Resources to explore recent news, local history

Stack of newspapers

Keep connected, stay informed Discover anywhere, anytime access to a variety of online resources, connecting you to regional news and local history. Search multiple Chicagoland newspapers at the same time, including the Chicago Sun-Times, Oak Leaves, and Wednesday Journal. Explore NewsBank Chicago » Access historical issues of hundreds of Illinois newspapers, including Oak Leaves (1902-1977), with searchable … Read more

Building community: Tell us what you think

Building Community: Palaces for the People book cover

Inspired by this summer’s One Book, One Oak Park selection Palaces for the People by Eric Klinenberg, we are asking about and sharing community members’ perspectives on social infrastructure. This is what Klinenberg calls “the missing piece of the puzzle; and building places where all kinds of people can gather is the best way to … Read more

‘We’re inextricably connected’

In this summer’s One Book, One Oak Park series, we’re connecting over Eric Klinenberg’s Palaces for the People, which looks at how open, accessible spaces can promote civic engagement and social interaction. The author uses the term “social infrastructure” to describe public libraries, parks, schools, community gardens, and other places where people assemble and engage. … Read more

Want to live green? Resources to get started

Watering a garden

Want to reduce your use of the Earth’s natural resources and live a more eco-friendly life? Check out these titles and resources, handpicked by our librarians, to help you learn more about sustainable and eco-friendly living, just in time for Earth Day on Monday, April 22. Find it on the shelf (physical books) Read it … Read more

Community is a common enterprise

man shaking hands woman in sweater

As he travels across the country and the world as president of The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, Rich Harwood said he finds a deep yearning for more connection. From Alabama to Israel, in Ohio and Michigan, people are wondering, “Do our lives matter? Will I be seen and heard? Does hope still matter?” “Without … Read more

More Than a Month widens the lens in 2019

The Color of Art still

It started as a way to celebrate the black experience all year long, and not just during Black History Month. Now, almost 36 months later, the library’s More Than a Month series kicks off its fourth year with an expanded outlook and programs that promote conversation and year-round enrichment for all. ‘It’s both/and’ More Than … Read more

What grows with restorative justice?

Panelists Darrius Lightfoot, Quintin Williams, and Tim Crawford at the Restorative Justice Conference at the Main Library in October

The first time Chicago police officer Tim Crawford observed a peace circle, he was skeptical. But after a while, “I started to see—hold on—this works,” he said. “Especially with people who experience trauma on a regular basis. You’ve got to have a place to vent, to speak your truth.” Crawford (pictured far right) works with … Read more

‘A place where people care about community’

Library volunteer Susan Burke

After a career working in libraries around Illinois, Susan Burke retired to Oak Park. It was a return—she grew up in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood and lived in Oak Park in the early 1970s. “Oak Park has always been committed to social justice, and that was why I came back,” she said. Burke also gives back. … Read more

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