Pop-Up Libraries

In our continued quest to be a library for everyone, we strive to offer the widest possible access with the fewest barriers as possible. So we’re thrilled to offer a new way for community members to use the library and read library books when they’re out and about in the community: pop-up libraries! 

Pop-Up Library shelf and epop-up library posters hanging on wall

Pop-up libraries are library collections—both physical and digital—that you can access outside library buildings, in spaces where people already congregate. Our goal is to provide great reads and enrichment for community members in locations outside the library, no library card or checkouts needed.

Pop-Up Library: Books at the Community Recreation Center

Our first Pop-Up Library is located in the lobby of the Park District of Oak Park’s Community Recreation Center (CRC), at 229 Madison St., Oak Park.

While this collection includes titles for all ages, it’s particularly geared toward the middle and high schoolers who gather at the CRC after school and on weekends. Students are invited to take books off the shelf to read while they’re there.

“Our partners have shared that students are visiting the CRC for multiple reasons—esports and basketball, discreet mental health services, and to just hang out with friends in the free lobby space, which is where we put the Pop-Up Library,” says Community Engagement Librarian Sarah Yale (pictured).

“Thanks to funding from the Friends of the Oak Park Public Library, we’ve stocked the shelves with graphic novels, short stories, books in verse—diverse titles that appeal to tweens and teens and can be enjoyed socially and in one sitting.”

Library staff will visit regularly to maintain the collection and rotate items, to keep it “fresh and interesting,” Yale added.

Epop-up library: Digital ebooks in English & Spanish

Our epop-up library is a new curated collection that offers free, seven-day access to digital titles and selections curated by our Oak Park librarians. Using a phone or tablet, community members scan a QR code on posters placed in the community to download and read ebooks from wherever they are. No library card is needed. 

Who can use this service? Anyone with a device to download and read ebooks, from wherever they are. This service does not require an Oak Park Public Library card. (But of course we encourage you to get one if you live, work, or teach in Oak Park!)

How do I access ebooks? Using your phone or tablet’s camera, scan the QR code. Then click on the QR code to go to the login site.

When can I download items? Anytime.

Where are posters with epop-up library QR codes located? The first location to host our epop-up library poster, in both English and Spanish, is Thrive Counseling Center, 120 S. Marion St., Oak Park.

Daisy Rios stands next to epop-up library posters
Daisy Rios, Clinical Program Manager in Youth Services, poses with epop-up library posters at Thrive Counseling Center

“Partnering with the Oak Park Public Library’s digital library is an opportunity for Thrive clients to access digital reading materials at any time, including while they wait for services,” said Daisy Rios, Thrive’s Clinical Program Manager in Youth Services (pictured here). “Families who spend time together at our agency will have this great resource for parent-child connection.”

Do I need a library card to sign up? No, you use your email address and create a password to use this service.

What are the password requirements? Passwords must be at least eight digits and include an upper case character, a lower case character, and one number.

What if I forget my password? Your user information is sent to you through the email you provided at sign-up and includes your password. Check your email’s spam folder if you don’t see an email. If you continue having trouble with your account, please contact us.

How do I check out an item? Use the link in the email provided at sign-up to return to the website to continue reading or find more material.

How long will my registration last? Registration is seven days to access the material; that access expires after 14 days.

Can I re-register my account? Yes, you can sign up again using the QR code after your original registration expires.

How long can I keep my checked-out item? You can keep your item for seven days.

Do I need WiFi to read or listen to my items? No, you can use cellular data to read or listen to items.

Where would you like to see the library pop up?

With both kinds of pop-up libraries, our goal is to be responsive to community needs and encourage literacy outside library buildings.

“We want to find more partners who will champion and encourage use,” Yale said, adding that a pop-up library could be a shelf of books in a laundromat or coffee shop, or an early literacy scavenger hunt activity at a grocery store. “You’re there anyway, so how can the library help make the experience more language-rich?”

Do you have an idea for where you’d like to see a pop-up library in Oak Park? Please contact Sarah Yale at sarahy@oppl.org.

Pop-Up Library made possible by generous funding from the Friends of the Oak Park Public Library.