Oak Park Public Library earns national status

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By Anna Lothson

Staff Reporter

Oak Park Public Library received the highly-coveted 5-star rating in Library Journal's Index of Public Library Service on Thursday, according to a news release from the library.

The library also was ranked first in Illinois within its budget category. This distinction is measured by service output for all Oak Park Public Library locations in four areas: circulation of collection materials, number of visits, program attendance, and Internet use.

"This is a huge honor for our community and recognizes its use and support of our public library," Executive Director Deirdre Brennan wrote in the release. "The increase in visits and materials being checked out are representative of the increased use Oak Park Public Library has seen overall in the past year. Our five-star rating is evidence that our library is adapting and offering needed services to our community."

"This is awesome!" followed Rebecca Teasdale, Oak Park Public Library's Assistant Director for Public Services and Programs. "We've been striving for this rating and it comes as recognition of our team efforts in providing excellent library services."

According to the release, the number of visits to Oak Park Public Library continues to increase, along with number of items borrowed, program attendance, and computer usage. In 2011, Oak Park Public Library received a 4-star rating from Library Journal.

Email: anna@oakpark.com Twitter: @AnnaLothson

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Reader Comments

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Cathy Holtz from Oregon  

Posted: May 18th, 2013 4:12 PM

I remember the old library - I would always get those parking tickets just to run in and drop of the books, the police are so fast! LOL I LOVE the new library - it is awesome! Fireplace, meeting rooms, WINDOWS, allowing the natural light - clarity when reading! xoxoxo The staff = Excellent!

Concerned from Oak Park  

Posted: January 16th, 2013 10:27 PM

Love the library. Wish you would control some costs in the future. The "bums" are a part of our community too. These "bums" are human beings and deserve as much concern and compassion as anyone else, including children. There are no "throw away" people.

Steve Bankes from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: November 20th, 2012 11:53 AM

The Oak Park Public Library speaks 'volumes' about this community (pun intended). Bravo!


Posted: November 17th, 2012 5:37 PM

Please don't call people who are homeless, bums. Most would work if they had skills and the mental health to do so. What you see are what when Iife doesn't go according to plan. Please think about helping, not name calling. Compassion is taught.

Parent who loves our library from OP  

Posted: November 15th, 2012 1:21 PM

Love our library system! Our children use the Dole Library several times a week - staff is outstanding and the general environment is very safe. Can't say the same about atmosphere at Main branch due to the people hanging around out front.

Laura Talaske from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: November 12th, 2012 1:06 PM

Well deserved award! The library has fantastic resources, is well-run and a joy to utilize.

Pam Penney from Oak Park  

Posted: November 9th, 2012 7:10 PM

Congratulations to our fabulous Library Team. Dee Brennan, Deb Preiser and the rest all deserve high marks! OPPL is a gem in our community!

Dolly Baruch from Oak Park  

Posted: November 9th, 2012 6:06 PM

Wonderful! Due in large part to Debbie Prieser and her welcoming presence. Ditto the ease of borrowing books and getting special ones. Homeless people in the lobby don't bother kids, great opportunity to talk about diversity in our community.

Jessica Mackinnon from Oak Park  

Posted: November 9th, 2012 5:38 PM

Congrats! Debby Preiser does yeoman's work organizing so many of the educational and entertaining activities at the library--she makes the library a true community center!

Lorrie from Oak Park  

Posted: November 9th, 2012 5:34 PM

Congratulations! The children's department is a fabulous resource for our community. The students at the elementary schools in particular LOVE summer reading and their visits from OPPL staff.

OP Person  

Posted: November 9th, 2012 5:33 PM

It's a great library, and I don't think anyone should be barred from any programs. The homeless people I've encountered in the library were not participating in the programs. One guy was using the men's sink to take a "bath".

Philomena Harbaugh/Friends Of OPPL Board from Oak Park   

Posted: November 9th, 2012 4:48 PM

5 stars indeed! OPPL has earned this distinction, with amazing programming and vast number of materials for all. 5 stars for the helpful staff too! Welcoming everyone to take advantage of all it has to offer is part of what makes ours a 5star library

OP Person  

Posted: November 9th, 2012 4:38 PM

Sharon, Stan makes a reasonable point. I've seen homeless people in and around the library many times. Given the rates of substance abuse and mental illness in the homeless population, it creates a less than ideal situation for children.

Sharon Grimm for Oak Park Public Library  

Posted: November 9th, 2012 4:16 PM

The library is open to the public and is a place for everyone. As such, we have practices and resources in place to ensure our spaces are safe and welcoming. Please talk with a staff member if there's a situation that needs our attention

stan smith from Oak Park  

Posted: November 9th, 2012 10:20 AM

I agree we have a wonderful library. Why do we have all the bums hanging out in front and in the lobby. Children are frightened to go. Why do we let all the bums use the place as a sleeping room. why do we let the bums past the front door. It re

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