“Two years ago, the Chicago Public Schools budgeted for 454 librarians. Last year, the budget called for 313 librarians, and now that number is down to 254.With educators facing tough financial choices, having a full-time librarian is becoming something of a luxury in Chicago’s more than 600 public schools.It’s not that there’s a shortage of librarians in Chicago, and it’s not mass layoffs — it’s that the librarians are being reassigned.” (via NPR)
“The Chicago Public Library has more than just books for borrowing. It now has a fleet of 500 robots that can be checked out. The idea is to give Chicago residents of all ages a chance to dabble in the basics of computer coding. The gadgets, known as Finch Robots, were donated by Google Chicago and made the library the first in the nation to have them available for people to take home. They can be coded to move, make noises, light up and even draw. Some of the programming can be done by children as young as 8 years old. “We hope to inspire the next generation of technologists and computer scientists,” Jim Lecinski, head of the Google Chicago office, said at a Saturday event announcing the program.” (via NBC Chicago)
“A $194,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will fund software development led by UIC for a free, easily accessible online portal to materials on Chicago history in at least 12 libraries and museums. The portal will allow one-click searching of materials at UIC, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago History Museum, Chicago Public Library, Columbia College Chicago, DePaul University, Illinois Institute of Technology, Loyola University Chicago, Newberry Library, Northwestern University, Roosevelt University and University of Chicago.” (via UIC News Center)
“Orland Park Public Library trustees are re-voting on all actions taken at a February meeting where board members decided to uphold the library’s controversial computer policy after several patrons accused library officials of violating the Open Meetings Act. The Public Access Bureau of the Illinois Attorney General’s Office is investigating allegations that trustees held a special meeting on a holiday, failed to provide adequate notification about the meeting and did not allow public comment. The meeting was held Feb. 12, Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, a legal holiday in Illinois, and did not include a public comment period. When one patron interrupted as the meeting was adjourning, the board ignored her comments” (via chicagotribune.com)
“A new online repository for scholarship by University of Chicago Law School faculty—Chicago Unbound—was officially launched in January. Developed by D’Angelo Law Library and the Law School’s Communications Department, Chicago Unbound unites the rich record of scholarship produced at the Law School in one online platform, making it accessible to a world audience.” (via The University of Chicago Library News)
“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)