Mayor Richard M. Daley joined Chicago Public Library Commissioner Mary A. Dempsey, Alderman Ricardo Munoz (22nd), community leaders and residents today in dedicating the renovated Toman Branch of the Chicago Public Library, 2708 S. Pulaski Rd.
“Libraries are one of the most important anchors in revitalizing a community because they represent education and reading, and are a safe haven for positive, constructive activities,” said Mayor Daley. “It is so important to keep children engaged in positive, constructive activities like reading and summer programs. If we don’t keep them on a positive path we leave them vulnerable to gangs, guns and drugs.”
Included among the Toman Branch Library’s many features are free Internet, free WiFi access, online research databases, audio books and a $450,000 book and materials collection containing bestsellers, children’s books, reference books, career materials, newspapers, magazines and educational and entertainment DVDs in Spanish and English.
Toman Branch is also equipped with a large meeting room/auditorium that will accommodate 120 people, a photocopier for public use, air conditioning and 15 free parking spaces. The library meets the Americans with Disabilities Act standards and is accessible to several public transportation routes.
“The full service Toman Branch includes the character of the old facility in its design and is now a spacious 15,500 square feet,” said Commissioner Dempsey. “With the completion of renovations, this comfortable and inviting branch facility increases and improves library services in a diverse and thriving residential, school and business community.”
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 Services programs will include book discussions and a host of educational and cultural programming.
This fall, Toman will offer the Teacher in the Library program, made possible by the support of Bank of America through the Chicago Public Library Foundation.
The new hours of operation for Toman Branch will be Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 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 Harold Washington Library Center, Carter G. Woodson Regional Library and Conrad Sulzer Regional Library are all open seven days a week, and patrons can access all of the libraries’ collections online 24 hours a day.