Libraries Exchange Culture & Learning

Sones de Mexico perform Friday, Sept. 16 as part of the NEA Big Read focusing on "Into the Beautiful North." More at

In this presidential election year full of talk about building walls, five area libraries and Dominican University are diving into immigration issues through the NEA Big Read, a program designed to broaden our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book.

This fall, the Oak Park Public Library, Berwyn Public Library, Forest Park Public Library, Maywood Public Library, River Forest Public Library, and Dominican University are reaching across borders and joining forces to explore the immigration-related themes and issues described in Luis Alberto Urrea's novel Into the Beautiful North, which follows 19-year-old Nayeli on an illegal border-crossing quest to bring back her father and other men to repopulate her small Mexican village.

From September to November, our communities can participate in more than 30 opportunities for cultural exchange, including:

  • Meeting author Luis Alberto Urrea at Dominican University.
  • Discussing the novel in both English and Spanish.
  • Watching a special pre-screening of the new feature film The Magnificent Seven and discussing it with the Oak Park Public Library's Jim Madigan.
  • Learning from experienced immigration attorneys.
  • Listening to immigrants share their own stories.
  • Exploring the unique and rich regional styles of Mexican music and instruments.
  • Sharing artwork, games, stories, and more.

Find all events and more information at

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