Six libraries hosting 'Neighbors Together' to promote Literacy DuPage's tutoring program

Six public libraries in DuPage County - Addison, Indian Prairie, Itasca, Naperville, Westmont, and Wheaton - are collaborating on a one-community, two-book program series called "Neighbors Together" to promote Literacy DuPage's one-to-one English language tutoring program in attracting learners and tutors and to highlight the diversity of the county.

In February, each library will host a book discussion on the fiction title, "The Book of Unknown Americans" by Cristina Henriquez and/or the nonfiction title, "Conditional Citizens" by Laila Lalami.

Additional immigration-themed events are also being offered.

Members of all libraries are welcome to participate in any of the programs or book discussions. Please note the libraries' registration policies. Some events are held in person and some online.

For more information about these interesting topics, visit

Literacy DuPage in Glen Ellyn serves DuPage County adults of all ages, nationalities, and social backgrounds, who seek assistance in improving their English speaking, comprehension, reading, and writing skills, allowing them to be more independent and successful at home, at work, and in the community.

Some students are native English speakers, yet most are immigrants.

To become a volunteer, make a donation, or gain more information, call Literacy DuPage at (630) 942-5217 or visit

Neighbors Together

Throughout the month, a "Neighbors Together" drop-in program will be held in the lobby of local libraries. Stop by the lobby to see how you can volunteer. Literacy DuPage recruits and trains volunteer tutors who teach adults English. Since 1972, they have been equipping a big-hearted army of tutors to sit side-by-side with adults in DuPage County who cannot understand, speak, read, or write English.

The schedule will be: 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Feb. 1 and 15, at Indian Prairie Public Library, 401 Plainfield Road, Darien; 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 8, at Addison Public Library, 4 Friendship Plaza; 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 16, at Westmont Public Library, 428 N. Cass Ave.; 1 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 9, at Itasca Community Library, 500 W. Irving Park Road; and 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 22, at Wheaton Public Library, 225 N. Cross St.

In-person programs

• "Nonfiction at Night" will feature a discussion on the 2020 book "Conditional Citizens" by Laila Lalami from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 3, at Indian Prairie Public Library. For readers who like captivating true stories and thoughtful conversations. Pick up books at the checkout desk. Registration required.

• Have a story or experience from your life that you would like to write but don't know where to begin? Are you looking to document your family's migration to the U.S., whether it was in the distant or more recent past? Join College of DuPage Associate Professor Trina Sotira for "Writing Your Story: A Memoir and Creative Nonfiction Workshop" to discuss storytelling methods and ways to make your experience come alive on the page from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 12, at Indian Prairie Public Library. A writing workshop is included in this event. Registration is required.

Cristina Henriquez

• On Wednesday, Feb. 16, join a discussion on the 2014 book "The Book of Unknown Americans" by Cristina Henríquez from 7 to 8 p.m. at Addison Public Library.

• The Novel Idea Book Discussion is for readers who like to delve into a novel's characters, plot, setting, and themes. This month's book is "The Book of Unknown Americans" (2014) by Cristina Henríquez. Pick up the book at the guest services desk. The discussion will be 7 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 17, at Indian Prairie Public Library. Registration is required.

• On Wednesday, Feb. 23, join a discussion on "The Book of Unknown Americans" (2014) by Cristina Henríquez at 1:30 p.m. at Westmont Public Library.


• On Thursday, Feb. 10, learn about the history of immigration to the United States and recent legal updates in the presentation "History of U.S. Immigration" by Fred Tsao, senior policy counsel of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, at 7 p.m. at Addison Public Library. Registration is required. There are 12 in-person seats available. There are 94 online seats available. This program will be streamed on YouTube Live and Facebook Live.

Online programs

• On Sunday, Feb. 6, DuPage County Historical Museum curator Zachary Bishop will explore the rich history of immigrants in DuPage County from the 1830s through the present day. The online program, "Many Journeys, One New Home: Immigrants in DuPage County" will be 2 to 3:30 p.m., hosted by Indian Prairie Public Library.

• How can the community welcome refugees and other immigrants effectively? What are the benefits of helping refugees rebuild their lives in the communities we all share? Itasca Community Library will host the online program, "Building a Welcoming Community" with World Relief from 7 to 8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 7. Learn more about how World Relief supports newly arriving refugee families, our local response to the crisis in Afghanistan, and how we can all come together to build and grow a welcoming community.

• On Tuesday, Feb. 8, Indian Prairie Public Library will host the online program, "Family Detention on the Ground" from 7 to 9 p.m. In this 60-minute presentation, Megan Klein discusses her experience as a Proyecto Dilley volunteer at the largest detention facility for migrant women and children in the United States. The presentation centers around the stories of the women and children that she advocated for in an effort to situate the topic of immigration in the individual migrants themselves. Klein encourages questions and discussion at the end of the presentation. It is an Illinois Humanities Road Scholars Speakers Bureau program.

"Conditional Citizens" by Laila Lalami

• In partnership with Literacy DuPage and several area libraries, join an online discussion of Laila Lalami's book "Conditional Citizens: On Belonging in America" from 7 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 9, hosted by Naperville Public Library.

• On Monday, Feb. 14, a panel of faculty and staff from the College of DuPage will use Laila Lalami's book "Conditional Citizens" as a framework for leading a discussion and answering questions about immigration in America. The online panel discussion, hosted by Indian Prairie Public Library, will begin at 7 p.m.

• Itasca Community Library will host an online discussion on the 2014 book "The Book of Unknown Americans" by Cristina Henríquez at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 15, 7 p.m.

• America's rich history is full of stories of people leaving their homelands in search of a better future. Join "Literacy DuPage Immigrant Experiences" to hear immigrants share their experiences with coming to this country during this online program, hosted by Indian Prairie Public Library, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 24.

• What does it mean to be American? In "Conditional Citizens: On Belonging in America," Pulitzer Prize­­ finalist Laila Lalami recounts her unlikely journey from Moroccan immigrant to U.S. citizen, using it as a starting point for her exploration of American rights, liberties, and protections. The online book discussion, hosted by Wheaton Public Library, will begin at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 28.

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