Middle schoolers matter

Three kids holding a giant cookie

We know the middle school years can be a time when kids need even more adult guidance, places to go, and things to do. That’s why, in addition to two full-time librarians who work with middle and high schoolers, we recently added two more staff members dedicated to serving tweens and teens. And now that … Read more

Resources to explore recent news, local history

Stack of newspapers

Keep connected, stay informed Discover anywhere, anytime access to a variety of online resources, connecting you to regional news and local history. Search multiple Chicagoland newspapers at the same time, including Chicago Sun-Times, Daily Herald, and Oak Leaves. Explore NewsBank Chicago » Access historical issues of hundreds of Illinois newspapers, including Oak Leaves (1902-1977), with searchable articles, … Read more

Early learning tips for kids, infants, June 2019

Early Bird Readers: Early learning tips for kids, infants up to age 5 #EarlyLearners

Hello, Early Bird Readers! In today’s video, Miss Jenny and Miss Shelley share ways to work on emotional dictionaries and self-regulation with children, and share their favorite picture book to use with social-emotional learning. Borrow The Rabbit Listened » About Early Bird Readers Early Bird Readers is a digital early learning program to support parents, … Read more

‘We’re inextricably connected’

In this summer’s One Book, One Oak Park series, we’re connecting over Eric Klinenberg’s Palaces for the People, which looks at how open, accessible spaces can promote civic engagement and social interaction. The author uses the term “social infrastructure” to describe public libraries, parks, schools, community gardens, and other places where people assemble and engage. … Read more

‘This is an area of need across Oak Park’

When visiting local daycares and preschools, Children’s Outreach and Programming Specialist Jenny Jackson (pictured) always includes social and emotional concepts in her storytimes. “What do you think ‘anxious’ is? Have you ever had butterflies in your tummy?” she asks as reads aloud to preschoolers in the PreKindergarten Partnership (PKP) classes at Longfellow Elementary, one of … Read more

Find yourself in a book

Book covers for The Treasure of Maria Mamoun by Chalfoun, Michelle, Sittings Secrets by Naomi Shihab Nye, Honeybee by Naomi Shihab Nye, Yaffa and Fatima Shalom Salaam by Fawzia Gilani-Williams, Lailah's Lunchbox by Reem Faruqi, Poppies of Iraq by Brigitte Findakly, The Turtle of Oman by Naomi Shihab Nye, Saving Sky by Diane Stanley

Every year, our librarians review all our curated reading lists for kids and families, making sure we’re intentionally including books that represent diversity in race and ethnicity, gender, disability and neurodivergence, and more.  One recent addition: Arab Heritage Reads, a list with fiction, nonfiction, and picture books by Arab and Arab-American authors and illustrators. Some are … Read more

#BuildingCommunity through the use of free public space: Arabic Calligraphy Club brings families together

Mother and son writing in Arabic

Every Saturday, a group of families gathers at the public library for Arabic Calligraphy Club. Using free meeting room space at the Main Library, they bring supplies: plain white paper, pens and markers, canvases, bottles of ink. And, of course, snacks—a tin of butter cookies, a few tomatoes, falafel, chocolate. “It’s good family time,” says … Read more

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