Stronger together

Last March, as part of our strategy to rethink how we engage with all patrons, we hired a social worker—a first for us, but part of a growing trend for public libraries, including those in Evanston, Denver, and Washington, DC. “Around the nation, public libraries have become de facto community health centers for people who … Read more

On June 1, we went fine free

Fine Free

Starting June 1, 2017, anyone who checks out materials at an Oak Park Public Library location will no longer be charged overdue fines on those materials. “Every single mom of young children I know is jumping for joy,” said Gwen Walski, an Oak Park mother of three. “I love the library, and my whole family gets … Read more

A new experience model

olmes Elementary teacher Drew Finkbeiner and Oak Park Public Library's Rob Simmons shaking hands.

Rethinking how we engage with all patrons In his first week as Social Services and Safety Director, Robert Simmons found the demand for his social work advocacy and referral services even greater than expected. “The library provides a snapshot of the overwhelming discrepancy between the haves and the have-nots,” Simmons said. “Oak Park is only … Read more

‘I couldn’t exist without library books’

Home Delivery

For Millicent Hosp, a 101-year-old resident of Brookdale Plaza Oak Park, printed books are a thing of the past. Hosp remembers the stories she used to read on paper—mysteries featuring a favorite female detective, or tales about unusual families—back when she was living in her home in south Oak Park and receiving Home Delivery Service … Read more

Oak Park Talks: First impressions

By David J. Seleb, Executive Director, Oak Park Public Library I was introduced to the Harwood practice in October 2013, while attending a Public Innovators Lab in Washington, DC, sponsored by the American Library Association and the Harwood Institute. I have since spoken with and learned from many members of the Oak Park community. Each conversation … Read more

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