Maggie Killackey, Chicago Public Library, (312) 747-4051
Chicago Public Library Commissioner Mary Dempsey welcomes community members to a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Bucktown-Wicker Park Branch Library that was attended by Mayor Richard M. Daley and other local officials.
“Our library building program surpasses that of any other city in the nation, and I think we’d all agree that it has been money well spent,” the Mayor said. “Libraries are an important part of our effort to give Chicago the best educational system of any city in the nation. And a library is more than just a place to gather information. In neighborhoods all over the city, we’ve found that when you build a public library you’re also building a community center.”
At 15,500 square feet, the two-story full-service Bucktown-Wicker Park Branch expands and enhances library services in a thriving residential, school and business community.
Included among the library’s many new features are 23 free Internet service stations – 10 for adults, 10 for children and three Express stations; three Find It! Catalogues; free WiFi access; and online research databases.
The new facility opened with a $400,000 collection of books and materials, including bestsellers, young adult and children’s books, reference books, audiobooks on CD, DVDs, Playaway audio players, newspapers, magazines, educational and entertainment media.
“The Bucktown-Wicker Park branch will be a major resource to this community,” said Dempsey. “Since this branch opened its doors to the public on July 10, more than 6,000 books have been checked out and librarians issued 730 library cards.”
The library will offer a variety of programs and services, including children’s programs such as the Summer Reading Program, story times, family programs and story crafts. Adult programs will include book discussions, author appearances and a host of educational and cultural programs of community interest.
The building was constructed with environmentally friendly and recycled materials to reduce operating costs through energy efficiency. The Chicago Public Library and the Public Building Commission are applying to the U.S. Green Building Council for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environment Design) certification, which would designate the branch as a “Green Building.” A LEED-certified building must meet environmental and energy efficiency standards in construction, performance and comfort.
The Bucktown-Wicker Park Branch is also equipped with a large capacity meeting room/auditorium that will accommodate 120 people, a photocopier for public use, a clean-air heating and air-conditioning unit and free parking for patrons. The library meets the Americans with Disabilities Act standards and is accessible to several public transportation routes.
The Bucktown-Wicker Park Branch will be open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The library will be closed on Sunday.
The Chicago Public Library is composed of the Harold Washington Library Center, two regional libraries and 76 neighborhood branches. The Chi