A leader of a pro-branch library advocacy group told the Evanston Library Board Wednesday night that the group is no longer willing to raise funds to support the branch libraries.

Branch backer Michael Tannen, right, reviews documents at the library board meeting.

Michael Tannen, following a strategy recommended by pro-branch library aldermen at 6th Ward meeting Tuesday night, said that henceforth the EPL Friends group would only raise funds to support growing the library’s collection of books and other materials.

But he added a caveat that the Friends would provide that fundraising help “only if the branch libraries survive.”

Tannen and other members of the friends group have been a prime moving force behind the Library Board’s effort to assert its independence from City Council oversight and increase the property tax burden on local residents to maintain and possibly expand branch library operations, despite a financial crisis that has the city facing a $3 million funding gap in its proposed 2011 budget.

Money raised by the branch supporters is being used to keep the branches open this fall, after the City Council early this year said it could only fund them for six months.  

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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1 Comment

  1. Mr. Smith: I would like to

    Mr. Smith:

    I would like to make two points in response to your article about my comments last night at the Library Board meeting.

    1.   EPLF remains doggedly  committed to the preservation of the neighborhood libraries.  We are heartened that the Library Board is exercising its powers under state law to decide how to allocate monies for the entire EPL system. We are pleased that the Board chose to preserve the neighborhood libraries in its budget.  Because the Library Board chose to maintain the neighhorhood libraries, EPLF has decided to assist  the Library in two other critical missions:  strengthening collections at the Main and expanding outreach.  Concentrating on these two tasks is (i) consistent with EPLF’s mission in improving the health of the entire EPL system and (ii) assists the Board in fulfilling its statutory duty to deliver the greatest amount of library services to the greatest number of residents,

    2.  Please stop taking pictures of my forehead.   


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