“Chicago’s showcase Harold Washington Library is in line for a $6 million facelift — including a new roof, generators, heating and cooling systems — courtesy of tax increment financing. TIF funding for the library equivalent of a 100,000-mile checkup for the 26-year-old central library — and the same for the 30-year-old Sulzer Regional Library — is tucked away in Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s 2014 budget.” (via Chicago Sun-Times)
“Deerfield and Highland Park librarians consider their buildings to be bastions of free thought, and have few regulations on children reading or viewing adult content. It’s up to the parents to decide what’s appropriate for their children, said Mary Pergander, library director of the newly-renovated Deerfield Public Library.
“Deerfield is a community that has a long tradition of protecting intellectual freedom,” Pergander said.” (via Chicago Tribune)
“When library trustees in north suburban Morton Grove learned that a 16-year-old employee would oversee the showing of an R-rated film at the institution, some of them requested that an adult take over the job. The incident represents another page in the ongoing debate over the accessibility of adult-themed materials to young library patrons. “It would be highly offensive to a great number of residents of Morton Grove that the library is using their tax money to employ a 16-year-old to show movies that, under the same circumstances, that person would not be allowed to attend … without parental accompaniment,” said Trustee Catherine Peters.” (via Chicago Tribune)
“Ford Heights has a library district that collects about $20,000 a year from taxpayers who live in one of the poorest communities in the state.
But Ford Heights has no library. The district was forced to close its free-standing library about 20 years ago when it couldn’t come up with the money to maintain the building, and it was eventually razed. A state-of-the-art library in neighboring Glenwood then offered services for a while.” (via Chicago Tribune)
“A larger-than-life montage of the Daley family is among artifacts from the Richard J. Daley administration that curators at the University of Illinois at Chicago are preparing to unveil as part of a new exhibit from the late former mayor’s six terms in office. The photos, memorabilia and documents that make up the collection will be housed in a 2,550-square-foot room in the Richard J. Daley Library’s Special Collections Department and will be available for viewing by the public starting Thursday. The items were bequeathed to the library many years ago by the mayor’s wife, Eleanor. Creation of the UIC campus was one of Daley’s proudest accomplishments.” (via Chicago Tribune)
“If you pop into the hard-to-find Galewood-Mont Clare branch of the Chicago Public Library this afternoon, you may see a library with no books on the shelves. Members of the Galewood Residents Organization plan to check out all 2,700 or so books in an effort to get attention for their efforts to get a bigger branch library.” (via SunTimes)
“The Chicago Public Schools ignited controversy this week by ordering that “Persepolis,” a critically acclaimed graphic novel about a girl growing up in Iran at the time of the Islamic revolution, be removed from some classrooms. CPS Chief Executive Barbara Byrd-Bennett said on Friday that the district was not banning the book, by Marjane Satrapi, but had decided that it was “not appropriate for general use” in the seventh grade curriculum.” (via Reuters)
“In a city facing budget deficits and reduced staffing, at least the Chicago Public Library has managed to add services and jobs without outspending its budget. The city announced Sunday that the Chicago Public Library would add four hours to Mondays in a number of locations without having to increase funding, a feat accomplished by making library staffing more efficient, officials said. “We did a major staffing evaluation of all locations and came up with a new way of how we would staff our libraries,” Chicago Public Library Commissioner Brian Bannon said.”
Libraries of the future? With Chicago’s new library commissioner taking over this month, one prototype library design offers a solid mix of form and function while another falls short
Chicago Tribune – “What should a 21st Century library look like? To ask that question is to conjure futuristic visions–of libraries that resemble sleek Apple stores; of librarians who stroll around their branches with computer tablets, and of robots that stack books in shelves, provided, of course, there still are books. Such issues are no longer academic, not with a new library commissioner heading to Chicago, especially one from digitally-savvy San Francisco.”
Chicago Tribune – “Fall asleep in the Chicago Public Library, someone will nudge you awake. Do it again, they’ll show you the door. But drift off in Lombard’s cozy library and you can slumber in peace. “The library is a good place to at least catch up on the sleep you missed out on the night before,” said Tammy Selio as she sat in the west suburban library on a recent Tuesday, a black suitcase filled with her belongings at her side. Selio, 40, and other homeless patrons often gather there in the hours before a nearby shelter opens at 7 p.m. Sometimes their eyes grow heavy — especially as the days turn gloomy and colder and a comfortable library chair beckons.”