Who we are
Founded as a public library in 1903, Oak Park Public Library serves 53,000 residents in west suburban Chicago, offering cardholders access to a combined collection of 1.4 million unique titles and 7.9 million volumes through membership in SWAN, a multi-type library consortium. Through three buildings, a website, and a custom app, the library offers physical and digital fiction and nonfiction titles, as well as audiobooks, movies, music, video games, magazines, newspapers, public computers, free WiFi, local historic information, and photo archives. With a staff of approximately 125 employees, the library also provides opportunities for learning at all ages, dedicated spaces for community to connect, and a unique collection of permanent artwork, including pieces by local artists.
More about us
Oak Park Public Library enhances the quality of life in our diverse community by providing the resources and services for lifelong learning and enjoyment, the space and opportunities to gather and connect, and by fostering a love of reading.
We embrace the rich heritage and vibrant future of our community. We aspire to be the best possible library for Oak Park. We create opportunities to participate, connect and discover by: encouraging lifelong learning; responding to the needs of our diverse community; ensuring freedom of access to information; offering space for people and ideas to come together, and providing materials and programs that entertain and inspire. We are committed to excellent service and stewardship of the physical and financial assets entrusted to the library.
2014 strategic goals and actions
Goal 1: We continually evaluate and change our physical spaces to meet needs and to ensure our spaces are customer friendly, easy to use, and green.
- Measure and report the impact of the lobby reconfiguration project on customer experience, staff engagement, and community participation.
- Develop a plan and budget to complete a new teen space by September 2015.
Goal 2: We design and deliver services and programs at our physical and virtual locations to anticipate and to respond to the diverse needs of individuals and the community.
- Add appropriate assistive technology devices, equipment, and software and continue to develop the library’s website as a platform for service delivery.
Goal 3: We lead Oak Park to make the community digitally inclusive.
- Develop and advocate a plan for community-wide wireless access through a collaboration of library staff, library trustees, and other village leaders and officials.
Goal 4: We provide a balanced, multi-format collection to meet the needs of our community and are open and ready to adopt new formats.
- Hire a Content Strategist and develop a library-wide content strategy.
Goal 5: We inspire and support individual and community creativity with our expertise, resources, and technology.
- Develop the library’s new lobby participatory space through monthly creative and experimental uses.
Goal 6: We lead and collaborate with libraries and other organizations on local, regional, state, and national levels to create innovative services, maximize resources, and achieve economies of scale.
- Investigate new partnerships and embed library staff within at least one Oak Park organization or agency.
- Present a new library catalog – selected by the SWAN consortium – to library customers.
Goal 7: We safeguard and celebrate our community’s rich heritage by providing robust physical and virtual access to local history and special collections.
- Improve access to the collections and archives of materials on the history and culture of Oak Park; make these collections accessible on the library's website.
Goal 8: We provide opportunities for learning new skills through hands-on use, classes, and other innovative ways.
- Evaluate the success of our current public technology instruction and investigate other models and practices for possible implementation.
- Create a cross-organizational learning and instruction team
Goal 9: We are agile and innovative in delivering services and in supporting staff learning to create a great work environment.
- Develop a set of common learning standards and a learning plan to use to create individual and team objectives and to evaluate the success of our employees and the organization.
Goal 10: We practice sound, sustainable financial stewardship and management.
- Review the library’s financial and investment policies and revise those policies as necessary.
- Investigate methods to increase the library’s non-property tax revenue.
Library Bill of Rights
The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services. Read the complete Library Bill of Rights.