Mental health: Reaching people where they are

Free-Mental-Health-Assessments

Thanks to a unique partnership with Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, people without adequate health care coverage have been receiving confidential mental health assessments from a licensed clinical psychologist at the Main Library since last fall. “Rush University Medical Center is recognizing that our library is where people are coming every day,” says the … 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

‘Filled with the spirit of unity’: Community members collaborate with us to share cultural heritage

This year’s Community Kwanzaa Celebration will be the third one that Oak Park resident Juanta Griffin has organized at the Main Library. Here, Griffin shares what the celebration means and what she’s looking forward to this year. “We believe that inclusion fosters understanding, and understanding builds respect, and with respect there can be peace,” she … Read more

‘My mission is transmitting the folklore’: A volunteer’s story

Of all the Peruvian folk dances that Oak Park resident Kathy Valdivia has studied and taught, her favorite is the Huaylarsh. It’s “a happy dance,” she says, one that recalls agricultural work and courtship among young people in the central Andean highlands of Peru, where Valdivia is originally from. When Valdivia (pictured) moved to Oak … Read more

‘A place at the table’: Community members collaborate with us to share cultural heritage

Oak Park resident Dima Ali, who organized a family Ramadan celebration at the Main Library in May

In April, Oak Park resident Dima Ali (pictured above) came to the library with a concern—and an idea. Ramadan was coming up in May, and there were no public programs yet planned at the library to recognize it, this holy month of spiritual reflection and fasting for Muslims around the world.  “There is a need … 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

Socktober is here! Donations welcome

Socktober! Donate new socks here!

RELATED: Film Screening & Discussion: The Public, October 27 » 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 fourth year participating in Socktober. In 2018, thanks to your generosity, we … Read more

You—and public libraries across the country—are facing a different type of censorship

Visit eBooksForAll.org to sign the petition

“Banned Books Week, being celebrated this year from September 22-28, usually is about challenging outright censorship,” wrote Kent Oliver, director of the Nashville Public Library, for a recent opinion piece published in his hometown newspaper. Now, “publisher Macmillan’s new e-book embargo must be challenged too.” We couldn’t agree more, Kent! Ebook embargo limits what libraries … Read more

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