“The Chicago Public Library is becoming less the hushed repository of static media and more like a coworking space for customers under commissioner Brian Bannon, who took the helm in March 2012 amid layoffs and budget cuts. Since then, he has installed popular office-productivity software for patron computers and expanded computer training classes, and he’s working on a three-year workforce-readiness plan. When he opened the Maker Lab as an experiment in the Harold Washington Library Center last summer with equipment such as 3D printers, laser and vinyl cutters and a milling machine, the lab earned a Chicago Innovation Award for social innovation. Bannon shares lessons from the Maker Lab and how he managed change at the library.” (via Blue Sky Innovation)
“About 70 Chicago Public Library custodians learned this morning they’re out of work. The city told them in May it was privatizing their jobs, but the workers say they were hoping to keep working. Their Union, SEIU Local 73 had been in negotiations with the city but was unable to get them work in another department. They were making about 16 dollars an hour.”
via CBS Chicago
“The Chicago Public Library recently held its own type of homecoming — welcoming the more than 100,000 missing books, CDs and DVDs that found their way back to library shelves.
And it didn’t matter how they got there, because for those three weeks, all was forgiven. Exactly 101,301 items were returned from Aug. 20 to Sept. 7 in the library’s “Once in a Blue Moon Amnesty” program, a rare window of time during which outstanding fines and fees were waived. The library estimates the value of the items returned during the program at about $2 million.”
via Chicago Tribune
“On March 15, 1975, a man owed a book to Chicago Public Library.Tuesday, more than 37 years later, he ventured into the Oriole Park Library and returned it.For three weeks, all fines for overdue books are being forgiven under the citys first complete library amnesty in 27 years. The program started Monday.Jessica Bertola, head library clerk at Oriole Park, said the man told her he had been cleaning his Naperville home and found the book, “Fluidic Systems Design Guide.”
via Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune – “With the city’s public library system in transition, Mayor Rahm Emanuel is replacing longtime Library Commissioner Mary Dempsey with a technology-focused administrator from the West Coast. Brian Bannon, chief information officer for San Francisco’s public libraries, will take over in Chicago in March. The change at the top comes amid labor unrest and budget cuts at the city’s libraries under Emanuel.”
Chicago Sun Times – “Chicago’s branch libraries will reopen on Mondays, thanks to a political end-run engineered by Mayor Rahm Emanuel. The mayor has accused the union representing library employees of blocking a scheduling change that would have averted the all-day Monday closing because they’re using libraries as a “bargaining chip” to “achieve something else.”
Time Out Chicago – “By cutting funding for the library, Rahm proved himself out of touch with his constituents.”
Chicago Sun Times – “Chicago’s public libraries will reduce their hours in 2012, even as the city continues to build new libraries, Mayor Rahm Emanuel acknowledged Tuesday. Emanuel defended the library cuts built into his 2012 budget, saying they’re a small price to pay at a time when other major cities are closing libraries. The reduced hours will be concentrated on Mondays and other days and times when library usage is the lowest, sources told the Chicago Sun-Times.”
Chicago Tribune – “When Ruth Lednicer recently placed a hold in the Chicago Public Library system for the cookbook “Fix It and Forget It” at the start of the year, she never guessed the book would take nearly a month to arrive.
Of course, Lednicer had a bit more sympathy for those who processed her book request within the Harold Washington Library because she works there as the director of marketing.
For the rest of the Chicago’s 1.9 million library cardholders, the extended waits for materials they placed on hold at the start of the year were more of a mysterious hassle.”