New year, new transitions! Videos & books for early learners

A graphic featuring an illustration of a schoolhouse with children coming down a slide built on the front and the text Welcome Back to School

By Shelley Harris, Children’s Librarian Welcome to the -ber months: September, October, November, and December! Most people celebrate the start of a new year in January. Not me. I graduated more than ten years ago, but the start of the school year is still the start of my personal new year. For a lot of young … Read more

Summer fun on the go! Activities for grade schoolers

Kid using tablet in backseat of car

By Eileen Saam, Children’s Librarian There are so many fun things to do during the summer, and at the library, we have some great resources to take with you that will make it even more fun! And don’t forget to log your reading and activities for summer reading » Going on a road trip? Check … Read more

Collaborating for success: Supporting early learners & caregivers

Collage of images: A chicken on rocketship, toys in front of a bag with the Collaboration for Early Childhood logo, and birdie on stack of books that reads Early Bird Readers

By Shelley Harris, Children’s Librarian By now, you’re very familiar with our new Early Bird Learning video series, right? Each week we share a new video, alternating between content to watch with your kids and content just for caregivers. To help create content for these videos, we’ve partnered with our friends at Collaboration for Early Childhood, … Read more

Trans Youth Town Hall: A virtual tutorial for grade & middle schoolers

Trans flag with trans symbol

Pride is more than a month of rainbows and parades. Our celebration of Pride month comes from a history of protest for liberation for LGBTQ+ people. Learn about LGBTQ+ activists Discover biographies about activists like Stormé DeLarverie, Marsha P. Johnson, and Sylvia Rivera on Gale in Context: Biography. Check out books for young people, including … Read more

Introducing Early Bird Learning videos

New: Early Bird Learning Videos text with chicken on rocketship and birdie on stack of books

By Shelley Harris, Children’s Librarian Let’s take a walk through memory lane! In January 2016, Jenny (pictured above with Ruthie the camel) and I launched the Early Bird Reader program, with weekly literacy tips texted out and monthly videos for caregivers that dug a little deeper into a specific literacy topic. In March 2020, we had … Read more

‘As long-distance grandparents who want to stay in touch, this was a big gift’

Person reading from and showing picture book with a bee

For the past four years, Oak Park library patron Lindsay Olson has hosted a weekly Zoom storytime with her granddaughters on the West Coast. “We were so grateful we had our storytime sessions in place when the pandemic hit,” Olson says. “Not seeing our family for two years was made easier by our Sunday storytimes.” … Read more

Learning through gardening: Videos & activities for early learners

Miss Shelley giving two thumbs up in the Maze Sensory Garden

By Shelley Harris, Children’s Librarian Have you ever explored the little side yard of the Maze Branch Library (pictured above)? It’s not exactly quiet, because it’s right next to the expressway. But it can still be a cozy place to curl up with a book, do some yoga on the grass, watch for butterflies in the … Read more

Kids summer reading: What to read, listen to, watch & do!

Summer Reading June 1-August 31: Oceans of Possibilities with two children reading and listening with headphones while riding a fish

By Children’s Librarian Eileen Saam Summer is here, and so is this year’s summer reading program: Oceans of Possibilities! The program runs all summer long, June 1-August 30. Here at the Oak Park Library, we are so excited about all the possibilities that the summer reading program provides for kids and families. Everyone is encouraged … Read more

Exploring social-emotional learning: A new virtual tutorial for caregivers & early learners

A side view of Ruthie the camel puppet

By Shelley Harris, Children’s Librarian At the library, we often hear from parents, teachers, and other caregivers that social-emotional learning (SEL) is important to you. What exactly is SEL? Let’s take a brief look and then dig in below. What is social-emotional learning? Social-emotional learning is a learning approach that helps people understand their emotions, feel those … Read more

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