Maggie Killackey Jurgensen, Chicago Public Library – (312) 747-4051
Mayor Richard M. Daley cuts the ribbon during a dedication for the new Vodak/East Side Library Branch Library. Also pictured (from left): PBC Commissioner Robert Donaldson, Chicago Public Library board member Tina Tchen, Chicago Public Library Commissioner Mary Dempsey, Ald. John Pope (10th Ward) and former governor Jim Thompson.
“This is the 52nd Chicago Public Library that has been built or fully renovated since I took office in 1989,” said Mayor Daley. “Our library building program surpasses that of any other city in the nation, and it has been money well spent. Libraries are the community anchors that contribute to the quality of life for everyone.”
At 14,000 square feet, the one story, full-service Vodak-East Side branch expands and enhances library services to the residential, school and business community. Included among the library’s many new features are free internet (there are 21 computer stations — 3 Express stations, 10 Internet stations for adults, 5 Internet stations for children and 3 Find It! catalogues), free WiFi access and online research databases.
“We’ve found that when you build a public library you’re also building a community center,” said Commissioner Dempsey. “The Vodak-East Side branch will be a major resource, offering access to computers, cultural and educational materials and programming to a thriving community.”
Vodak-East Side opened to the public on August 28, 2006 with a $400,000 collection of books and materials containing bestsellers, young adult and children’s books, reference books, Spanish language materials, audiobooks on CD, educational and entertainment DVDs, Music CDs, newspapers and magazines. In the first six weeks the branch has been open for service nearly 12,000 books and materials have been checked out and more than 1,000 Chicagoans in this community have gotten library cards.
The library will offer a variety of programs and services including Children’s programs such as story times, family programs and story crafts. Adult Services programs will include book discussions, financial literacy workshops 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 Chicago Public Library is composed of the Harold Washington Library Center, two regional libraries and 76 neighborhood branches. The Library offers rich resources 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 children, teens and adults.
The Harold Washington Library Center, Carter G. Woodson Regional Library and Conrad Sulzer Reg