Putting community first

Chalkboard with "I want to live in a community..." written at the top and a chalk drawing of a tree and smiling faces

Turning outward for action and change Four years ago this October, Executive Director David J. Seleb attended a three-day workshop so influential it forever changed the way he looked at his work and the direction of the Oak Park Public Library. “In my 28 years working in libraries, I’ve been introduced to lots of initiatives, … Read more

Adding value: Leading Edge

Adding Value: Leading Edge

What’s your personal mission? What are three qualities of a great leader? What would you say to a young man who stopped you on the street to ask? For five Wednesday afternoons this summer, participants in the library’s Leading Edge youth development program set out from the Main Library to pose such questions to pedestrians … Read more

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

Design like Frank

Unity Temple Minecraft

In our MinecraftEdu World Have kids who love Minecraft? Opportunities are coming up in August for them to get inspired by the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright while playing with friends! In our Frank Lloyd Wright MinecraftEdu World program held in the Main Library Idea Box, players will learn about Wright and create their own … Read more

Automatic renewals are coming

Staff member holding a large stack of books

Automatic renewals to debut in June Starting Wednesday, June 14, eligible items will renew automatically, giving you more peace of mind as well as more time with library materials. So what do you need to do? Nothing! How automatic renewal works Starting June 14, eligible items checked out on your account that have a due … Read more

Leading change by removing barriers

Frances Kraft, Rising Readers

By Frances Kraft As parents, teachers, and family members, we hope to foster in our children a love of reading from the earliest age. We encourage them to get lost in a book and allow their imagination to take them anywhere they want to go. Books eliminate boundaries and erase borders in our minds. But in reality, … 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

We are global learners and citizens

Naomi Priddy

How do you start to have conversations about an object? It’s something the library’s new Multicultural Learning Librarian, Naomi Priddy, has been reflecting on as she immerses herself in the library’s Multicultural Collection. Her goal? To promote intercultural learning and empathy, in part by sharing the curiosity-sparking stories the collection’s artifacts can tell. “What do you … Read more

Book Bike delivers small-business stories

Book Bike outside Kinslahger Brewing Company

Ride along with the Book Bike as we share the unique #OakParkStories of small businesses, starting this National Small Business Week, April 30-May 6. The idea is to turn outward and amplify voices from the community, said Neighborhood Services Librarian Sarah Yale. “To start, we intentionally reached out to local small businesses in areas not given as much ‘love’ as those in … Read more

Landing the job

Trina Wade selecting books

Last year, Trina Wade, a mother of four, was working part-time at a major financial institution, studying full-time toward a business degree, and hunting for a job in a new industry. She was busy, working hard, and getting frustrated. “My goal was to have a new career before I graduated,” Wade said. “Being on the … Read more

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