Staff started a new affinity group for those who are disabled, neurodivergent, or chronically ill. As with our existing Black, LGBTQ+, and Latine affinity groups, library staff voluntarily come together, chat, and share space with one another.

In honor of Black History Month, the second annual Idea Box Black History Museum honored Black Oak Park history and the leaders who defied racial barriers to lay the foundation of this diverse, progressive village. Read more »

Our Middle & High School Services Team launched three new ways for youth in grades 6-12 to build relationships, learn with their peers and mentors, and grow in their schoolwork, job readiness, health, relationships, and overall confidence and self-awareness. The three mentorship programs were created with community organizations Your Passion 1st, A Greater Good Foundation, … Read more

By the end of the year, 25 percent of all library staff had participated in ongoing restorative practices trainings. Having staff members equipped with this tool enables staff to equitably serve the community through creating spaces where people can show up authentically as themselves.

To successfully deliver programs like the 1619 Series Anti-Racist Discussion Circle and D-Composed Concert in November 2022, we built teams with more BIPOC staff members in program planning roles, and these teams created and delivered authentic experiences that prioritized people of color.

Joslyn Bowling Dixon became the library’s first Black executive director, bringing a prolific catalog of knowledge and experience gleaned from more than 20 years of urban and suburban public library experience to her new role in Oak Park. Dixon’s hiring also increased the number of BIPOC staff in director-level positions to three, up from only … Read more

Nora Sanchez became the library’s first Latinx Language and Culture Librarian, and later updated her title to Latine Language and Culture Librarian based on community learning. She began successful community collaborations, including the first-ever Hispanic Heritage Month festival Convivencia, the library’s Dia de Muertos ofrenda displays and Day of the Dead Performance by the Omeyocan … Read more

  To bring more visibility to our policy “A Library for Everyone: Striving to Support Positive Experiences,” we added large “A Library for Everyone” signage in the Main Library Lobby and parking garage, and on screens at Dole and Maze branches. We made new T-shirts for staff and library board members, and created and posted … Read more