We have recently learned that the Oak Park Public Library has cut support for programs that serve adults, and perhaps particularly, older adults. Several longstanding book groups, formerly sponsored by the library, have been discontinued. Support has been discontinued for other long-term programs, such as musical events, speakers, and topical programs. For many years, these programs have provided enrichment and community-building for many Oak Parkers. They will be sorely missed by those of us who have appreciated them in the past and those who would have appreciated them in the future. Libraries are meant to appeal to a broad-range of constituencies, and we are upset that these programs serving adults and older adults were not valued enough to continue to be supported.
In addition, we are concerned that library staff who developed and coordinated these programs, carefully attending to issues of enrichment and community-building, have not been appropriately recognized and honored for the excellence and benefit provided by their efforts and for their commitment to Oak Park residents.
Having these programs abruptly cancelled does not reflect well on the Oak Park library, no matter what directions they intend to pursue in the future. We encourage the library staff and board to reconsider these negative actions and reinstate these programs and those who staff them.
Liz and Chris Keys, Long-term Oak Park residents