New art on display at the library in March

Oak Park Elementary School District 97 student artwork hanging on Main Library Lobby Community Space wall

March is Youth Art Month All March in the Main Library Lobby Community Space: We’re delighted to welcome back a Youth Art Month display (pictured above and below). Student artists in grades K-5, from all eight Oak Park Elementary School District 97 schools, contributed their art to this display. Come in for a close viewing … Read more

Black history in the making in the Idea Box

Children point to items on display in February's Idea Box exhibit, "The Work": Black History Museum

By Kristen Romanowski, Staff Writer & Editor Juanta Griffin was in third grade at Longfellow Elementary School when her teacher, Mrs. Simmons, turned her onto Eyes on the Prize. Griffin says it was this PBS series, which chronicled the civil rights movement from the perspective of ordinary people, that first opened her eyes and drove … Read more

New mentorship programs for youth

Two students in new mentoring program at the library

Our library’s vision is to empower every voice in our community, and our Middle & High School Services Team is doing just that for students this year. We’re excited to offer 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, … Read more

Kwanzaa 2022 ‘was the best one yet’

After a pandemic hiatus, the Oak Park Community Kwanzaa Celebration was back in person at the Main Library in December, with a full house. “This year’s Kwanzaa celebration was the best one yet!” said Multicultural Learning Coordinator Juanta Griffin. Griffin organizes the annual intergenerational event, last held in person at the library in 2019. Among … Read more

1619 series was a ‘journey of love, history, learning’

A large group of people sitting in chairs in a large circle in the library's Veterans Room

For the third year in a row, the library was proud to collaborate with local partners to host a Family and Community Discussion Series focused on intergenerational, anti-racist discussion circles inspired by books and other media. “I always look forward to these circles!” said one participant, who told us they’ve participated in this series for … Read more

Free toiletries for youth at Main Library, thanks to partnership

Cabinet in restroom stocked with hygiene supplies and toiletries

The library is partnering with the Oak Park Township to offer free personal hygiene supplies for youth at the library. Kids and their families can help themselves to soap, shampoo and conditioner, toothbrushes and toothpaste, floss, deodorant, lotion, and menstrual products. The supplies are located inside a small latched cabinet in the wheelchair-accessible bathroom in … Read more

Meet Nora, Latinx Language & Culture Librarian

Headshot of Nora Sanchez with text Nora Sanchez, Latinx Language & Culture Librarian

Please note: As of March 24, 2023, the library has changed its usage from “Latinx” to “Latine.” Nora is now the Latine Language & Culture Librarian. “As an organization, we are continuously learning and evolving to meet the needs expressed to us by our community,” says Manager of Community Engagement Sarah Yale. “Increasingly, we are hearing from … Read more

Growing readers in the Irving Bookworm Garden

Kids planting in garden beds

A book-themed garden at a local elementary school? We can dig it! Since spring 2019, the Bookworm Garden at Irving Elementary School has been growing pollinator-friendly flowers, fruits, and veggies. And with a different children’s book featured in each raised bed, this garden also nurtures a lifelong love of reading in the students who work … Read more

New spot to find peace & positivity at Maze Branch

If you’ve visited Maze Branch lately, you may have noticed a new spot to sit down and take a rest, on a green bench just outside the building entrance. The inviting new PoSITivity Bench came to Maze Branch this spring, thanks to a local chapter of The Links, Incorporated. Made up of professional women of … Read more

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