The Oak Park Public Library

helping the youngest in our community develop their voice

Reading expands our world while it nurtures critical thinking and self-expression. Young children who have access to pre-K literacy programs, classes, events and games learn important skills that will help them communicate and engage with others -- in their own voice.

The Oak Park Public Library is committed to preparing our community’s babies, toddlers, and preschoolers to arrive “ready to learn” come kindergarten. Here is a brief snapshot of their programs that support early childhood literacy in Oak Park.  Visit the Early Learning page on their website for details about these and more!

1000 Books Before Kindergarten

Since its November 2017 launch, close to 900 babies, toddlers, and preschoolers have signed up.  An Oak Park Public Library card is not needed to sign up. Once a child finishes 1,000 books, they can pick out a book to take home and keep, have their photo taken, and attend a graduation party at the library.

Pre-Literacy Skills

Storytime classes help children acquire pre-literacy skills in fun, age-appropriate ways through the Very Ready Reading Program and process. This research-based program lays the foundation for future reading skills by encouraging caregivers to share books, songs, stories, words, rhymes, sounds, and play.

Very Ready Reading

Seven simple ways to get children on the path to reading, it’s never too early to start.  Learn about them here.

Diversity, Inclusion & Equity in Story Time

As part of her intentional work to ensure diversity, inclusion, and equity in all story times, Early Literacy Librarian Shelley Harris recently shared a resource she’s found impactful in her everyday story time work and when auditing Oak Park’s early childhood titles.

Text, Video Tips

Early Bird Readers is a digital early learning program to support parents, caregivers, and teachers. Each week, a children’s librarian will text a tip or activity to share with babies, toddlers, and preschoolers, with additional activity videos sent monthly.



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Success of All Youth is powered by the Communityworks Fund of the Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation.  |  708-848-1560  | 1049 Lake Street, Suite 204  |  Oak Park, IL 60301yt brand standard logo whitetwitter bird white reverseFB white