Sharing 1,000 books: ‘It has been truly special’

Father and son reading at Maze Branch

Navin doesn’t start kindergarten until fall 2020, yet he’s already read more than 1,000 books! Committed to the long-term goal of reading together well before kindergarten, Navin and his family participated in the library’s 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program. It’s designed to prepare babies, toddlers, and preschoolers to arrive ready to learn come kindergarten. “We … Read more

‘Catalyst’ grant connects mentors with youth bound for college and career

Emerging Leaders Network

As an 18-month grant-funded initiative to empower youth for college and career builds to a finish at the Main Library, those involved are calling it a “community catalyst” for the way it’s sparking opportunities, strengthening relationships, and energizing young people, families, and those who work with young people. “To catalyze something means you can walk … Read more

Investing in our greatest resources

Library Assistant checks in books at the front desk of the Main Library

To better serve our community, now and into the future, we routinely commit to investing in two of Oak Park’s two greatest assets: library staff and library space. In 2018, the Board of Library Trustees approved a 2019 budget that enables us to do two important things this year. One is to take a big-picture … Read more

Chess Champs: Challenging young minds

Chess Club Champs With Luis Tubens

Poet Luis Tubens has been working with young people at the Main Library since January 2017. That’s when he became the library’s first artist in residence, consistently drawing lots of middle schoolers to his after-school writing workshops and open mics. Although his residency ended in summer 2017, Tubens didn’t stop working with kids at the … 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

Digital learning at your library in 2019

Man holding map and cellphone

Learn about new apps, websites, programs, and more; plus, get answers to your tech questions and explore your creative side during upcoming open maker labs at your library. Basic and Intermediate Tech Workshops Mondays in January and February, 7 pm, Main Library Computer Classroom. Register now. January 7: Intro to Computers January 14: Basic Internet January … Read more

Conserving a piece of the past

Conservation Center crafts a new frame for the library's Scoville Window

Special Collections curates, houses, and conserves Oak Park’s historical treasures, and makes them publicly available both in person and digitally. In 2018 we worked with the Conservation Center in Chicago to conserve a work of art of special significance to the library—a rare window from the Scoville Institute, the late 19th-century building that once stood … Read more

Celebrating early readers: Thousands of books and counting

1,000 Books Before Kindergarten graduation certificates

It’s been one year since we launched our 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program, and our early readers are off to a fabulous start. The library’s long-term reading program is designed to prepare babies, toddlers, and preschoolers to arrive ready to learn come kindergarten. So far, 36 families have achieved the goal of reading 1,000 books together … Read more

Raising race-conscious readers

Librarian Naomi Priddy reads with families in a Race Conscious Readers workshop

In our three-part Race Conscious Readers series this fall, families came together to find ways to talk about race with kids in early elementary school. As one parent said: “It’s important my kids hear these conversations around them all the time, not just at home. It reinforces how important it is.” Books that celebrate, empower, … Read more

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