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Library friends’ ‘Twig’ to sprout Saturday

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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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