Gamble 2reopened in 1964 providing Oak Park library patrons with a much larger and safer place to study,read for pleasure, and meet with friends and neighbors.Of course OPPL librarians continued to provide excellent service, especially in their responsiveness to the evolving information needs of patrons. In addition to incorporating audio-visual materials, resources for the visually impaired, and computers into the library, a children'sdepartment was added! Again, OPPL facilities became too crowded; library staff had to movetheir offices from the second floor to the basement. In 1999, another referendum needed to beapproved by a majority of the Village's 52,000 taxpayers
to expand the main library buildingonce more. By this time in Oak Park's history, residents were fully aware of the positivecommunity impact of the library. OPPL anticipated citizens' concerns and articulated the many benefits of expanding the footprint of the main library building as well as accelerating theconstruction of the Maze branch on the library website.
In March 2000, local news sourcesendorsed the expansion of the library. Later in March, the referendum was passed.
On October 1, 2003, the Main branch of OPPL was reopened to the public.
OPPL's commitment to excellent public service was reenergized alongside its modern, refurbished facilities. With three library branches (Main, Maze, and Dole) in the four-and-a-half square mile radius of Oak Park, residentsare always within walking distance of one of these distinguished libraries.
The Oak Park Public Library Children's Department
"In the fall of 1905, Ernest and I entered the first grade at the old Lowell School onLake Street... Our rented house stood right next to the public library, called the ScovilleInstitute, and by Christmas-time, we were both able to read books in the children's roomof the library. When school was over, we would sit at the low tables in our small chairsdevouring the simple stories available to us until the librarian sent us home atsuppertime."Marcelline Hemingway Sandford, from
At the Hemingways
(Children's Room, west wall and stairwell)
Walk through the doors of OPPL's Main branch, pass the stairwell, and make a right. At