Mayor Richard M. Daley joined community leaders and residents today for the dedication of the Chicago Public Library’s new Avalon Branch at 8148 S. Stony Island Ave. It is the 49th new or fully renovated branch library open since 1989.
“No other city can match our record of building and renovating libraries,” Daley said. “And we do it for a reason: because libraries improve the quality of life in so many ways, here in Avalon and across the city.”
“Libraries are the core of democracy,” the Mayor said. “They allow anyone — regardless of age, income or background – to have access to a wealth of information. And the library is a place where your children will be safe and constructively occupied when they’re not in school.”
Daley was joined at the ceremony by Cook County Board President John H. Stroger, Jr.; his son, Ald. Todd H. Stroger (8th); and Karen Danczak Lyons, First Deputy Commissioner of the Chicago Public Library.
“The Chicago Public Library is delighted to dedicate the newly constructed, full-service Avalon Branch,” said Danczak Lyons. “We are confident our 14,000-square-foot, inviting and comfortable branch facility will serve the neighborhood’s thriving residential, school and business communities with a variety of enhanced library services.”
Included among the library’s many new features are free Internet access at twelve computer stations for adults and six for children; free WiFi access; online research databases; and a $400,000 collection of books and materials, including bestsellers, children’s books, reference books, career materials, newspapers, magazines, audio books, educational and entertainment DVDs for adults and children.
The library will offer a variety of programs and services, including children’s programs such as the Summer Reading Program, story times, family programs, crafts and holiday celebrations. Adult programs will include book discussions, financial literacy seminars and a host of educational and cultural programs of community interest.
The new branch also is equipped with a large meeting room/auditorium accommodating 120 people, a photocopier for public use, air-conditioning and free parking. The library meets the Americans with Disabilities Act standards and is accessible to several public transportation routes.
On Saturday, March 18, the Avalon Branch Library will host a fun-filled Family Day celebration featuring story times and craft activities for school-age children. Beginning at 11 a.m., Lenny Marsh will perform African drumming followed by Stories to Celebrate with Gwen Hilary at 1 p.m. All Family Day activities are free and will be held in the community room. Call the Avalon Branch Library at (312) 747-5234 for more information.
The hours of operation for Avalon Branch will be Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The library will be closed on Sundays.
The Chicago Public Library is composed of the Harold Washington Library Center, two regional libraries and 76 neighborhood branches. The Chicago Public Library offers a rich resource of books, DVDs, audio books and more, provides free access to the Internet and WiFi in all of its locations, as well as free public programs for child