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Apr 7 / Neal

Community Rallies For a Better Library

The Galewood Residents Organization this week rallied community members in support of a new branch library. Concerned low circulation would prompt the Chicago Public Library to ignore the branch or even close the branch an idea was conceived to spike circulation numbers for the month of April.

The kick off event was held Monday with the goal of checking out every book in the branch. The response was amazing as 251 different community members checked out library items. Many checked out the maximum 30 items. Some checked out 30 and then returned them and checked out another 30. The number of items loaned that day is estimated to be at least 4,500.

Chicago Public Library dispatched two senior employees to monitor the event and be available for public comment. A member of the Galewood Residents Organization is expected to report to the CPL Board of Directors on the event at their monthly meeting scheduled for Tuesday, April 16.

Ald. Sposato (36th) and Ald. Graham (29th) were also present and offered their support for the communities effort to secure new library branch.

Several media outlets covered the event including Sun-Times columnist Thomas Frisbie (and here), DNAInfo, and Progress Illinois.  The event was also picked out by a few blogs and Twitter.

Community members are encouraged to continue to check out books through the month of April.

The Galewood-Montclare Branch Library has operated in the field house of Rutherford-Sayre Park since June 2010.  The prior location on Grand Avenue was abruptly shuttered by the Chicago Public Library because the landlord owed “$60,000 in unpaid water bills, building fines and fees and over $9,000 in real estate taxes.” The lease on the property expired in March 2010 and CPL had been unable to establish new lease terms. The CPL Board agreed to close the branch but then subsequently reopened the branch in the park field house. The branch has existed quietly without most of the amenities the other 78 CPL locations enjoy such as computers, wireless Internet, evening and weekend hours, a drop box and more.

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