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José Cruz joins River Forest Public Library as new Children’s Librarian 

José has been providing exceptional library services to children throughout his 10 years of library experience. Most recently, he was a Children’s Librarian at Oak Park Public Library, where he was well-known for his outstanding story times and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as his innovative programs designed to engage young audiences. We are thrilled that José will be bringing his creativity and enthusiasm to the River Forest Public Library as our new Children’s Librarian. 

José will be replacing Dannie Moore, who left to pursue an opportunity with the Chicago Public Library system, and will be reporting to Melaina Maraldi, Manager of Children’s Services.  Melaina shared her excitement about José joining her team, saying “he already knows our community well, so he’ll be a familiar face to many, and we know our patrons will appreciate attending his legendary story times. Jose’s knowledge of library trends, his creative programming and collaborative spirit, align with the values and culture of our Library, making him the perfect fit for the position.” 

In his new role at River Forest Public Library, José will be managing various Children’s print and digital collections and implementing engaging programs for our youngest audiences (from birth through 4th grade), both in the building and out in the community. You will often find José at our Children’s Services desk, where he will be providing reference and readers’ advisory services.  

José shared that he has loved libraries ever since he was a child and he would go with his mom, who was taking English classes at a Chicago branch. Libraries played a key role for him when he worked as a youth organizer, and he was thrilled when an opportunity to work with kids at Oak Park Public Library became available. During his time there, he was able to hone his story telling skills, and connect with the community through the events he planned. His favorite thing about working in libraries is “connecting people to information and resources and providing opportunities for communities to engage critically in their environment.” He is looking forward to bringing these skills to River Forest and connecting with the community. 

José’s first day will be on Monday, January 9. Please join us in welcoming José to River Forest Public Library.