The Evanston Public Library Friends will hold a grand opening celebration at The Mighty Twig, its replacement for the shuttered south branch library, on Saturday.

The new facility is at 900 Chicago Ave., Suite 102, just north of  Main Street.

The grand opening will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a children’s event from 1 to 3 p.m.

Built in response to the recent closing of the South Branch Library, The Mighty Twig is an experimental outpost with children’s and adult books as well as computers, internet services and a variety of programming and events.

Sponsored by EPL Friends, the Mighty Twig is a completely honor-based system for circulation. It’s run and managed entirely by volunteers. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with evening hours on Thursday nights beginning in mid-April.

In an effort headed by a Friends board member and former South Branch assistant, Marcia Mahoney, who oversees neighborhood outreach for the Friends, The Mighty Twig was inspired by other library visionaries Boston Street Lab’s Sam and Leslie Davol, as well as Nate Hill of the Brooklyn and San Jose Public Libraries.

Hundreds of community members donated time, money and in-kind services to the effort. The shelving came from New Hampshire after first being donated by MIT to Boston Street Lab, and then to EPL Friends.

While The Mighty Twig can’t begin to offer the scope of services a full-service library can provide, the space is designed to be an outpost for delivery of neighborhood services and will potentially help model an experimental space in a way that will potentially work for other parts of Evanston as well.

EPLF Board members are extremely grateful to the community for its support in moving this idea forward while the Library Board completes its visioning process currently underway.

The Mighty Twig is provided by the Evanston Public Library Friends, an independent, community-based organization dedicated to strengthening Evanston Public Library’s innovation, leadership and neighborhood outreach.

EPLF is a registered 501(C)3. The cost per day to run the Mighty Twig is $154, and all donations are gratefully accepted at eplfriends.org.

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  1. Citizens expose city incompetence

    As Wally tells us his huge list of capital,   some should remember for years the city claimed it would take hundred of thousands of dollars to correct the ADA problems at the south branch.

    Remember the south branch was a rental.  Looks like a group of volunteers show us again, the city lack of vision.  Simple ending the lease, and moving across street appears to have solved the ADA problem? 

    Remember at the last council Wally shows us a list of items that require capital most of the photos show minor maintenance that city staff never accomplished.

    The police firing range project still not done?  How many years will that take and how much money will they waste.

    Better yet Wally wants to put advertisement over the vacant store front the city owns in the Maple ave garage, Wally why don't you have staff finish the space that it put the concrete floor in! I have to wonder how the city got occupancy for a garage that the work was not even finished on?

    Council member in their great wisdom paid in the final year before the TIF run out to put art work on the garage, but they never bother to correct the space to rent out.  My guess we have lost over $500,000 of rental income and taxes from this screw up.

  2. What is the relationship with the actual Library?

    will the library send books from the Main Branch down there for you check out?  I live right near there and that is the only reason I ever used South Branch–just to save me a trip.

    Honestly, closure of the South Branch hasn't been a big deal, but I may use this as a convenience if I can actually check out EPL library books there.

    1. The “Twig” has no actual

      The "Twig" has no actual connection to the library.  They have no access to the main branch or any other library.  The real question is, why would anyone donate to this $154/day operation, when they've already paid for the library via tax dollars – a library which gives them access to actual goods and services?

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