The Oak Park Public Library has spent a year in conversation with you, our community, to learn as much as we could about the kind of community you want to live in and how the library could respond to those aspirations with meaningful action. 

We are grateful for the time you have spent to engage with us, for your honesty, for all that you have shared. Everything that you told us, and continue to tell us, has led us to our new strategic priorities: Engagement, Learning, and Stewardship. These strategic priorities, rooted in all our learning, become our focal points as we prepare to serve you in 2015 and beyond.

What, specifically, does a commitment to these strategic priorities mean? 

It means we will continue the vital conversations necessary to learn and to grow as an organization and a community. 

It means we will expand our community partnerships to achieve the objectives important to all of Oak Park. 

It means we will renew our commitment to our own learning as professionals and service providers as we grow and improve learning opportunities for library users. 

It means providing more space and opportunities for individuals and groups to come together for dialogue and understanding. 

It means preserving and improving access to the vital history of the community. 

It means acting upon the community’s demands for financial and environmental responsibility.

The values our community holds are values that the library shares as we advance this important work. Those values include collaboration, compassion, knowledge, opportunity, accountability, sustainability, and transparency. These values inform and guide our work, every day. They are the proof of the intentionality of our choices.

These values are also the foundation of the Oak Park Public Library’s service promise. That means we promise to be engagers: to turn and focus outward toward our community. 

We promise to be learners: to listen to what our community tells us and to act purposefully to achieve our objectives. 

We promise to be stewards: to defend our shared values, to use vital resources responsibly, and to work collaboratively with our partners to prepare for the future.

The conversations and the learning do not stop here. They continue with an even greater awareness and appreciation of the need to listen, to learn, and — most importantly — to act. 

Please continue to share with us. Please continue the dialogue. We are listening. 

David J. Seleb,, is executive director of the Oak Park Public Library.

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