Honoring Women’s History Month: Books, experiences & more

Celebrating Women's History

Your public library is here to connect us with each other through books, resources, and experiences that celebrate women’s history. On this page, you can: Browse: Title suggestions for all ages. Experience: A kids scavenger hunt in the library. Learn & play: With videos and activities for early learners. Attend: Programs via Zoom and in the … Read more

Honoring Native American Heritage Month

Idea Box

Your public library is here to connect you with books, videos, online resources, and learning experiences that celebrate Native American heritage all year long. This commemorative month was officially designated as Native American Heritage Month by the U.S. Congress in 1990. More: nativeamericanheritagemonth.gov » Currently on display in the Main Library Idea Box North American, Lakota, … Read more

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: East Asian creators & stories

Book covers

By Collection Management Librarian Kathy Sexton May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, and this week we are celebrating by sharing stories written by East Asian authors. East Asian creators & stories Second Sister by Ho-Kei Chan Why you should try it: A smart and twisty suspense novel that also shines a light on the … Read more

Meet Juanta: ‘Multicultural learning teaches us to see the world beyond our neighborhoods’

‘I am passionate about multicultural education’ Juanta Griffin, a longtime Oak Park resident and arts educator, is the library’s new Multicultural Learning Coordinator. In this role, she explores and shares learning from the library’s Multicultural Collection, which is curated to help our community explore cultures and build empathy. “I am passionate about multicultural education not … Read more

Virtual library programs connect regulars, draw new participants

Video chat screen

Like so much else these days, our monthly library groups for writers, performers, language learners, and more are now meeting virtually. While all in-person programs are canceled through August, these online programs are drawing new participants as well as regulars. For example, Oak Parkers who joined the virtual French Conversation Hour in April met new … Read more

Replica Benin bronzes on display at Main Library

Sculptures on pedestals in front of bookshelves

Replica Benin bronzes are on display on the Main Library’s third floor. As part of the library’s Multicultural Collection, these replicas can spark important conversations about pre-colonial African culture and the repatriation of cultural heritage artifacts. The original Benin bronzes, from the Kingdom of Benin in what is now southern Nigeria, are at the heart … Read more

More Than a Model: Community members collaborate with us to share cultural heritage

In May, Oak Park residents Pem Hessing, Nicole Sumida, and Yoko Terretta organized a family celebration at the Main Library in honor of Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. In addition to literary readings, fine art, food, and martial arts demonstrations, they celebrated notable Asian Americans and also challenged definitions of who is considered … Read more

‘Filled with the spirit of unity’: Community members collaborate with us to share cultural heritage

This year’s Community Kwanzaa Celebration will be the third one that Oak Park resident Juanta Griffin has organized at the Main Library. Here, Griffin shares what the celebration means and what she’s looking forward to this year. “We believe that inclusion fosters understanding, and understanding builds respect, and with respect there can be peace,” she … Read more

Art in the library: Inspiring empathy, connection

In November, two traveling art exhibits that inspire empathy and connection are on display at the Main Library. When Home Won’t Let You Stay, in the Idea Box, shares stories and portraits of refugees. Community on a Shelf, in the Lobby Community Engagement Space, explores the human side of mental illness, community support, and libraries. … Read more

‘My mission is transmitting the folklore’: A volunteer’s story

Of all the Peruvian folk dances that Oak Park resident Kathy Valdivia has studied and taught, her favorite is the Huaylarsh. It’s “a happy dance,” she says, one that recalls agricultural work and courtship among young people in the central Andean highlands of Peru, where Valdivia is originally from. When Valdivia (pictured) moved to Oak … Read more

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