2014 Annual Report

Letter From the Executive Director

2014 was a year of turning outward for the Oak Park Public Library. Thanks to many involved citizens like you, we heard a lot about shared hopes and dreams for the future of our community. It was also a year of intense learning about ourselves and how we serve our diverse community.

Throughout the year, and through multiple Community Conversations, we learned about what Oak Park values and where it wants to go. These community aspirations drive how we are approaching everything we do in 2015.

Our 2015 strategic initiatives of engagement, learning, and stewardship come directly from the Oak Park community, from the library’s Board of Trustees, and from the people who work with our community members every day, our library staff. The priorities reflect shared values including collaboration, compassion, knowledge, opportunity, accountability, sustainability, and transparency, which inform and guide our transformative work.

The library’s commitment to engagement, learning, and stewardship means we are listening, learning, and growing with our community by:

  • Building community partnerships, especially with other agencies serving Oak Park.
  • Renewing our own commitment to service for better library experiences.
  • Preserving community history and improving access to it.
  • Acting upon the community’s demand for financial and environmental responsibility.

We will continue the conversation in 2015, both formally and informally. We are conducting more Community Conversations and will continue to ask Oak Park residents about their everyday experiences with the library. We will also participate in collaborative staff learning activities in which we will talk about what we are learning as an organization, why that learning is important, and how we can act on that information.

Please keep talking, Oak Park—we are listening.

David J. Seleb
David J. Seleb,
Executive Director

By the Numbers

Circulation of Oak Park Public Library Materials 1,319,540
Building Visits 773,562
Website Visits 525,427
Program Attendance 59,950
Days Buildings Open 354
Hours Buildings Open 9,036
Volunteer Hours 6,631
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Thank you Contributors and Friends

Your generous support means so much to us. We are grateful for the Friends of the Oak Park Public Library and our 2014 supporters. Friend your library to make a valued and recognized contribution today. Choose a membership level that’s right for you, and learn more about giving to the library.


  • Alan and Mary Becker in honor of Jean Carberry
  • G.C. Bien
  • Melinda Brisben in honor of Madeline Brisben
  • Bruce and Gloria Cox
  • Laura Kahan
  • Michael and Linda Schiffer

2014 Friends of the Oak Park Public Library


  • Laura Beebe


  • Werner Huget
  • Eileen and Rob Kleps
  • Patricia and Paul Koko
  • Joseph McDonald
  • Franklin Schwerin and Margaret Michalski
  • Walter and Arlene Mikol
  • Bill and Elaine Moor
  • Charles Morrison
  • Aaron Lebowitz and Donna Myers
  • Robert Nied, Jr.
  • Lynne Palmore
  • Allen and Georga Parchem
  • Melanie Pivarski
  • Sheila Pont
  • Joan Radovich
  • Marc Falkoff and Alix Reid
  • Veronica Robertson
  • Linda and Michael Schiffer
  • Susie Smith
  • Craig Speece
  • Derek Strain
  • James Strait
  • Barbara Purington and Chet Taranowski
  • Bonnie and Terry VanderWell
  • Byron Lee and Audrey Williams-Lee
  • Alex Yates


  • Ed Avis
  • Karen Borgstadt
  • Peggy and John Coon
  • John Cooper
  • Robyn & Joel D'Alba
  • Kimberly Dugan
  • Alan and Winifred Fox
  • Mary Jo Furgal
  • Philomena Harbaugh
  • Amy Goodman and Gordon Hellwig
  • Tim Holly
  • Thomas and Nancy Holmes
  • Jack Hurwitz and Penelope Ingalls
  • Mark and Ardrena Jacklin
  • Elizabeth Keeperman
  • Janet Kelenson
  • Phillip and CarolJean Kier
  • Roy and Marie Kruse
  • Ann Masur
  • Pete Mavrelis
  • Barbara Mayes
  • Richard and Joan Meister
  • Melissa Mickelberry
  • Larry and Carole Mitchener
  • Mary Jo Msall
  • Donald Nekrosius
  • Jerry and Margaret Norton
  • Barbara and Neal Peyser
  • Renee Pleshar
  • Kathy Rush
  • Joanna Skubish
  • Charles Strizak
  • Tom Lynch Visit Oak Park
  • Gordon Waldron
  • Don and Carol Wiiken


  • Meher Ahsan
  • Eugene and Carolyn Berkes
  • Susan Burke
  • Marsha Cooper
  • Denise E. Dean
  • David Denn
  • William and Tesse Donnelly
  • Daniel Efner
  • Victoria Ferrera
  • Eric Gyllenhaal
  • Joette Higgs
  • Kathy Ivsin
  • Stephen Jordan
  • John Krenzer
  • Dolores Larkin
  • Patricia Louderman
  • David McMullin
  • Lisa Mcweeny
  • Gloria and Bill Merrill
  • Dianne Olson
  • Susan Parpart
  • Jim Peterson
  • Magda Piper
  • Daniel Rosser
  • James Sadowski
  • Bruce Samuels
  • Margarert Schmollinger
  • Peggy Sinko
  • Nancy and Jack Strand
  • Sally Tyc
  • Duwanna Wall
  • Karen Walsh
  • Charles and Suzann Wells
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2014 Milestones

  • January
    Turning Outward

    We launched a yearlong initiative to learn about Oak Park’s needs and aspirations, and to gain public knowledge so we can take action. Read more >

  • February
    Celebrating 20 years of leadership

    Our Board of Trustees recognized Assistant Director for Administration Services James Madigan for his “dedicated leadership and his loyal, compassionate service.”

  • March
    Declaring the right to libraries

    More than 2,000 community members and elected officials declared their support for the essential roles libraries play in our democratic society.

  • April
    Planning grant-funded improvements

    We welcomed a $100,000 state grant, through the efforts of Illinois State Representative La Shawn Ford, to be used to help improve how we serve our community with more dedicated Main Library spaces for engagement and learning.

  • May
    Celebrating seniors

    We joined with more than 20 area communities to honor, recognize, and serve area seniors through film, music, and classes.

  • June
    Reading together all summer, at every age

    We kicked off Fizz Boom Read, our STEM-based summer reading program for kids and teens. We also launched One Book, One Oak Park, a new take on summer reading for adults.

  • July
    Sharing resources and representing Oak Park

    Executive Director David J. Seleb began his three-year appointment to the board of SWAN, the area library consortium that allows collaboration and mutual access to member libraries’ collections.

  • August
    A little help from our Friends

    For nearly 70 years, financial support from the Friends of the Oak Park Public Library has brought engaging programs to Oak Park, including one of the Midwest’s largest used book fairs, kids’ summer reading programs, and free folk music concert series.

  • September
    Downloading more digital collections

    Continuing to build on always available online offerings, the library added more movies, music, and magazines for streaming and download. New services included IndieFlix and hoopla. Expanded offerings featured Freegal Music and Zinio.

  • October
    Celebrating Humanity 101

    We kicked off Humanity 101, a six-week multidisciplinary series of events promoting robust understanding and dialogue between individuals and across communities.

  • November
    Ranking among the busiest public libraries in the U.S.

    We received a star rating from Library Journal’s Index of Public Library Service.

  • December
    Reflecting and looking forward

    We gathered for this year’s Staff Day, a day of learning and growth.