Programs and Events

See program brochure 

Art Shay Photography Unveiling & Reception

Monday, January 21, 2019
5:00 – 6:30 p.m. 
A generous donation from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library has made possible the purchase of two Shay photographs for the Library’s permanent collection. Our Martin Luther King Jr. Day reception and photography unveiling will introduce our program series and offer illuminating information about our new photographs. Refreshments will be served.

No registration required.

Be the Change

Monday, February 11, 2019
Grades K-2
5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Together we’ll learn about changemakers from around the world and explore ways you can make a difference in your community at this fun and interactive program!


The Fire Next Time Book Discussion

Thursday, February 21, 2019
7:00 – 8:00 p.m.
The Fire Next Time
is considered one of the central literary works to come out of the civil rights movement and one of the most influential essays in American literature. We’ll discuss how Baldwin’s book reflects on Deerfield history and how his words resonate today. Books are available at the Adult Services desk one month before the discussion.


I Am Not Your Negro Film Discussion

Thursday, February 28, 2019
6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
The award-winning documentary I Am Not Your Negro (2017) mixes Baldwin’s published and unpublished writing with archival footage of the author, classic Hollywood movies, and contemporary activism to examine Baldwin’s message for a new era. Directed by Raoul Peck and narrated by Samuel L. Jackson. A short discussion will follow the film screening.


60 Year Reflection Panel Discussion

Tuesday, March 12, 2019
7:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Join us for an upfront and informative panel discussion on Deerfield’s history and its lasting legacy. Hear dramatic personal stories from residents and unique reflections from historians who have studied the fight to integrate Deerfield and Chicagoland. Q & A will follow the panel discussion.


Graham Ambrose grew up in Deerfield and graduated from Yale in 2018. He wrote his history thesis on Deerfield’s integration crisis and brings to the panel the perspective of a historian, writer, and resident. He has written for The Washington Post and The Boston Globe.
Natalie Moore is an award-winning author and journalist, currently working as the South Side Reporter for WBEZ. Her 2016 book, The South Side: A Portrait of Chicago and American Segregation, combines memoir, reporting, and historical analysis to examine the effects of segregation today. Moore lives in Chicago.

Amy Roost grew up in Deerfield knowing she was adopted. What Amy didn’t know was that she was the second girl adopted by her family. The family adopted and then gave back a black baby, Rebecca, deciding that raising her in Deerfield in 1962 would be too difficult.

As an adult, Amy found her sister Rebecca — Angelle Smith. Angelle had been adopted and raised by a loving black family in Chicago. In December 2017, they shared their story in a viral New York Times article, “The Adopted Black Baby and the White One Who Replaced Her.” Their story was also shared in the podcast “Finding Rebecca” for Snap Judgement. The film rights to their story were purchased by 20th Century Fox.

Amy Roost is a writer and documentary podcaster. She wrote and produced the podcast, “Finding Rebecca,” which was nominated for a Peabody Award. She is a contributor to and co-editor of the book Fury: Women’s Lived Experiences in the Trump Era. She is also the host of the podcast Fury, distributed by Critical Frequency Network.

Angelle Smith, a victim of racial discrimination in Deerfield in the 1960s, describes herself as “more than a conqueror.” Angelle is a motivational speaker, transformational life coach, and blogger addressing the issues of family reunification, discrimination, self-awareness, forgiveness, and gratitude.

Look for Angelle and Amy’s co-written memoir, and the film of their story, coming Fall 2019.

Through the Lens of Art Shay

Saturday, April 13, 2019
2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
See the history of the Deerfield integration crisis through previously unseen photographs taken by Art Shay. Led by Professor Erik Gellman and based on his forthcoming book, Troublemakers: Chicago Freedom Struggles through the Lens of Art Shay, this program will provide an engaging look into the past. Additional Shay photographs will also be on view at the Library, on loan from the Art Shay Archives.


Pizza & Paperbacks: The Hate U Give Book Discussion

Monday, April 16, 2019
Teens, Grades 6-12
7:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Join Nina, the Teen Librarian, for a discussion of The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas as part of the Pizza & Paperbacks series. Please register in advance, as free copies of the book will be given to participants to keep.


The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America

Thursday, May 2, 2019
7:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Why, in 1959, was Deerfield segregated in the first place? Why is Chicagoland still so segregated? Join Richard Rothstein, author of The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, as he reveals how the fight to integrate Deerfield fits in with the larger history and legacy of housing discrimination. Rothstein, a leading authority on housing policy, makes clear that the laws and policy decisions passed by local, state, and federal governments actually promoted the discriminatory patterns that continue to this day. Q&A will follow. Books will be available for purchase and signing.