Why Do We Love Chicago Public Library?

Categories: Featured, Foundation News

Let us count the ways

For thousands of Chicagoans, Chicago Public Library has been a pillar of support as our community continues to navigate the challenges and effects of COVID-19. This love month let’s listen to some of their stories.

Little girl watching the Obamas live thanks to Chicago Public Library

“My toddler and I love Chicago Public Library because we continue our love of reading with a wonderful storyrime with special guest readers and our favorite librarians!” – Katie

The Library was a special place in Katie and her three-year-old’s hearts. They would walk to the Albany branch and participate in story time. When the Library had to close temporarily, Katie got worried. “Not only has the story time been part of our daily routine, but it has also helped Anna sing, dance, and play her way to learning,” shared Katie. After a week, Katie and little Anna are back to their morning stories thanks to Live from the Library. “Anna is always excited for every Live from the Library episode. She would wave to the guest reader and say hello. After every stream, we would replay it over and over. And then she would go pick her own book to read!” Children and families across the city can enjoy this daily virtual story time brought by Chicago’s most familiar faces like President Barack and First Lady Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Dolly Parton, Michael Shannon, and so much more! Watch your favorite episode here.

The Pinedas learn from home with the help of Chicago Public Library

“We love Chicago Public Library because of their accessible homework help resources. Virtual Teachers in the Library have made the adjustment to remote learning more manageable. It is a great weight lifted off our shoulders knowing that the children get the academic guidance they  need.” – Rosa

As a working mother, supervising children with their schoolwork while running the household was challenging. Rosa has three children, a preschooler, a third grader, and a seventh-grade student. After school, they would all come to her for help. And these homework assignments were difficult. Oftentimes, before she can tutor the kids, she had to study the lessons herself. “Often, it ends up being a long night for all of us,” said Rosa.

So, the family turned to the Library. Accessible and free resources like Brainfuse and Virtual Teachers in the Library have helped the children adjust to learning from home and have even thrived in school.
Empower your children with the academic support they need. Register for one-on-one virtual Teacher in the Library sessions here.

“I love Chicago Public Library because it has given me the space to create art and connect with other teens who have the same interests as I do. The Library’s YOUmedia has given me a community that has been incredibly helpful throughout the pandemic.”- Cynthia

A freshman, Cynthia moved to Chicago a couple of months before the pandemic. When asked to stay home, her plans of exploring this new city, meeting friends, and participating in arts program after school were stalled indefinitely. “I felt lonely. I’m this new girl in a new city with no friends and limited activities,” shared Cynthia. And then she heard about Chicago Public Library’s teen mentorship program─YOUmedia. Cynthia jumped at the opportunity. She joined virtual meet-ups, attended digital workshops, and even participated in a socially-distanced mural making activity. “Suddenly, I don’t feel alone anymore. I have met an amazing group of teens and equally amazing teen librarians who encourage and support me to pursue my art,” she continued.

“I love Chicago Public Library because it gives people like me an opportunity.”- Maurice

With digital literacy more critical than ever, Chicago Public Library is committed in empowering Chicagoans navigate this digital world through Chicago DigitalLearn, a virtual platform with short video courses ranging from 5 to 15 minutes long. Designed as learning-on-demand, learners are free to study a topic they need. Lessons are categorizes into themes like the basics, health resources, job search, productivity, and social media.

“The courses are incredibly easy to follow. The video walks you through step-by-step and then allow time for you to do hands-on activities. The courses are incredibly relatable. After watching the video about job application, I feel like if the character of the story was able to type, upload her resume, and get a job, I can too”, shared Claudia, a DigitalLearner.

Since its launch in 2014, 25,000 Chicagoans have enjoyed DigitalLearn, using the platform to turn digital barriers into tools.

The pandemic has been incredibly difficult for all of us in more ways than one. We are anxious about the uncertainty around us. We crave connection and long for engagement in ways we never have. But the Library reminds us that we are not alone. Through its digital programs and virtual events, Chicago Public Library continues to strengthen a sense of community across 77 neighborhoods—even if we are apart.

Learn more how Chicago Public Library, powered by your support, transforms lives and communities during this challenging time when you sign up for our free monthly Bookmark newsletter here

You power our Library and empower every Chicagoan. Chicago Public Library Foundation