‘Kids are reflective and ready to do this work’: Supporting anti-racism in Oak Park middle schools

Beronica Puhr and Katy Alejos load van with boxes of books

“Schools are a reflection of our society, so in the wake of social justice and anti-racism demonstrations, we must support our students in becoming global citizens in a diverse democracy.” —Oak Park Elementary School District 97, Anti-Racism in District 97 All Oak Park Elementary School District 97 middle school students are reading and discussing Stamped: … Read more

How we’re partnering ‘to develop young minds’ during COVID-19

Parent and child with computer

While so much has changed this year, our priority to support early childhood learning remains strong. “We work with educators, children, and caregivers to develop young minds,” says Early Childhood Community Engagement Specialist Jenny Jackson. “We set a foundation in social and emotional learning, and through that foundation we focus on literacy and connectedness.” Connectedness … Read more

Now virtual, English conversation program ‘has really blossomed’

People on Zoom computer screen

“I live alone, and so I don’t have anyone to talk to. I feel great that today I had a chance to meet others virtually, and I learned many new words in English.” -Participant in English Language Conversation program Before the pandemic, English language learners came together every Saturday morning at the Main Library to … Read more

‘Take a deep breath,’ ‘figure out how to grieve’: Virtual health & wellness with your library

Woman meditating outside

As this uncertain and difficult year goes on, we know our community’s need for health and wellness support is only increasing. Library programs focused on health and wellness—Midday Meditation, Grief Journaling, and more—offer opportunities for community members to carve out time and space for their mental and physical health. “Since March, much of our programming … Read more

Supporting Power of Partnerships, a new virtual tutoring collaborative

District 97 E-Team Library Dominican logos

Logistical aspects of this partnership are currently in development. Information will be updated here as more details are formalized. To support Oak Park families and educators who will participate in remote learning, the library is partnering with the Equity Team (E-Team) of Oak Park, Oak Park Elementary School District 97, and Dominican University to serve … Read more

Six weeks into summer reading: ‘Kids are blowing us away’

By Children’s Librarians Shelley Harris and Genevieve Grove  5,100 challenges completed. 2,000 books read, in 285,000 minutes. 975 readers. 11,000 beads earned. AND COUNTING! Six weeks into our new virtual summer reading program, kids are blowing us away with their enthusiasm and determination. Adults know that kids who read at least 20 minutes a day … Read more

Library director joins Harwood Institute board

David Seleb and Rich Harwood in April 2019

Our library’s Executive Director David J. Seleb has joined the board of directors of The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation. He began serving on the 11-member board in June 2020, as he continues to lead the library using the Harwood Institute’s “turning outward” approach. “The Harwood Institute has profoundly influenced my professional and personal life … Read more

Virtual library programs connect regulars, draw new participants

Video chat screen

Like so much else these days, our monthly library groups for writers, performers, language learners, and more are now meeting virtually. While all in-person programs are canceled through August, these online programs are drawing new participants as well as regulars. For example, Oak Parkers who joined the virtual French Conversation Hour in April met new … Read more

Thank you to our volunteers

Library volunteers standing in the stacks

While our library buildings are closed and many library services have moved online, we haven’t forgotten our dedicated volunteers who are waiting to return to help at our physical locations. April is National Volunteer Month. This year, we’re feeling the difference, as we aren’t able to express our appreciation to library volunteers in person. But despite the … Read more

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