2015 Annual Report

We are engagers, we are learners, and we are stewards.

This means that as your public library, our objectives and actions support community engagement, learning opportunities for all, and responsible stewardship of financial, environmental, and human resources within and around our community. For examples of what we have accomplished so far, read the library's 2015 milestones.

For details on how we will continue to approach these three strategic priorities, review our 2016 strategic plan. It's our organizational promise to pursue outcomes that matter most to Oak Park and how we will continue to be true to our mission.Deeper measurement and assessment of our work is key to our success in the coming years.

In 2016, we will demonstrate our effectiveness; we will tell the story of our impact in this community; and we will provide the services and content people need and want.

Community collaborations continue to be another essential element of our success: partnerships to achieve community-wide educational objectives, to bring the diversity of our community together in dialogue, and to help to preserve our community's history.

To accomplish all of this and to grow as a learning organization, we will continue our conversation with Oak Park, to listen carefully to our community's aspirations, and to respond to those aspirations with intentionality and accountability. I hope that you will join us in that important dialogue, and I thank you for your support and encouragement of our work. This is our story.


David J. Seleb
David J. Seleb,
Executive Director

By the Numbers

Circulation of Oak Park Public Library Materials 1,314,551
Building Visits 864,712
Website Visits 463,147
Program Attendance 47,939
Days Buildings Open 356
Hours Buildings Open 9,065
Volunteer Hours 4,200
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Thanks Donors and Friends

Your generous support means so much to so many people in and around our community. We are grateful for the individuals who make local giving a priority, and chose to support literacy, learnings, and community connections in 2015 by giving directly to the library. We are also grateful to the Friends of the Oak Park Public Library, who as a separate 501c3 nonprofit organization, raise funds for the Oak Park Public Library. Learn more about giving to the library, and join the Friends by choosing an annual tax-deductible membership level that's best for you.


  • Anonymous
  • Michelle Barnes
  • Alan and Mary Becker
  • Laura Kahan
  • Kate Friedman
  • Gail Ginsberg
  • Benjamin Iglar-Mobley
  • Jennifer Jackson
  • Erin Ludwick
  • Lawrence Msall
  • Marc Stopeck
  • Terry VanderWell


  • Michelle Barnes
  • Mena and David Boulanger
  • Melinda Brisben
  • Donald Southworth and Marilyn Cantisano
  • Robert Connors
  • Carol Cortelyou
  • Jean and Donald Edwards
  • Joan Fiscella
  • Juanita Flagler
  • Herb and Susan Grotewold
  • Lane Hart
  • Nancy Hartman
  • Thomas and Nancy Holmes
  • Eileen and Rob Kleps
  • Patricia and Paul Koko
  • Nancy Kovach
  • Judy and Joe Larscheid
  • Fredric D. Leary
  • Gary and Kim McCullough
  • Joseph McDonald
  • Walter and Arlene Mikol
  • Charles and Mary Morrison
  • Donna Myers
  • Robert Nied, Jr.
  • Viktoras L. Petroliunas
  • Sheila Pont
  • Don Babwin and Joan Radovich
  • Susie Smith
  • Sandra and David Sokol
  • Craig Speece
  • Derek Strain
  • James Strait
  • Barbara Purington and Chet Taranowski
  • Byron Lee and Audrey Williams-Lee


  • Vicki Bielanski
  • John Cooper
  • Elinor Crane
  • Robyn Dalba
  • Chris Dowse
  • Victoria Ferrera
  • Alan and Winifred Fox
  • Mary Jo Furgal
  • Eric Gyllenhaal
  • Jack Hurwitz and Penelope Ingalls
  • Mark and Adrienne Jacklin
  • Janet Kelenson
  • Phillip and Carol Jean Kier
  • John and Joan Krenzer
  • Ann Masur
  • Pete Mavrelis
  • Richard and Joan Meister
  • Larry and Carole Mitchener
  • Mary Jo Msall and Family
  • Don and Jerry Nekrosius
  • Barbara Peyser
  • Renee Pleshar
  • Deborah Preiser
  • Alix Reid
  • Meredith and David Schacht
  • Andra Schroeder
  • Joanna Skubish
  • Susanne Smith
  • Nancy and Jack Strand
  • Charles Strizak
  • Gordon Waldron
  • Veronica Diamant Wilson
  • Dorothy Wilz


  • Doris and Rich Adamczewski
  • Lindsey and Scott Badtke
  • Julie Bernstein
  • Susan Burke
  • Carolyn Cass
  • Jason Chang
  • Marsha Cooper
  • Terri Crum
  • William and Tesse Donnelly
  • Daniel Efner
  • Fran Fogarty
  • Cheryl Gandolfi
  • Leticia Gonzalez
  • Doroth Hetzel
  • Robert Hetzel
  • Tim Holly
  • Grant and Sandra Hone
  • Kathy Ivsin
  • Louis Jordan
  • Mary Rose Lambke
  • Paul Lydon
  • Everlean Manning
  • Eleanor and Candido Marquez
  • Adam McDowell
  • David McMullin
  • Allen McVey
  • Melissa Mickelberry
  • John O'Brien
  • Dianne Olson
  • Michelle Panicola
  • Jim Peterson
  • Magda Piper
  • Melanie Pivarski
  • Sarah Rodriguez
  • Denise Roser
  • Daniel Rosser
  • Richard and Daunn Rounds
  • Ernesto Roxas
  • Kathleen Rush
  • Denise Sacks
  • James Sadowski
  • Bruce Samuels
  • Margaret Schmollinger
  • Robert Setlik
  • Peggy Tuck Sinko
  • Alan Solid
  • Charles H. Stats
  • Mary Umberger
  • Cristen College Vincent
  • Charles and Sue Wells
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2015 Milestones

  • January
    Digitizing a Hemingway collection for the world.

    "Hacking Hemingway: Cracking the Code to the Vault" is a digital history project that will give unprecedented access to rare archives from both the Ernest Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park and the library, thanks to an $86,000 grant from the Illinois Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White. Archive items made digital will be viewable in the Illinois Digital Archives, which is open to everyone.

  • February
    Adding 17,000 more ebooks.

    Cardholders gained access to 17,000 more digital titles through eRead Illinois, a collaborative initiative expanding ebook and audiobook services throughout the state. Downloaded titles can be read on smartphones, tablets, ereaders, Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD, and computers.

  • March
    Offering wireless printing, online learning, and talking picture books.

    Cardholders can now access three new digital services both in the library and off-site to print wirelessly, learn a new skill at their own pace with lynda.com, and stream an animated picture book - msieall from anywhere at anytime.

  • April
    Installing a new catalog.

    While some aspects of the catalog changed, other things have remained the same. We are as committed as ever to resource sharing and helping Oak Parkers get what they want, when they want it. Our commitment to helping you use the new catalog, and getting the most from your library experience, remains unchanged. You can still log in from anywhere anytime, search multiple collections to find and request titles, and receive materials quickly at the pickup place of your choice.

  • May
    Teaming with our Village.

    "Our partnership with the library in our last season and in preparation for our 40th season far exceeded my expectations. Their research was particularly helpful in fleshing out our 40th season plans. They were truly 'embedded' with the commission, attending commission meetings and visiting the info booth at the market to see how they could help the most."

  • June
    Taking One Book, One Oak Park to the streets.

    One Book, One Oak Park extended events outside the library and into the community. "Every day in his work as marketing director of the Oak Park Regional Housing Center, Mike Stewart hears a long-lived refrain from clients looking for apartments to rent: they've been warned not to live east of Ridgeland Avenue, and certainly not on Austin Boulevard."

  • July
    Improving access popular books, movies and music.

    You asked for shorter wait times and more availability of new and popular fiction. We responded by creating Hot Picks, new in-the-library displays dedicated to new and popular adult fiction, nonfiction, and DVDs. The goal of Hot Picks is to improve your access to trending books and movies, and enhance your browsing experience while at the library.

  • August
    Pushing for positive learning outcomes in our community.

    "As a center of community learning, the library is in a unique position to support families in our community in their efforts to keep children on track. Public library summer learning programs, resources, and service learning initiatives provide access to opportunities that assist families in achieving positive learning outcomes for their children. This in turn creates positive outcomes for our community."

  • September
    Listening to and changing for you.

    "It's about improving access to materials and ease of library use for everyone. We listen to what people share that is and isn't - working for them. This is just the beginning of how we're responding to that feedback to make everyone's experiences better."

  • October
    Learning together: separate yet one.

    Dr. Neal Lester, founding director of Project Humanities at Arizona State University, led a workshop for library staff and guests from local organizations, including Oak Park Elementary School District 97 and the Oak Park Township. The topic was privilege - what it is, who has it, and what to do about it - and challenged participants to look at themselves first rather than point fingers elsewhere, even in the face of cruelty and violence in the news.

  • November
    Offering more spaces to learn and connect.

    Three new study/conference rooms are now available on the Main Library's third floor, due in large part to the foresight and support of Rep. La Shawn K. Ford (D-Chicago).

  • December
    Debuting a new way to learn about what's happening at your library.

    We have been listening to and learning from you about how we can be the best library for Oak Park. That's why we were excited to debut The Storyline, a quarterly publication that connects its readers with people, places, and possibilities in our community.