Children's Digital Learning Librarian Anne Bensfield said Tech Night, scheduled this year for Wednesday, September 21 at the Main Library, "helps us stay current with what parents want."“Understanding that my middle schooler can research [using] a better way than Google.”

“Understanding the differences and overlap of the library’s and school’s databases—this is great!

“Learning all the tools that are available to parents and students.”

“We didn’t realize the number of ebooks available online and the ability to access them on D97 devices.”

“So much available—books, film, music—and free with our wonderful [library] card! Wow!”

Those are just some of the comments we got from parents and caregivers who participated in last year's Tech Night parent workshop, held at the Main Library in partnership with Oak Park Elementary School District 97. 

"A lot of parents have anxiety about how to use devices and apps," said Children's Digital Learning Librarian Anne Bensfield. "Tech Night With D97 provides an outlet for parents at least once a year, where we provide the hands-on help that parents and caregivers need."

At this year's Parent Workshop: Tech Night With D97, the school district and public library will come together to boost parents' confidence in their ability to use technology and assist their children. D97 teacher librarians and Oak Park Public Library children’s librarians will explore and explain educational apps, online research databases, and more for parents of grade-school and middle-school students.

Why should parents attend Tech Night?

Kathryn Rolfes, Teacher Librarian at Mann Elementary, said Tech Night makes parents aware of the great wealth of resources, both ebooks and electronic databases, that students are using in school and that are available to all Oak Park residents through the library. 

“We focus on the resources that are geared to our students and show how they are being taught in our schools,” she said. “Parents are introduced to highly engaging, ad-free research tools that are specifically created for students by organizations familiar with Common Core and school curriculums. We also teach parents how kids can download ebooks (fiction and nonfiction) straight onto their devices in a matter of seconds. Another great side benefit is that parents walk out knowing how to download music, videos, and magazines for their own enjoyment.”

“Now that so many of our students have access to electronic devices, the collaboration between our libraries is even more relevant,” Rolfes added. “Our D97 teacher librarians can now access and teach the significant resources available from the Oak Park Public Library in our schools. Students and teachers know how to download ebooks and access proprietary databases on science, biography, and a whole host of other topics while in class. The district and the library work together in making decisions on what resources are most important to purchase to support the curriculum in our schools.” 

At Tech Night, families get hands-on help and troubleshooting in different areas like ebooks, databases, and entertainment.

Hands-on tech help for parents

On Wednesday, September 21, 6–8 pm, at the Main Library, Tech Night starts with a presentation in the Main Library Veterans Room, and then continues with stations where families can get hands-on help and troubleshooting in different areas like ebooks, databases, and entertainment.

If possible, bring your own device. Please register now with an Oak Park Public Library card. (And if you don't have a library card yet, we can help you with that!)

Find more tech resources

During the workshop, we will cover online resources like 3M Cloud Library, MUZZY, PebbleGo Biographies, and more. You can access these subscription-based digital tools for students, and enjoy digital music, movies, and more yourself—anywhere, anytime with an Oak Park Public Library card.