Message from the Executive Director

Dear Oak Park Public Library Community, 

I am sorry. 

There has been a lot of public conversation, hurt, and confusion about our library over the last week.

I am accountable for this library and to this library. And I am deeply sorry I contributed to the hurt experienced by community members surrounding the Celebration of Palestinian Culture event.

I am deeply sorry for the confusion inside and outside of the library about something that should have been resolved with more internal conversations but became something else entirely.

As the leader of our library for everyone, I would never want any less than a welcoming experience for every member of our community. Or to diminish an event in any way. I would never want to visit that kind of hurt on anyone. 

We all have spent much time attempting to explain what happened and why, and who knew what, and when and how…when what is most important to say, on behalf of the library and for me personally, is “I’m sorry.” 

Culturally inclusive programming at the library continues. In March and April, Ramadan Around the World and Ramadan Read Aloud & Craft are happening, and more collaborative cultural events are in the works.

I speak from my heart, and I am dedicated to serving this community. 

I care very deeply about Oak Park, this library, and our library staff. It’s why I am here.

I am committed to repairing harm, and to striving to empower every voice in our community. 

Yours in partnership, 
Joslyn Bowling Dixon
Executive Director