Yes, we have amazing books. But when you look past the stacks, you’ll discover more reasons to fall in love with Chicago Public Library.
1. We have beautiful libraries.
From the beaux-art inspired building of the Harold Washington Library Center to the post-modern design of the Chinatown branch, our public libraries are breathtakingly beautiful, aren’t they?
2. 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 80 branches.
3. Entrance to the Library is (and will always be) free.
Almost everything has a fee nowadays. Not the Library. In a world where access is fast becoming a luxury, the Library – its buildings, books, programs, services, and resources – remain free. Patrons are free to create, free to explore, and free to learn here.
4. 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.
5. 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 best 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!
6. 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 12 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.
7. The Library brings you the future.
It is tricky to navigate the digital world, especially for those who were not born into the digital age. Thankfully, we have the CyberNavigators! They provide one-on-one assistance to those willing 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 2017, nearly 1,000 Chicagoans found jobs with the help of a CyberNavigator.
8. 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.
9. Oh, the (not so hidden) treasures you can find in the Library!
Have you visited the Special Collections on the 9th floor of Harold Washington Library Center? You’re missing out, if you haven’t. There are 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. (You can see the current exhibit on celebrity chef Charlie Trotter, A Taste of Charlie Trotter, now thru April 2019!) For a more comprehensive appreciation of the collections, you can schedule an appointment with the Library’s knowledgeable resident archivists.
10. At the heart of every community is its Library.
No two libraries are the same. Every branch reflects and incorporates the character of the neighborhood. Librarians and staff work with the community to serve its unique needs.
Chicago Public Library is the glue that binds the city together. Its resources foster curiosity, empowers learning, and transforms lives.