering with the Equity Team (E-Team) of Oak Park, Oak Park Elementary School District 97, and Dominican University to serve … Read more

Six weeks into summer reading: ‘Kids are blowing us away’

By Children’s Librarians Shelley Harris and Genevieve Grove  5,100 challenges completed. 2,000 books read, in 285,000 minutes. 975 readers. 11,000 beads earned. AND COUNTING! Six weeks into our new virtual summer reading program, kids are blowing us away with their enthusiasm and determination. Adults know that kids who read at least 20 minutes a day … Read more

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