Recognizing Black History Month

Book covers for Freedom is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement by Angela Y. Davis, Who Put This Song On? By Morgan Parker, Black Girl Unlimited by Echo Brown, Whatever Happened to Interracial Love? By Kathleen Collins, Negroland: a Memoir by Margo Jefferson, Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi, How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

Across the nation, we celebrate achievements of African Americans and recognize the central role of blacks in U.S. history during the month of February. On this page, find suggested fiction, non-fiction and digital titles for adults, teens, and kids, all hand-selected by our librarians. And learn more about the origins of Black History Month itself … Read more

Chess clubs converge at the Main Library

Chess players pose with trophy

“Traditionally, Open Chess has been a small group of folks that come out every week and play together,” says Community Engagement Librarian Ian Gosse, who coordinates the weekly Monday evening meetup.  But over the summer, attendance rocketed as more and more enthusiasts of all ages converged on the Main Library. Students from Oak Park and … Read more

‘So excited to see their home languages’

Our summer reading program is open to all kids, wherever they live. And this past summer, we were able to better share it with kids who are new to the United States and still learning English. For the first time, we translated summer reading guides into multiple languages, including Albanian, Japanese, Polish, and Vietnamese. Librarian Genevieve … Read more

Art in the library: Inspiring empathy, connection

In November, two traveling art exhibits that inspire empathy and connection are on display at the Main Library. When Home Won’t Let You Stay, in the Idea Box, shares stories and portraits of refugees. Community on a Shelf, in the Lobby Community Engagement Space, explores the human side of mental illness, community support, and libraries. … Read more

‘We are on the right path’: Thoughts on the Restorative Community Practices Conference

“It was love.” That’s how planning committee member Josh Easter summed up last weekend’s Restorative Community Practices Conference—three days of peace circles, panel discussions, workshops, meals, music, and conversation. The October 4-6 conference drew national experts, local activists and teachers, families with children, community leaders, and passionate individuals. Together, we took a deep dive into … Read more

Register now: Restorative practices to strengthen families, schools, and communities

Restorative Justice Conference participants

New! Watch the promotional video » Join us for the three-day Restorative Community Practices: Building Stronger Families, Schools, and Communities conference at the Main Library this October 4-6. Expanding on last fall’s restorative justice conference, this year’s conference takes a wider look at how restorative practices can be applied within families, schools, and communities. Also … Read more

Teen summer volunteers connecting with community

This year’s Teen Summer Volunteer program goes through the end of July, but already the community can see the efforts of the teen volunteers paying off. Since June 10, volunteer teams have been serving the community in various ways, including helping local organizations, creating outdoor public artwork, and showing younger kids why science, technology, engineering, … Read more

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