The Evanston Public Libary Board will hold a hearing Wednesdayon its proposed 2018 budget — a budget that shows a big increase in spending.

The biggest increase — from $3.77 million to $10.1 million — is in capital spending. That’s mostly related to creating the planned new library branch at the proposed new Robert Crown Community Center.

But the budget also calls for a 6 percent increase in operating expenditures — from $7.25 million this year to $7.7 million in 2018.

Looking ahead, the budget forecast anticipates another $4.78 million in capital spending in 2019, before capital costs fall back to $190,000 in 2020. That would add up to $18.65 million in capital spending for the 2017-2019 period.

Operating expenses are seen increasing another 10 percent in 2019 followed by a 5 percent increase in 2020.

The library board’s budget presentation provides no indication of what the impact of the increases would be on property tax bills.

The budget hearing is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Community Meeting Room at the main library, 1703 Orrington Ave.

Meanwhile, a newly released survey from the Pew Research Center probably won’t be seen as good news by the library board.

Pew asked people what they thought would help them better use information in making decisions.

Of the list of seven options provided, unlimited cell phone data plans and more reliable home internet service were most popular.

Coming in last were having a public library closer to home and expanded public library operating hours.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. Contingency for Crown ?

    I hope they plan for what to do with  the space at Crown once they see people [and I assume they mean students] prefer to use the Main library.

    There is only so much money for staff and books. Duplicating books for each library, reduces the number of new books each can have. Looking at the Twig [and South Branch before it] and North, I don’t see many books that would help students at least 7-12 grades. Will Crown have books that supplement the school work for 7-12 grades ? Would it not be better to have ETHS library open extended hours ?

  2. Time for a change

    It looks like the most important thing that our mayor can do for the people of Evanston is to replace the entire Library Board with people who are not trying to build their personal fiefdom.

  3. Library Budget
    The Pew Study indicates that it is computer access to information that people want & need. Why then do we need to keep increasing physical plant and the staffing that it requires? It seems to me that we could make better use of the money if we just closed all the branch libraries and held computer user sessions in community centers like Robert Crown Center & Fleetwood Jourdain. I believe that all the schools have their own libraries as well.

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