Community Members,

To keep our patrons and employees out of harm’s way, the Library will not be open for regular business until at least Wednesday, April 8. Of course this timeline is subject to change based on the latest recommendations from health professionals. By preventing people from gathering together, we can slow-down the spread of this dangerous virus.

The Library has stopped charging for overdue materials and we will waive existing fines. Due dates for checked-out items will adjust with our closure dates. For your safety and ours, please do not return materials while we are closed.

Though the building is not accessible for now, the Library still provides a number of resources you can use from home. Staff members are adding updates to our website and Facebook page on a daily basis. You may download e-books and audiobooks; stream movies, television shows and music; read digital newspapers and magazines; and participate in online classes. Explore the website for more information about virtual opportunities and be sure to check-out the Library’s Local History page. There are all kinds of great images and descriptions about Oak Lawn’s past.

We are now looking at ways to provide limited remote services to patrons. Be sure to stay connected through our website and our social media outlets for updates. And please, please, please continue to take all necessary precautions.

We hope to see you back at the Library very soon,
Jim Deiters, Director

The Oak Lawn Community Library Foundation

Preserving Oak Lawn's History

The Oak Lawn Community Library Foundation was founded in 1993 to seek private sector support for maintaining the excellence of materials and services offered by the Oak Lawn Public Library.The Foundation is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization governed by a volunteer board of community members whose time and energies allow us to operate without administrative costs.

Current Board of Directors (January 2020)

Margaret Hayes, President
Glen Kato, Vice-President
Jim Deiters
Tom Javorcic
Dr. Ted Gasteyer
Kevin Korst
Carole Onwiler
Joseph Skibinski
Robert Thompson

Why Have a Library Foundation?

With tax caps, diminishing state and federal funds and the increasing costs of materials and supplies, library service cutbacks are inevitable if new sources of funding are not developed. The Foundation was formed to ensure the the Oak Lawn Public Library will continue to meet the needs of the community.The Library Foundation also provides an opportunity for private citizens and businesses to make tax-deductible contributions to sustain and expand library programs, materials and services.

How Does the Library Foundation Support the Library?

Donations made to the Oak Lawn Community Library Foundation are invested into a professionally managed Endowment Fund established for the long-term security of the Oak Lawn Public Library. Over the years, this reserve will grow and become large enough to fund major capital projects at the Library.

To Make a Donation

In May, the Community Library Foundation launched a Foundation Donation campaign to benefit the Local History Unit at the Oak Lawn Public Library. Manager Kevin Korst and his team of devoted assistants and volunteers are entrusted with precious memories and valuable artifacts. The Local History Unit at OLPL is the only organization actively preserving Oak Lawn's rich history. To safeguard the Village's past, we the Foundation's Board of Directors ask fore your support. Consider a tax-deductible donation to the Oak Lawn Community Library Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established in 1993.

Donate online at

Your gift will make an enormous difference and enable Local History to: create annual exhibits, purchase artifacts, develop programs and cultivate online databases.
For more information, or to include the Library Foundation in will or estate plans, participate in a corporate match program, or make a gift of stock, Library Director
Jim Deiters at 708-422-4990 Ext. 300.

The Foundation & Local History
As the Local History program continues to grow and expand, there are many archive storage, display, equipment and staffing needs that go beyond the Library's regular budget. In response to a growing interest in the history of our Village, the Oak Lawn Public Library re-established a Local History program in Nov. 2006.

In 2014, to help preserve the history of Oak Lawn, the Oak Lawn Community Library Foundation revamped its mission in order to solely support the Local History Unit of the Oak Lawn Public Library. Since Local History moved to its existing location on the second floor in April 2015, exhibits are now accessible all 70 hours a week the Library is open. This has translated to an increase of visitors. More than 500 community members alone attended the opening night remembrance, "Voices in the Wind," honoring the 50th anniversary of the devastating 1967 tornado.

The impact of the Local History Unit reaches beyond just its physical space at the Library. Kevin Korst leads education programs at area libraries, in classrooms, and on walking tours highlighting Oak Lawn's historic structures and landmarks. In 2017, there were more than 25,000 searches conducted in the Local History database, which currently contains 14,000+ items including oral history interviews, audio and musical recordings, photographs, postcards, artifacts, phone books, and yearbooks.

Created by Erin Foley on Jun 3rd, 2017 @ 4:30 PM.
Updated on Jan 29th, 2020 @ 9:45 AM.