The Evanston Public Library was highlighted recently on a PBS news segment, viewed in homes throughout the country, as a result of its partnership with Better World Books, which finds a home for discarded books.

The segment, which interviewed local librarians on the PBS Nightly Business Report, aired locally on Dec. 19 on the Chicago PBS affiliate, WTTW, channel 11. A clip of the interview can be accessed from the city’s website.

What drew Evanston Public Library to BWB is that they offered an avenue for discarded books to have a “second life.” This way books do not end up in landfills but in the hands of people. The Evanston Public Library teamed up with BWB in July of 2009. To date, BWB has given back more than $10 million to libraries and literacy centers across America.

In recent years, the Evanston Public Library has sent BWB 21,335 books, raising $4,600 for the library and about $1,500 for its non-profit literacy partner, Books for Africa.

According to Technical Services Manager Evelyn Kaehler, “In selecting our literacy partner, we felt that Books for Africa really spoke to Evanston residents. Better World Books gives a portion of funds raised directly to help children’s literacy programs in Africa, something truly rewarding.”

The library continues to donate a great deal of books to local organizations, but is also making a difference globally in helping to promote knowledge through books and to support a greener initiative.

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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