Growing up in Oak Park, with the end of each school year, I turned to the library for the wonderful opportunities it provided during the summer. I read avidly while participating in the children’s summer reading program. When I got older, I took advantage of the chance to give back to the community by volunteering to help out with the program, doing so for six consecutive summers. I did other volunteer work, too, such as during my last summer as a teen volunteer, by being part of the teen teams the library had. 

Indeed, the library made me who I am, encouraging my personal growth through reading and volunteer activities that got me involved in this community. These experiences were part of the process that led me to the decision to pursue my MLIS and even led to my current employment at the Oak Park Public Library, where I continue to engage with my community. 

In light of my journey, I am heartened to see that the Oak Park Public Library has continued its wonderful volunteer program for teens during the summer. It’s so encouraging to see our teens being involved in this important community institution, in a variety of projects and activities. I hope that we continue to support them and encourage their personal growth by giving them these opportunities to be involved at their youthful age so that they become engaged citizens who keep our society thriving.

Paul Rubio 

Oak Park 

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