Here are some helpful links and information for assisting refugees and immigrants, compiled by librarians from, ALA Thinktank.

 The Berwyn Public Library does not endorse these organizations. They are listed for informational purposes only.

National Organizations Who Help Immigrants and Refugees:

Human Rights Watch  Defends the rights of people worldwide, spotlighting abuses and bringing perpetrators to justice.

ACLU For almost 100 years, the ACLU has worked to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States.

The Center for Gender and Refugee Studies Protects the fundamental human rights of women, children, LGBTQ individuals, and others who flee persecution, combining sophisticated legal strategies with policy advocacy and human rights interventions to advance protections for refugees.

RAICES (The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services) promotes justice by providing free and low-cost legal services to under served immigrant children, families and refugees in Central and South Texas. RAICES is the largest immigration non-profit in Texas with offices in Austin, Corpus, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio.

National Immigrant Justice Center The latest information about the Dreamers and DACA.

Smaller Organizations Who Work Directly With Separated and Refugee Families:

Annunciation House Has served the migrant, homeless, and economically vulnerable people of the border since 1978.

Detained Migrant Solidarity Committee: Are committed to organize, educate, and act for more humane  policies, practices, and public opinion in solidarity with detained refugees. Dedicated to nurturing a safe and welcoming community for all, regardless of borders.

Las Américas Immigrant Advocacy Center Envisions a country where all immigrants have access to high quality legal representation based on the principle of justice and human rights.

ALDEA: The People’s Justice Center Works to provide a holistic approach to meeting the multi-faceted needs of the immigrant community members through legal, social, educational, and medical services.

Phone Numbers of Elected Officials:

DOJ Comment Line: (202)353-1555

Chief of Staff, John Kelly – 202-456-1414

Attorney General, Jeff Sessions – 202-353-1555

DHS Secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen – 202-282-8495

Acting ICE Director, Thomas Homan – 1-866-DHS-2-ICE

HHS Secretary, Alex Azar – 202-690-7000

Acting Assistant ACF Secretary, Steven Wagner – 1-877-696-6775​

ORR Director, Scott Lloyd -202.401.9246

Koko the Gorilla

Koko the west lowland gorilla, who learned to sign over 1000 words taught to her by her trainer,  Penny Patterson, has died in her sleep at age 46.

Koko was born on July 4, 1971 at the San Francisco Zoo. As an infant, she was chosen by  Patterson to participate in a language research project. Koko showed an early aptitude for learning American Sign Language, and became a beloved international figure for her skill. She even created signs for words and phrases she was not taught.

In 1985, Koko was featured in National Geographic magazine, for her special relationship with a kitten named All Ball—the story of which is truly one of the sweetest and most pure expressions of love in our time.

Koko’s favorite picture book stories included The Three Little Kittens, and Puss ‘n’ Boots, .


Banned Books Week 9/24/17 – 9/30/17

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Banned Books Week is from September 24th thru the 30th 2017.

Banned Books Week:

  • highlights the value of free and open access to information
  • brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types
    • in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular

A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group.

  • they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others
  • they are a threat to freedom of speech and choice.

A banning is the removal of challenged materials.

Why are books banned or challenged?

Often challenges are motivated by a desire to protect children from “inappropriate” sexual content or “offensive” language. The following were the top three reasons cited for challenging materials as reported to the Office of Intellectual Freedom:

  1. the material was considered to be “sexually explicit”
  2. the material contained “offensive language”
  3. the materials was “unsuited to any age group”

Free Access to Libraries for Minors, an interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights (ALA’s basic policy concerning access to information) states that, “Librarians and governing bodies should maintain that parents—and only parents—have the right and the responsibility to restrict the access of their children—and only their children—to library resources.” Censorship by librarians of constitutionally protected speech, whether for protection or for any other reason, violates the First Amendment.

These are the Top 10 Challenged Books by year:


2014 bb


2015 bb


2016 bb

Challenges by Reasons:

challenges by reasons 1990-99 and 2000-09_0

Challenges by Initiator:

challenges by initiator 1990-99 and 2000-09_v1

Challenges by Institution:

challenges by institution 1990-99 and 2000-09_v1


Read a Challenged or Banned Book today!


Hispanic Heritage Month has arrived!

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Please come and celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at the library.  There are many events happening during the month (September 15th- October 15th).  There is a Latino Film Festival (recommended for Adults) happening in the Community Room on various dates in September and October.

like water for chocolate

  • Like Water for Chocolate (Como Agua para Chocolate) – Rated R 
    • Saturday September 23rd- 2 pm.
    • In Spanish with English subtitles


  • My Family (Mi Familia) – Rated R  
    • Thursday September 28th- 6:30 pm
    • In Spanish and English with English subtitles

instructions not included

  • Instruction Not Included (No se Aceptan Devoluciones) – Rated PG-13
    • Tuesday October 4th- 6:30 pm
    • In Spanish with English subtitles

under the same moon

  • Under the Same Moon (La Misma Luna) – Rated PG-13  
    • Tuesday October 10th- 6:30 pm
    • In Spanish with English subtitles

There is also a Book Club celebrating Hispanic Heritage.

Enrique's journey

  • Takes place:
    • on Thursday October 5th – 7 pm.
    • in the Community Room
  • Copies of Enrique’s Journey by Sonia Nazario
    • available in Spanish and English
    • in the Reference Department

It is Back to School time again!!!!

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Schools in the area will be starting within the next couple of weeks.  Getting the correct school supplies is very important.  The elementary/middle school districts in the area are District 100 in South Berwyn and District 98 in North Berwyn.



School supplies

District 100 school supply lists:

(Click on the school name to be redirected to the lists)

District 98 school supply lists:

(Click on the school name to be redirected to the lists)

Additional Schools:

Shark Week


Shark Week begins again! 

The annual week-long block of programs featuring sharks begins tonight. Originally began to draw attention to conservation efforts and the importance of this apex predator, shark week has become the longest running television event in modern history, according to the Discovery Channel.

In addition to watching the television programs scheduled:

shark week

Learn about organizations working to dispel myths and misunderstandings about sharks:

The Shark Trust

Shark Savers

SEE The Wild Shark Conservation

Quick Classes at The Berwyn Public Library

Quick Classes are one-time educational seminars taught by local experts. Some explore current events, literature, history, and science, while others teach practical skills and allow creative inquiry.

Course Offerings:

History 101:  Monday, May 15, 2017 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm


Learn about the history of one of Chicago’s most treasured museums and discover their latest outreach activities.

Art 101: Tuesday, May 16, 2017 11:00 am – 12:30 pm


Create a beautiful, original painting with the assistance of a professional artist. All materials are included. Note * registration is required and limited to first 20 registrants

Astronomy 101: Wednesday, May 17, 2017, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm


On August 17, 2017 a total solar eclipse will be visible from the US for the first time in 30 years. Learn the best viewing places and how to enjoy this exciting event.

English 101: Wednesday May 17, 2017, 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm


Have you ever thought of writing creatively? Join us to create a visual collage and discover your inspiration in this wonderful hands-on session.

Berwyn 101: Thursday, May 18, 2017, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm


Learn all about the history of our great city of Berwyn!

For more information and to register, please visit us our

website The Berwyn Public Library

Happy Earth Day!


Earth Day began in 1970, in response to the massive damage from an oil spill in California in 1969. Today, citizens around the world meet and organize each year to volunteer, educate others, and show their support for our planet.

This year in particular, people around the globe will participate in science marches to show their support for science and education about climate change and preserving our environment.

The Chicago Tribune lists some fun family orientated volunteer activities!

Celebrate Earth Day with these activities!

Read more about the science marches here!

Please share in the comments how you plan to spend today!