When you look past the stacks, you’ll discover more reasons to fall in love with Chicago Public Library.
10. We have beautiful libraries.
From the beaux-art inspired Harold Washington Library Center (with the majestic Winter Garden sitting on the top floor) to the post-modern architecture of the Independence branch, our public libraries are breathtakingly beautiful. More importantly, every library is carefully and thoughtfully designed with our patrons in mind.
9. You are always welcome here.
Providing equal access to information, ideas, and knowledge – the Library takes this mission to heart. That’s why Chicagoans from every neighborhood and every background are welcome at any of our 81 branches.
8. Oh, the (not so hidden) treasures you can find in the Library!
Have you visited Special Collections on the 9th floor of Harold Washington Library Center? You’re missing out if you haven’t. Explore gallery spaces featuring the latest exhibits from CPL’s vast archives – original sketches of Chicago Parks, artifacts from the World’s Fair, or Chicago’s early theater years – each one vividly shares Chicago’s history. For a more comprehensive appreciation of the collections, you can schedule an appointment with the Library’s knowledgeable resident archivists.
7. Make at the Library!
3D printer? Check. Laser cutters? Check. Robotics software? Check. At the Library’s Maker Lab, you don’t just develop the skills to think out of the box, you make it happen. Guided by mentors, anyone can learn the basics of design software and utilize equipment necessary to take your ideas to the next level. Are you an aspiring artist? You can be the next Maker-in-Residence! Click here to learn more!
6. The Library brings you to the future.
It is tricky to navigate the digital world, especially for those who were not born into the digital age. Thankfully, we have CyberNavigators! These digital mentors provide one-on-one tech assistance to those seeking to learn. From setting up an email to creating online resumes – these 21st-century skills are critical to helping people jump start (or restart) their careers. In 2018, nearly 1,000 Chicagoans found jobs with the help of a CyberNavigator. Check out some of our inspiring CyberNavigator success stories here.
5. In giving them a place to discover themselves, the Library highlights career paths for teens.
Coding, fashion design, film, music, photography, and so much more! High school students have the opportunity to explore their interests and pursue their passion at any one of 17 YOUmedia sites throughout CPL branch locations. This immersive learning experience, led by professional mentors, is helping Chicago teens perform better in school while encouraging them to pursue higher education opportunities.
4. Students get homework help at the Library.
Accredited Teachers in the Library are ready to assist students with their homework. They also guide parents on how to help children learn outside of school. Homework Help is also available online, from 2 pm to 11 pm, through Brainfuse.com. All you need is a library card!
3. Library programs promote learning through the language of children – playtime!
Talk, sing, read, write, and play ─ the Library offers creative and fun approaches for learning all year-round. Children’s librarians trained in early literacy best practices help kids and their families develop the building blocks to start school ready to read, all while making joyful memories together.
2. The Library goes fine-free!
Last October, CPL became the largest library system in the US to go fine-free, taking access and equity to a whole new level. “The Library is a great equalizer. You don’t have to belong in any socioeconomic group or be at any educational level to use the Library. Everyone is welcome to here to learn, expand their horizon, an open up opportunities,” shared Library Commissioner Andrea Telli.
1. CPL Opens on Sundays.
“A library is where the magic happens.” – Mayor Lori Lightfoot
Families visiting their local branches, students heading straight to the Library after school, high schoolers tinkering at the teen space, and senior citizens learning to use the computer for the first time – Chicago Public Library remains an essential part of Chicagoans’ lives. Understanding the role libraries play in communities across the city, every hour counts. That’s why throughout 2020, CPL will be rolling out Sunday hours in all 81 branches. Currently, there are nine branches already open!
Show love and support your local library this month. A gift of any amount powers our Library and empowers every Chicagoan through lifelong learning program for children, teens, and adults all across 81 branches and 77 neighborhoods!