Meet Rose, your Health & Senior Services Librarian

Rose Barnes, Health and Senior Services Librarian

As our Health and Senior Services Librarian, Rose Barnes is your go-to for resources on health and wellness and senior services. “I am most interested in exploring more ways to incorporate health and wellness programming into the library while also creating spaces for conversation and growth,” she says. “I am passionate about practicing yoga, baking, … Read more

A conversation with thought leaders in the national reparations movement

"From Here to Equality" book cover, authors William Darity Jr. and A. Kirsten Mullen

By Christian Harris Note: A version of this post first appeared in Wednesday Journal and on December 7, 2021. Read the piece on » As a young Black man growing up in Oak Park, I was never taught that Black people lived here before the 1950s, when world-renowned chemist Percy Julian moved in. I would … Read more

Thank you for your generosity this Socktober!

Our community showed an abundance of giving in October, during two donation drives hosted at the Main Library. Thanks to all who donated! Boxes & boxes of socks! This was our fifth year participating in the annual Socktober drive. In past years, we collected hundreds of pairs of socks for clients of shelters. And this … Read more

Got a book club? Want to start one? Check out a kit

Book club kits

Whether you’ve got a long-standing book club or want to start a new one—make it easy for everyone and check out a ready-to-read Book Club Kit! The kits are located on the Main Library’s second floor, near new fiction. What’s in each Book Club Kit bag 10 copies of the same popular title Discussion questions … Read more

Middle schoolers to ‘lead with love’ in John Lewis series this fall

Brooks Middle School teachers Nichelle Stigger and Katy Alejos

By Nichelle Stigger, Brooks Middle School Note: A version of this post first appeared in Wednesday Journal and on October 5, 2021. Read the piece on » I have one rule in my sixth grade Language & Literature classroom at Brooks Middle School: lead with love. When working with a partner, when walking in the hallways, … Read more

Donate new socks at the Main Library in Socktober

Socktober! Donate new socks here!

Help us warm souls AND soles by donating new socks all October to benefit the clients of Housing Forward. And during the last week of October, we’ll be collecting donations of warm kids’ clothing and gear for Cradles to Crayons. October 1-31: New socks for Housing Forward clients Did you know that socks are consistently among the most … Read more

Discuss “March” by John Lewis in new fall series

This fall, join us for a three-part virtual series in which we’ll read and discuss the March graphic novel trilogy by John Lewis. We’ll use a circle format to discuss the work of the late civil rights icon and U.S. Congressman (D-Ga.) John Lewis, and reflect together on the impact of civil rights movements today. This honest, anti-racist … Read more

Year of the Butterfly: ‘United by biking, nature & gardening’

‘Family-friendly and community-building’ On Saturday, August 21, we partnered with Bike Walk Oak Park for a bicycle tour of native gardens throughout Oak Park. The collaborative event was part of the Year of the Butterfly, a community initiative to bring awareness about how to support a healthy habitat for butterflies and other pollinators.  “I loved … Read more

‘Something has to be done about the climate crisis’

Two local students who care deeply about the environment and the climate crisis are spreading the word at the Main Library. Benjamin, age 12, created a poster all about monarchs, including why their population is in decline and how people can help. See it on the eastern windows in the Children’s Services Area on the … Read more

Why anti-racism is key to sustainability

Kids and adults do butterfly craft projects

By Middle School Librarian Beronica Puhr Note: A version of this post first appeared in Wednesday Journal and on August 3, 2021. Read the piece on » 2021 is the Year of the Butterfly in Oak Park Butterflies symbolize hope and renewal, and their existence is vital to the health of our planet. We all … Read more

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