Meet Rose, your new Health & Senior Services Librarian

Rose Barnes, Health and Senior Services Librarian

As our new Health and Senior Services Librarian, Rose Barnes is your go-to for resources on health and wellness and senior services. “I am most interested in exploring more ways to incorporate health and wellness programming into the library while also creating spaces for conversation and growth,” she says. “I am passionate about practicing yoga, … Read more

Let’s discuss: ‘How to Be an Antiracist’

Please join the Anti-Racist Book Group on Wednesday, January 13 at 6:30 pm, as we dig deeper into How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi.  Register now in Zoom » ‘We had so much more to unpack’: Book group invites us to keep talking We first discussed Kendi’s How to Be an Antiracist in December, and we’re continuing the discussion … Read more

Meet Alex, our new Teen Services Librarian

Teen Services Librarian Alex Gutierrez

Joining our Teen Services team is Librarian Alexander Gutierrez! “I’ve always wanted to be a librarian and have the opportunity to work with youths because of their energy and optimism,” he says. His path from library volunteer to librarian Alex has been with the Oak Park Public Library since 2016, when he started as a … Read more

Join us for two anti-racist book discussions in December

Register now for December 1: Stamped: Racism, Anti-Racism, and You Join us on Tuesday, December 1, 6-7:30 pm​ for the third family and community discussion of Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Dr. Ibram X. Kendi. Register now » Stamped offers a history of racist and anti-racist ideas in America, from their roots in Europe … Read more

Register now: Virtual Restorative Justice Conference enters final week

Restorative Justice Conference 2019 Community Committee

The Medicine Wheel: Balancing Humanity Oak Park’s third annual Restorative Justice Conference has been taking place virtually all October, and it wraps up on Friday, October 30. This year’s theme is The Medicine Wheel: Balancing Humanity. The goal has been to provide the community with strategies to cope in these extreme times. “2020 has been … Read more

Meet Darcel: ‘In a world where you can be anything, be kind’

As the library’s Teen Services Specialist, Darcel Washington provides outreach and program support to kids in grades 6-12. Darcel joined the library last November, bringing more than 15 years of experience in creating innovative youth development programs. With the library, she works on youth programs such as Living History and Leading Edge, plus this month’s … Read more

Books Empower: How we’re partnering to give new books to people who need them most

Books Empower: Book delivery

‘The kind of project that makes us love Oak Park’ With funding from the Illinois State Library, we’ve launched an initiative to distribute new, free books to community members who are most in need of resources. Recipients will be able to keep these books forever and use them to build their home libraries. This new … Read more

‘Kids are reflective and ready to do this work’: Supporting anti-racism in Oak Park middle schools

Beronica Puhr and Katy Alejos load van with boxes of books

“Schools are a reflection of our society, so in the wake of social justice and anti-racism demonstrations, we must support our students in becoming global citizens in a diverse democracy.” —Oak Park Elementary School District 97, Anti-Racism in District 97 All Oak Park Elementary School District 97 middle school students are reading and discussing Stamped: … Read more

Now virtual, English conversation program ‘has really blossomed’

People on Zoom computer screen

“I live alone, and so I don’t have anyone to talk to. I feel great that today I had a chance to meet others virtually, and I learned many new words in English.” -Participant in English Language Conversation program Before the pandemic, English language learners came together every Saturday morning at the Main Library to … Read more

Library director joins Harwood Institute board

David Seleb and Rich Harwood in April 2019

Our library’s Executive Director David J. Seleb has joined the board of directors of The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation. He began serving on the 11-member board in June 2020, as he continues to lead the library using the Harwood Institute’s “turning outward” approach. “The Harwood Institute has profoundly influenced my professional and personal life … Read more

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