Diversity Statement

Library Board adopted June 2002. Revised January 2008. Revised August 2016.

The people of Oak Park choose this community, not just as a place to live but also as a way of life. Oak Park has committed itself to equality not only because it is legal, but also because it is right; not only because equality is ethical, but also because it is desirable for us and for our children. Ours is a dynamic community that encourages the contributions of all people, regardless of race, color, ethnicity, ancestry, national origin, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital and/or familial status, mental and/or physical impairment and/or disability, military status, economic status, political affiliation, or any of the other distinguishing characteristics that all too often divide people in society.

Oak Park’s proud traditions of civic engagement and accessible local government challenge us to show others how such a community can embrace change while still respecting and preserving the best of the past. Creating a mutually respectful, multi-cultural environment does not happen on its own; it must be intentional. Our goal is for people of widely differing backgrounds to do more than live next to one another. Through interaction, we believe we can reconcile the apparent paradox of appreciating and even celebrating our differences while at the same time developing consensus on a shared vision for the future. Oak Park recognizes that a free, open, and inclusive community is achieved through full and broad participation of all its members. We believe the best decisions are made when everyone is represented in decision-making and power is shared collectively.

The Oak Park Public Library plays a crucial role in supporting and enriching our diverse community through library materials, services, programs, and employment. The Library aspires to reflect the traditions and values of Oak Park in our relationship to the residents of Oak Park and the staff of the Library.

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