Community Collaboration

Working together for a stronger community

Community collaboration is at the core of our everyday work. As your public library, we choose to turn outward, create welcoming environments, and live our library’s diversity statement. We pursue a vision to empower every voice in our community, a mission to share the information, services, and opportunities that fulfill Oak Park’s aspirations and strategic plan. Find examples below of how the library works with local agencies for a stronger community.

Collaboration for Early Childhood

  • Baby can’t wait. “The partnership between the Collaboration and the library is a great example of how we coordinate and leverage our resources.”
  • Help strengthen your child’s ‘mind muscle.’ Local families want more resources and support for managing kids’ behavior, addressing children’s social-emotional needs, and helping new parents discover local connections.
Collaboration for Early Childhood logo


E-Team logo

Housing Forward

  • Stronger together. “We are stronger together, bringing resources out to the community in a safe, educational environment. We are working toward the same goals to achieve collective impact.”
  • Socktober. “I’m so proud of our community and how much love was shown.”
Housing Forward Logo

Oak Park Elementary School District 97

Oak Park Elementary School District 97 logo

Oak Park Homelessness Coalition

  • Working together (pdf). Partnering with multiple local businesses, government, and service agencies, we are member of the coalition working to end homelessness in Oak Park.
Oak Park Homelessness Coalition

Oak Park-River Forest Chamber of Commerce

Oak Park River Forest Chamber of Commerce logo

Oak Park Township

  • Stronger together. “We are stronger together, bringing resources out to the community in a safe, educational environment. We are working toward the same goals to achieve collective impact.”
  • Youth Interventionist Program. Coordinating services to help young people at risk of involvement with gang activity, violence or substance abuse, working closely and collaboratively with local schools.
  • Community Mental Health Board. Search this behavioral/mental health service finder.
Oak Park Township Youth Services Logo

Park District of Oak Park

  • Pop-up libraries in the parks. “This idea stemmed from what we heard while talking with young families and home daycare providers last summer, about feeling isolated and appreciating opportunities to meet up with other community members and home daycare providers in a public space.”

Success of All Youth (SAY)

  • Get involved (pdf). Originally developed for the first screening of America to Me, this SAY-created Guide to Equity Resources is designed to connect local community members to many of the existing racial equity efforts in Oak Park and River Forest.
  • Empowering our community’s youth (pdf). “Among Oak Park citizens’ aspirations are those to live in a community with the resources and opportunities for all to be educated and to learn. The Oak Park Public Library is committed to fulfilling those aspirations. That work begins with our youngest citizens and the importance of promoting literacy and reading.”
Success for All Youth Logo

Triton College

Triton College Logo

Where to find more community information

A new experience model

Joining a handful of public libraries in cities (including Denver, San Francisco, and Washington, DC) with similar social services-based positions, the library created a new Social Services and Safety team as part of an intentional effort to rethink how we engage with all library patrons, “including those who are vulnerable, marginalized, or at-risk, who use our facilities on a daily basis, and for whom we should be providing services,” said Executive Director David J. Seleb.

Director of Social Services and Safety Robert Simmons (right) supported by Social Services Specialist Stephen Jackson (left), leads the team with the goals of making the library a safer, more welcoming place for all, and to connect patrons to the resources and information they need. Learn more about the Social Services and Safety team »

Lessons from library social workers

Listen to a recording of the American Library Association seminar “Serving At-Risk Patrons: Lessons from Library Social Workers,” co-presented by Simmons and hosted by ALA’s Public Programs Office with support from ALA’s Cultural Communities Fund.

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