Celebrating early readers: Thousands of books and counting

1,000 Books Before Kindergarten graduation certificates

It’s been one year since we launched our 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program, and our early readers are off to a fabulous start. The library’s long-term reading program is designed to prepare babies, toddlers, and preschoolers to arrive ready to learn come kindergarten. So far, 36 families have achieved the goal of reading 1,000 books together … Read more

Celebrate diverse cultures

Children coloring and making crafts at a Holi celebration

Join us this winter—and all year round—for activities that can help foster empathy in our community. On Wednesday, December 12, discover world holidays through crafts, games, books and artifacts from the Multicultural Collection at Holidays Around the World from 4 to 5 pm at Dole Branch Library. And join members of the community to celebrate Kwanzaa, a celebration … Read more

New sensory garden at Maze Branch brings fall fun for kids with special needs

Sensory Garden Launch

October is National Disability Awareness Month. All month, families and kids with special needs can find fun at the library, with programs featuring stories, songs, and movement, plus tools and supports to help all children be successful. The fun includes yoga, spooky stories, and exploration of our just-launched sensory garden at Maze Branch. Accessible and … Read more

9 ways to encourage spontaneous, meaningful language

Encouraging spontaneous, meaningful language

This spring, parents and caregivers of children from birth to age 5 participated in a special workshop at the library, learning how to enrich their children’s lives with language and play. Pediatric speech-language pathologist Clare Kilbride from Kids Unlimited Therapy Services in Oak Park joined us to discuss communication milestones, red flags for communication, and … Read more

Tools for talking about race with kids

Book Covers: Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work for Racial Justice by Paul Kivel, So You Want To Talk About Race By Ijeoma Oluo, Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children by Jennifer Harvey, Blind Spot: Hidden Biases of Good People by Mahzarin R. Banaji and Anthony G. Greenwald, Up! How Families Around the World Carry Their Little Ones by Susan Hughes, Skin Again by Bell Hooks, We Came to America by Faith Ringgold

Last year, the founder of local Facebook group Raising Race Conscious Kids in and around Oak Park reached out to us. Although she had been raised to be “color-blind,” Andrea Kovach wrote, she is raising her 3- and 6-year-olds differently because “research has shown that instead of dismantling structural racism, that way of parenting just … Read more

Pride in being yourself

Ask Me About My Pronouns

Earlier this year, Library Assistant Hal Patnott (pictured above) saw an opportunity to spark conversations about gender identity with families in the Main Library Children’s Services department. As a transgender man who’s often mislabeled as “she,” Patnott said, “it gets exhausting after a while.” So he put up a sign at the service desk: “Ask … Read more

Supporting summer fun

Covers of books: Who is Vera Kelly by Rosalie Knecht, Text Me When You Get Home by Kyle Schaefer, Number One Chinese Restaurant by Lillian Li, Calypso by David Sedaris, A Long Way From Home by Peter Carey, Sociable by Rebecca Harrington, Less by Andrew Sean Greer, This Is Me: Loving the person you are today by Chrissy Metz; Florida by Lauren Groff, and Love Rules by Joanna Coles

Visit a Chicago-area museum The Museum Adventure Pass program provides special offers and discounts to library cardholders at unique cultural destinations throughout the Chicago area. Participating destinations include beautiful outdoor spaces such as Brookfield Zoo, Cantigny Park, and Chicago Botanic Garden, historical facilities such as Oak Park’s Pleasant Home Foundation and Naper Settlement, and kid-centric … Read more

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