What grows with restorative justice?

Panelists Darrius Lightfoot, Quintin Williams, and Tim Crawford at the Restorative Justice Conference at the Main Library in October

The first time Chicago police officer Tim Crawford observed a peace circle, he was skeptical. But after a while, “I started to see—hold on—this works,” he said. “Especially with people who experience trauma on a regular basis. You’ve got to have a place to vent, to speak your truth.” Crawford (pictured far right) works with … Read more

Community Building Blocks

Outside view of Oak Park Public Library

Read the report As a conclusion to its July 2018 Community Building Blocks Workshop in Oak Park, the Environmental Protection Agency published a 33-page recommendation report titled “Linking Community Building Blocks for Educational, Economic and Equity Outcomes (pdf) » Moving forward All local Oak Park elected officials, two-day workshop attendees, and the general public were invited … 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

Women and gender in Islam

Understanding the World of Islam

By Maliha Chishti Dr. Maliha Chishti is a researcher specializing in war and post-conflict peacebuilding and a Lecturer at the Harris School of Public Policy. On Wednesday, October 3, she joins us at the Main Library at 7 pm as part of the ongoing series Understanding the World of Islam, presented in partnership with the … Read more

Refresh your civic knowledge: Local government, the First Amendment, and more

Civics 101

“It’s been a long time since I had a civics or a government class,” a patron wrote to us recently, requesting that the library host community workshops or classes on the workings of government. “Like Civics for Dummies or Civics 101.” You’ve told us: as citizens, you want to be engaged, empowered, and informed. As … Read more

High school hosting America to Me viewings

Still of four teens in a huddle from STARZ America to Me Documentary

Library live-streaming canceled; join us at OPRF Three years ago, Academy Award-nominated director Steve James filmed a year in the life of a dozen Oak Park and River Forest High School students. Due to overwhelming response and limited resources, we have canceled our plans to live-stream at the library. Please join us at Oak Park and … 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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