Spaces for playing. Experiences for connecting. Resources for learning. Children's Services offers opportunities for families and kids from birth through grade 8. Staff members provide expertise in early literacy, child development, and children's literature. On the Main Library's first floor, find a Toddler Trainyard and activity table, an Art Alcove, homework study rooms, a playhouse. For onsite use, kids can check out iPads and Internet computers and students in grades 4-8 can borrow Chrome laptops and DVDs. Want to see more of what's happening here? View our photos on Flickr >

Group visits for children

As a community leader in early literacy and early learning, we love to partner with Oak Park schools, centers, and youth organizations by sharing and showcasing the public library’s resources, services, and specially trained staff. To best serve everyone, we require advance notice for visits by large groups (9+ children of any age) who wish to access the services or accommodations outlined here. To arrange a group visit, please contact our Children’s Services team in advance at childrens@oppl.org and 708.452.3420.

Pre-arranged services inside the library

  • Private storytimes
  • Tours
  • Research support
  • Reserved block of computers and/or mobile devices
  • Library card sign-up for Oak Park educators and residents (all ages)
  • Multicultural Learning Librarian services (at Dole Branch Library only) 

Pre-arranged services outside the library

  • Storytime visits
  • Book Bike visits with items to check out (seasonal)
  • Library card sign-up for Oak Park educators and residents (all ages)
  • Summer Reading Program sign-up/prize check-in (seasonal)
  • Multicultural Learning Librarian services

Drop-in services inside the library (availability varies)

  • Summer Reading Program sign-up/ prize check-in (seasonal)
  • Extra assistance for checkouts
  • Computer/mobile device use

Please note: As a public institution, our available space and services vary daily. Due to capacity limits, we are only able to accommodate Oak Park schools and centers at this time (with the exception of services related to our Multicultural Collection and Multicultural Learning Librarian, which may be arranged for groups outside Oak Park).

Visiting for the first time

  • This simple social story (PDF) uses basic words and pictures to encourage kids to feel more comfortable visiting the Main Library, and to know more about what to expect while here. 
  • Parents/cargeivers are responsible for the care and behavior of their children while they are in the library, and children under the age of eight must be accompanied and directly supervised at all times by a parent or other responsible caregiver. Read more in our children unattended in the library policy >

Meet your Children's staff members

With expertise in early literacy, child development, and children's literature, we can help you find what you need!

Anne, LibrarianAnne

Miss Anne grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she first fell in love with cheese. Her favorite cheesy foods include pizza, mac ’n cheese, and enchiladas.  She moved to Chicago, Illinois, for college, which wasn't that confusing since Lake Michigan is still to the east. With her bearings intact, she became a librarian online through the University of Wisconsin-Madison ("Go Badgers!") while working at the Oak Park Public Library as an assistant. Later, she returned as a librarian. She is an e-enthusiast, so chat with her about the latest apps and creative technologies. Her favorite hobby is hiking; one of her goals is to see as many national parks as she can (so far she has seen 11)! Her favorite books are the ones that make you laugh out loud. For example, one of her favorite childhood books was The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka.

Gennie, LibrarianGennie

Miss Genevieve is originally from Wisconsin, but has been lucky to call Oak Park home for more than 10 years. She's really good at MarioKart and pretty mediocre at Just Dance, but spends lots of  time dancing with her kids and husband all the same. She also speaks Norwegian, loves to bake and is pretty crafty. Her favorite things (today) are sea otters, the color orange and the sweet/salty  flavor combo.

Jennifer, Assistant ManagerJenniger

Miss Jennifer was born in Oak Park and grew up in South Bend, Indiana. She came back to Chicago to go to college many moons ago. When she was little she loved to ride her bike to the  Francis Branch library to read Betsy-Tacy and All-of-a-Kind Family books. Her other favorite books were Little Fur Family by Margaret Wise Brown, Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh, Who  Needs Donuts by Mark Alan Stamaty, the Great Brain series by John D. Fitzgerald, and anything and everything by E.L. Konigsburg. When she is not reading she likes to spend time with her  kids Freya and Theo. Her favorite color is green, and her favorite food is bibimbop.  She has a freckle in her left eye. If you want to learn to dance the cha-cha, just ask her--she would love to teach you!

Jenny, AssociateJenny

Miss Jenny grew up right here in Oak Park. She attended Holmes Elementary, OPRF, and Northern Illinois University. Miss Jenny has a younger sister and two younger brothers, so that makes  her the oldest! After graduating from college she spent six months on a kibbutz in Israel. It was a great experience; there were people there from all over the world. A mini United Nations!  Her favorite books as a child were the Little House books, the All-of-a-Kind Family books, and anything about King Arthur. Her favorite hobbies are photography, bike riding, and gardening.

Jose, LibrarianJose

Mr. Jose grew up in Chicago and still lives there. He is married and has three beautiful children that enjoy playing "wrestling" with him. Mr. Jose enjoys traveling with his family and reading. Some of his favorite topics include histories of social movements as well as novels such as Nicholasa Mohr's Nilda, Junot Diaz's The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, anything by Jaqueline Woodson, and Ernesto Quinones' Bodega Dreams and Chango's Fire to name a few. He enjoys exercising, dancing and 90's Hip Hop. Mr. Jose also has an addiction to trail mix and like many an unconquerable sweet tooth.

Shelley, LibrarianShelley

Miss Shelley grew up in Chicago and Western Springs. She's always been the one walking around with her nose in a book! Her favorite books growing up were Anne of Green Gables, Betsy- Tacy, everything by E.L. Konigsburg and the American Girl books. She has even collected most of the historical dolls. These days, she still enjoys historical fiction, plus graphic novels like  Amelia Rules and science fiction and fantasy like Harry Potter and Doctor Who. When she's not reading, Miss Shelley is usually writing stories or knitting. She loves to hear what kids are  reading, so stop by and let her know what you like, too.