Why anti-racism work is library work

Photo collage showing child clapping, adults in peace circle, teens working together, and teen presenting at Restorative Justice Conference

By David J. Seleb, Executive Director Note: A version of this post first appeared in Wednesday Journal and OakPark.com on May 11, 2021. Read the piece on OakPark.com » We are on an anti-racism journey. This includes working with a local consultant and implementing a new anti-racism strategic plan.  Why are we doing this? Because as … Read more

Giving more attention & leadership to technology and collections

Elizabeth Marszalik, Leigh Tarullo, Kathleen Spale

During the past year, we’ve reaffirmed that technology and collections—both physical and digital—are core and essential services and functions of our library. And they require greater attention and leadership than ever. To address these needs, achieve our strategic objectives, and have a more significant and positive effect on our community and staff, we’ve shifted some … Read more

Improving building air quality & energy efficiency

Work is happening this spring at the Main Library to improve indoor air quality and to reduce electricity consumption and waste.  Air quality and safety: To support safety for our staff and community, we’re reducing the risk of airborne viral transmission by installing an air purification system in our heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) … Read more

Teen Services Manager Stephen Jackson writes about restorative practices in latest Library Journal

Leading Edge Barbershop at the Main Library in 2019

In the April 2021 issue of Library Journal, our Teen Services Manager Stephen Jackson writes about restorative practices and libraries. Read the article online or access the entire digitized issue. He illustrates how our library has integrated restorative practices since he joined the staff in 2016. Examples include the use of circles, annual community conferences, … Read more

How libraries help build bridges to better health

Library leadership team virtual meeting

This week, we celebrate both National Library Week (April 4-10) and National Public Health Week (April 5-11). The American Public Health Association sponsors National Public Health Week every April. The theme this year, during what it calls “the most challenging public health crisis of our lifetimes,” is Building Bridges to Better Health. National Library Week … Read more

‘The whole world comes together to learn, and it fills me with joy’: Takeaways from the 2021 assistive tech conference

Librarian Shelley Harris points to an AAC board

By Shelley Harris, Early Literacy Librarian Learning is a key and consistent part of my job. The highlight of my learning year is the Assistive Technology Industry Association’s annual ATIA conference. I attend the conference every winter and bring back program and accessibility ideas for the library to implement.  This year, we met virtually, yet … Read more

Meet Tatiana, Restorative Practices Coordinator

Tatiana Swancy, Restorative Practices Coordinator

Last January, Tatiana Swancy was among eight library staff members who trained to become peace circle keepers, or facilitators. “A peace circle is a tool to have community conversations where everyone is valued,” she explains. “It’s rooted in the idea that everyone has a story, and it’s a great way to address difficult topics. It … Read more

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

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

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