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

Stories to reflect all families

Stories for all families

“When children cannot find themselves reflected in the books they read … they learn a powerful lesson about how they are devalued in the society of which they are a part.” —Rudine Sims Bishop, “Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Glass Doors” (1990) Bridging diversity gaps This spring, a new Children’s Services task force with diverse staff … Read more

Building reading into each day

1000 Books Jillian Zarlenga

This summer, families with young children who sign up for our summer reading program also have the opportunity to sign up for our 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program. It asks families to read—you guessed it—1,000 books together before their babies, toddlers, and preschoolers become kindergarteners. After finishing 1,000 books, each child gets to pick out a … Read more

Diversity, inclusion & equity in storytime

Raising a brave generation: embracerace.org

Early childhood literacy includes preparing our community’s babies, toddlers, and preschoolers to arrive “ready to learn” come kindergarten. As part of her intentional work to ensure diversity, inclusion, and equity in all storytimes, Early Literacy Librarian Shelley Harris recently shared a resource she’s found impactful in her everyday storytime work and when auditing Oak Park’s early childhood … Read more

Congrats on completing 1,000 Books, Elliott!

Elliott, 1,000 Books Finisher

At 19-months-old Elliott’s house, reading is definitely a priority! Here, Elliott poses for his celebratory “first finisher” photo, part of his formal recognition as the first child to finish the library’s 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program. Since its November launch, 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten has attracted more than 600 families to sign up with their … Read more

Our picks for best children’s titles 2018

Books displayed on a table: "Crown: Ode to a Fresh Cut," "Little Fox in the Forest," and "Windows."

Each year, our Children’s Services team loves to reflect (and vote!) on their personal picks for best titles in the world of children’s literature. The Caldecott and Newbery awards recognize the year’s best, according to the American Library Association. While 2018’s winners were announced Monday, our “mock vote” was last week, choosing Crown for the … Read more

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