Meet our 2024 Library Foundation Award honorees.

Why We Love Chicago Public Library

Naming the reasons why we love our beloved public library – from protecting our freedom to read to providing access to various free library resources.

Libraries are having a moment. Gen Z is finding a home at their local library branches. And millennials are rediscovering the benefits of these beloved institutions. Just last year, 54% of Gen Z and millennials visited their library, according to the American Library Association.

A community hub for all and a place for many to exist without judgement, there are many reasons to love all libraries. Here’s why we love our beloved Chicago Public Library.  

Book Sanctuaries

Ok, obviously, we love libraries because of the access to free books. But we especially love that Chicago Public Library is protecting our freedom to read in times where book bans are occurring at unprecedented rates. In 2022, CPL announced all library branches would be named book sanctuaries, ensuring access to all books.

You can establish your own book sanctuary, too! Visit to learn more.

All About Access

Speaking of access, since it opened its doors in 1873, CPL has made sure all Library users can access knowledge and lifelong learning resources and programs.

Take a look at this timeline to see how CPL has taken strides throughout the years to ensure everyone can access books and Library resources.

Bridging the Digital Divide

We also love that CPL is helping meet people where they are in their digital journey. Whether learning how to use a computer for the first time or attempting to build your digital skillset with online courses available through Chicago DigitalLearn or LinkedIn Learning, CPL has something for everyone.

Activating Creativity and Connection

Everyone deserves the opportunity to explore and at our Library, Chicagoans of all ages are invited to come together, exchange ideas, and create new projects. Teens can participate in creative and leadership opportunities. Adults can learn new skills or build on an existing hobby through the Maker Lab or exist author talks.

Plus: who doesn’t love movies? CPL has the latest blockbusters screening in the branches. Find a screening near you.

Closing the Academic Opportunity Gap

L… is for learning! We <3 that CPL supports children to become lifelong learners from their very first years and onward. With early-learning resources to homework help to STEAM learning and free summer learning activities, there’s so much CPL is doing to close the academic opportunity gap and help our city’s children thrive.  

Our Library Has Merch… and a Podcast!

Not to be biased, but our Library has pretty great merch! You can wear your Library love on your sleeve (literally). Shop the collections here.

Also, CPL has its own podcast called “Library for the People.” This podcast series details the history of our Library and the ways it has evolved to be a Library for Chicagoans of all ages. Listen here or wherever you stream your podcasts. 

There’s so much to love about CPL – this list is just the beginning. 

Show your Library love! A gift of any level fuels lifelong learning programs and resources for Chicagoans of all ages.