I’m pleased to report that the Rogers Park Library will receive new carpeting next week, replacing the worn carpet that has covered the floor since the library opened 15 years ago.
This is wonderful news, but it will also cause a two-week disruption to library customers, as the building will be closed to public usefrom this Monday, September 22nd, to Monday, October 6th, at 12:00 noon.
The new carpeting is courtesy of the 49th Ward residents who voted in last spring’sParticipatory Budgeting Election. It was the second most popular project on the “PB” ballot, receiving over 1,000 votes.
As is often the case with Participatory Budgeting projects, the investment in new carpeting spurred additional investments. Over the summer, my Ward Office staff worked with Kang Chiu of theFriends of the Rogers Park Library and staff from the Chicago Public Library and the City of Chicago to not only ensure that quality carpeting would be installed, but develop other ancillary projects that will further enhance the library environment.
These projects include several roof repairs, fresh paint in some areas of the first floor, repositioning of the electricity cables in the first-floor computer area, cleaning of the second-floor fabric sculpture, and even filling of the potholes in the library parking lot!
During the library’s closure, borrowed books and other items cannot be returned to the Rogers Park location. Items can be renewed online at www.chicagopubliclibrary.org or by phone at (312) 747-INFO as long as they are not already overdue. Or they can be returned to any Chicago Public Library location, including the Edgewater Branch, 6000 N. Broadway, and the Northtown Branch, 6435 N. California.
And since I’m writing about our wonderful library, I also want to share some of its other successes. Did you know that the Rogers Park branch ranks third in circulation of the 79 branch libraries in Chicago and hosts600 to 700 visitors a day? These numbers contributed to the recent announcement that the Chicago Public Library system as a whole is a finalist for the prestigious National Medal for Museum and Science Service.
The Rogers Park Library also was one of the most active neighborhood libraries in“Rahm’s Readers Explore & Roar Summer Learning Challenge.” With the help of 22 local high school student volunteers, 856 neighborhood children read for a cumulative total of 467,385 minutes this summer, a five percent increase over last year’s participation!
Our kids’ reading helped Chicago win a bet between Mayor Emanuel and Jimmy Fallon, host of the Tonight Show, over how many books Chicago kids could read this summer. The prize is for the Tonight Show to be broadcast from Chicago! Perhaps Jimmy could be encouraged to host his show at the Mayne Stage!