What kind of community do you want to live in?
Since 2014, we've been asking, "What kind of community do you want to live in?" And you've told us: a community that values literacy and education; diversity, inclusion, and equity; and health, safety, and affordability.
Across Harwood Community Conversations with diverse groups of people, these common themes—our shared community aspirations—have emerged, and they now drive our work.
Putting community aspirations into action
Here are two big ways we've put Oak Park's aspirations into action:
- We hired a social worker to build a team that better engages with all our patrons, including the most vulnerable.
- We eliminated fines and opened more free public meeting spaces, to deliver more access and equity in library materials and services.
These actions reflect the kind of open and welcoming relationship we want to have with our community, and they support our vision and mission: to empower every voice in our community and to share the information, services, and opportunities that fulfill Oak Park's aspirations.
Join an upcoming Harwood Community Conversation
Our work of turning outward continues as we strive to make our community, not a conference room, the reference point for everything we do. This fall, you are invited to share your aspirations for your community of Oak Park. Executive Director David J. Seleb will moderate four Harwood Community Conversations, which are open to everyone, at the library this fall on:
- Monday, September 18, 6–7:30 pm, in the Main Library Small Meeting Room. RSVP now >
- Wednesday, October 18, 12–1:30 pm, at Maze Branch. RSVP now >
- Thursday, October 19, 12–1:30 pm, at Dole Branch. RSVP now >
- Saturday, November 4, 10-11:30 am, in the Main Library Small Meeting Room. RSVP now >
- Thursday, November 9, 6–7:30 pm, in the Main Library Community Engagement Space. RSVP now >
Why is the library doing this?
The goal of these 90-minute “kitchen-table conversations” is to gain public knowledge about community aspirations using a time-tested discussion guide. Join a group of 10–15 of your fellow community members, where all can come together to talk about community and how best to move that community forward.
“A community conversation is an opportunity to talk about what matters most to you—your aspirations—and about a shared vision of the future,” Seleb said.
Host a conversation, learn more
- Want to host a conversation? Contact David J. Seleb at firstname.lastname@example.org or 708.697.6911.
- Learn more about how the library is turning outward >
- Learn more about the Harwood Institute for Public Innovation >