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

We Suggest: Indigenous Peoples’ Day titles for adults

Indigenous Peoples' Day

By Collection Management Librarian Kathy Sexton We acknowledge that Oak Park is situated on the ancestral land of the Bodewamiadkiwen (Potawatomi), Myaamia (Miami), Oceti Sakowin, Kiikaapoi (Kickapoo), and Peoria. We honor them and thank them for their stewardship of this land. In 2017, the Village of Oak Park Board of Trustees approved a proclamation declaring … Read more

Honoring Hispanic Heritage Month

Pictured above: Detail of Maíz Flor Serpiente/ Flower Maize Serpent commissioned digital art work by the Indigenous Design Collection, 2015. (Smithsonian Latino Center) A celebration of Hispanic Americans, this commemorative month (held September 15-October 15) honors “the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and … Read more

Watch: “Hope of Juneteenth”

Celebrating Juneteenth Today is Juneteenth, the holiday celebrating the end of slavery in the United States. It marks June 19, 1865, the day when enslaved African Americans in Galveston, Texas, were finally told that the Civil War had ended and they were free—two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclamation … Read more

Meet Juanta: ‘Multicultural learning teaches us to see the world beyond our neighborhoods’

‘I am passionate about multicultural education’ Juanta Griffin, a longtime Oak Park resident and arts educator, is the library’s new Multicultural Learning Coordinator. In this role, she explores and shares learning from the library’s Multicultural Collection, which is curated to help our community explore cultures and build empathy. “I am passionate about multicultural education not … Read more

May is Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month

Cherry trees along the Tidal Basin with Japanese Lantern

Pictured above: Cherry trees along the Tidal Basin with Japanese Lantern placed in the park in 1954. Washington, D.C. Carol M. Highsmith;, photographer, [between 1980 and 2006]. (Library of Congress) A celebration of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States, this commemorative month pays “tribute to the generations of Asian and Pacific Islanders who … 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

Replica Benin bronzes on display at Main Library

Sculptures on pedestals in front of bookshelves

Six replica Benin bronzes are now on display on the Main Library’s third floor, with three more coming soon. Part of the library’s Multicultural Collection, these replicas can spark important conversations about pre-colonial African culture and the repatriation of cultural heritage artifacts. The original Benin bronzes, from the Kingdom of Benin in what is now … Read more

More Than a Model: Community members collaborate with us to share cultural heritage

In May, Oak Park residents Pem Hessing, Nicole Sumida, and Yoko Terretta organized a family celebration at the Main Library in honor of Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. In addition to literary readings, fine art, food, and martial arts demonstrations, they celebrated notable Asian Americans and also challenged definitions of who is considered … Read more

‘Filled with the spirit of unity’: Community members collaborate with us to share cultural heritage

This year’s Community Kwanzaa Celebration will be the third one that Oak Park resident Juanta Griffin has organized at the Main Library. Here, Griffin shares what the celebration means and what she’s looking forward to this year. “We believe that inclusion fosters understanding, and understanding builds respect, and with respect there can be peace,” she … Read more

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