Robert A. Simmons has accepted the library’s new full-time position of Manager for Community Resources. His first day in this new library role will be Monday, March 7.

Joining a handful of public libraries in cities (including Denver, San Francisco, and Washington, DC) with similar social services-based positions, the library created the new role in late 2015. Primary responsibilities will include working with library staff to ensure the security and safety of all library patrons and staff members, applying knowledge of resources and social services available in the Oak Park area, and using professional skills and relationships to help address the needs of homeless and at-risk individuals using the library.

“We are excited to welcome Rob Simmons to our library team as our Manager for Community Resources,” said David J. Seleb, Executive Director of the Oak Park Public Library. “Rob's education, experiences, and record of service are just what we need to improve our engagement with marginalized and at-risk groups of citizens, to provide a safe and welcoming environment for all library patrons, and to work with our community partners to solve problems and to achieve community-wide objectives,” Seleb added.

Simmons brings more than 16 years of experience providing comprehensive social service expertise in for-profit, nonprofit, and education organizations. In his most recent role of Youth Interventionist for Oak Park Township Youth Services, Simmons worked with both suburban and Chicago social service providers and local government organizations including the Oak Park Elementary School District 97, Oak Park and River Forest School District 200, the Village of Oak Park, the Park District of Oak Park.

Simmons earned his master’s degree in social service administration from The University of Chicago, and his bachelor’s degree in human and organizational development from Vanderbilt University.