Discover & explore for grade schoolers: Bomba music

Hands drumming

By Children’s Librarian José Cruz This week, I would like to introduce the African influence on Puerto Rican music by exploring Bomba traditions. Bomba music is a call and response process where the dancer communicates with the drummers and vice versa. This musical tradition dates back to 17th century Puerto Rico, and it served as … Read more

Virtual learning for early learners: Explore a world of words

Mr. Dean working on Bones Discovery Kit

By Children’s Librarian Shelley Harris Greetings and salutations! Jenny and I have been having fun sharing words this week, from words about apples to what we can find around our homes. Words are everywhere! Explore words together with these videos, activities, books, and more. Watch these videos Miss Jenny has a book called Be Kind, … Read more

We suggest: Regional stories: Appalachian fiction

Book covers

By Collection Management Librarian Dontaná McPherson-Joseph Travel with us to the oft-overlooked region of Appalachia. Nestled in the peaks, valleys, nooks, and crannies of the Appalachian Mountains, separating the East Coast from the Midwest, this beautiful region is home to rare accents, deep religion, and hidden secrets. Appalachian fiction Betty by Tiffany McDaniel Why you should … Read more

Virtual learning & fun for early learners: Storytelling

Miss Jenny and Ruthie the Camel playing Roll-A-Story Pronouns

By Children’s Librarian Shelley Harris Back in the pre-COVID-19 days, we used to get small kids coming up to the desk and proudly reading a book to us. Their caregiver would laugh and say they had it memorized or were describing the pictures. And guess what? That is also reading!  The articles about Picture Walks … Read more

Meet Darcel: ‘In a world where you can be anything, be kind’

As the library’s Teen Services Specialist, Darcel Washington provides outreach and program support to kids in grades 6-12. Darcel joined the library last November, bringing more than 15 years of experience in creating innovative youth development programs. With the library, she works on youth programs such as Living History and Leading Edge, plus this month’s … Read more

Discover & explore for grade schoolers: Let’s talk about bodies & puberty

Kid looking at anatomy on tablet

By Children’s Librarian Hal Patnott Developing accurate and affirming language to name the parts of our bodies and understanding the ways in which bodies change as we age is an important skill for young people to learn. Not only is it a matter of physical health, but it also provides young people with better tools … Read more

October 12 is Indigenous Peoples’ Day: Find titles & resources for all ages

Indigenous Peoples' Day

In 2017, the Village of Oak Park Board of Trustees approved a proclamation declaring the second Monday in October Indigenous Peoples’ Day. This day recognizes that Native peoples were the first inhabitants of North America and celebrates their history, traditions, and stories. We acknowledge that Oak Park is situated on the ancestral land of the … Read more

Virtual learning & fun for early learners: Rhyme time

Miss Shelley counting

By Children’s Librarian Shelley Harris Like the sounds we talked about last week, rhymes and rhyming words are an important part of pre-reading and reading. It’s another way to play with words, see how they’re made and how to break them down. This helps kids be able to understand how to sound words out when … Read more

We suggest: Disability reads

Child with hearing aide reading book

Each October, we recognize Health Literacy Month, a time to promote the importance of understandable health information. October is also a month chosen to highlight awareness of many disability communities, a time to call for acceptance of and advocacy for people who use communication aids to speak, have Down Syndrome, Sensory Processing Disorder, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, … Read more

Books Empower: How we’re partnering to give new books to people who need them most

Books Empower: Book delivery

‘The kind of project that makes us love Oak Park’ With funding from the Illinois State Library, we’ve launched an initiative to distribute new, free books to community members who are most in need of resources. Recipients will be able to keep these books forever and use them to build their home libraries. This new … Read more

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