Sharing 1,000 books: ‘It has been truly special’

Father and son reading at Maze Branch

Navin doesn’t start kindergarten until fall 2020, yet he’s already read more than 1,000 books! Committed to the long-term goal of reading together well before kindergarten, Navin and his family participated in the library’s 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program. It’s designed to prepare babies, toddlers, and preschoolers to arrive ready to learn come kindergarten. “We … Read more

5 ways libraries support entrepreneurs, small business owners

OPRF Chamber Women in Business

Did you know your library can be a great business partner? “I don’t think a lot of small business owners or entrepreneurs even know what an amazing resource the library can be,” said Anne Pezalla, co-owner of Oak Park store Lively Athletics. This National Entrepreneurship Week, February 16-23, we’re showcasing five ways the library supports … Read more

‘Catalyst’ grant connects mentors with youth bound for college and career

Emerging Leaders Network

As an 18-month grant-funded initiative to empower youth for college and career builds to a finish at the Main Library, those involved are calling it a “community catalyst” for the way it’s sparking opportunities, strengthening relationships, and energizing young people, families, and those who work with young people. “To catalyze something means you can walk … Read more

A look back: One Book in 2018

A People’s History of Chicago was at the center of our One Book, One Oak Park series in 2018. In 77 poems, author Kevin Coval traces the city’s history through often untold perspectives, including African-American, Latinx, LGBTQ, and working-class experiences. Find it in the catalog » Poems that bridge time and place One thread running … Read more

Living History: Led by youth, for youth

Living History Project

“Some people have a tendency of underestimating young people,” said Middle School Librarian Jose Cruz. “When sometimes it’s that we’re not providing them with something that is interesting for them, so you won’t see the results.” That hasn’t been the case for the Living History Project, a grant-funded initiative that’s formed a tight-knit group of … Read more

Donate at the library this Socktober

Socktober

Socks are consistently among the most requested items at homeless shelters. All October, we’re collecting new pairs at all library locations to benefit the clients of Housing Forward and other organizations. It’s our third year participating in Socktober. In 2017, thanks to your generosity, we collected 446 pairs of socks, as well as 50 pairs … Read more

Removing assumptions, barriers to access

Oak Park Stories

“People make a lot of assumptions about who is experiencing homelessness, based on how someone looks, acts, smells, or dresses,” said the library’s Director of Social Services and Safety Robert Simmons. “But really, you don’t know if someone is homeless unless they tell you.” As the Oak Park Homelessness Coalition notes in its 2016 Plan … Read more

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