Librarian Shelley Harris recognized for dedication to young people

Shelley Harris holds an AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) board in the Maze Branch Community Sensory Garden

The Illinois Library Association (ILA) Youth Services Forum has awarded Children’s Librarian Shelley Harris with the 2021 Golden Ticket Award for her “outstanding local contribution” to young people through programs that “promote a love of literature and instill positive feelings about libraries.” Shelley’s “creativity, incredible work ethic, and commitment to serving young patrons and their … Read more

Best of 2021 (so far): Kids books & picture books

Best of 2021 (so far) Kids Books & Picture Books

Introducing Oak Park’s Best of 2021 (so far)! We just couldn’t wait until the end of the year to share the titles our library staff loved so far in 2021, so you’ll find our favorite kids books and pictures books on this page. Or browse more using the links below. Adult fiction & nonfiction | … Read more

We went to the zoo! At-home videos & activities for early learners

Miss Shelley, Ruthie, and Miss Jenny at the zoo

By Children’s Librarian Shelley Harris Throughout the month of June, all of our videos were filmed at Brookfield Zoo. We’ll be visiting a new place every month this summer, going in-depth to highlight fun and learning for our kids. We think this new series style will start conversations and help kids explore interests, even when … Read more

Let reading color your world: Kids summer reading kicks off June 1

Reading Colors Your World

By Children’s Librarian Shelley Harris Friends, can you believe summer is almost here? It feels like winter was just last month and also a full year ago! But the calendar does not lie: our summer reading program, Reading Colors Your World, starts next week on June 1! Kids, like adults, have been doing their best … Read more

Rhythm & rhyme & harmony: Videos & activities to help early learners practice self-regulation

Toddler clapping

By Children’s Librarian Shelley Harris This week, I shared a video on using breathing to regulate your body when you’re feeling stressed or getting too excited on a fun day. A lot of the songs we sing and games we play in storytime help kids practice self-regulation: kids are following patterns in movement and song, … Read more

Sharing books when you don’t feel like reading: Videos & activities for early learners

Grumpy baby with book

By Children’s Librarian Shelley Harris What do you think of when you see a book? Are books something stressful? Boring? Magical? Exciting? Something in between? All of those reactions are valid. Right now, I feel a little sad when I see books. Because of the stress of the pandemic, I don’t have the mental energy … Read more

Beyond ‘Twinkle Twinkle’: Videos & activities for early learners

Instruments and music notes

By Children’s Librarian Shelley Harris This week, the Fred Rogers Center shared an article from Zero to Three about the power of music for infants and toddlers. It ties music to key early development skills: physical, thinking, language, and literacy skills. As a librarian, I know the value of music; that’s why so much of … Read more

Meet Nora, Early Childhood Community Engagement Coordinator

From a very young age, Nora Sanchez knew she wanted to work with children. Before going to college, she worked in a daycare center, assisting teachers who became role models to her. “Because it wasn’t just a job to them,” Nora says. “It was who they were.” Years later, after having two children of her … Read more

Wild, witty, wonderful words: Videos & activities for early learners

Letter tiles

By Children’s Librarian Shelley Harris Marvelous! Splendiferous! Sensational! There are so many delightful and fun words that exist. The more words that kids know, the easier it will be for them to decode and read them when they’re ready.  Preschoolers young and old love to use big fancy words. How many can you use together? … Read more

Transgender Day of Visibility: Books for early learners & grade schoolers

Book covers

By Children’s Librarian Hal Patnott March 31 is Transgender Day of Visibility (TDoV). Founded in 2009 by Rachel Crandall, Transgender Day of Visibility celebrates the resilience and accomplishments of transgender and nonbinary people. Back in November, we shared books and resources about gender identity. This time, in honor of TDoV, let’s explore some books written … Read more

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