The Evanston Public Library is trimming its hours from Dec. 1 through the end of the city’s fiscal year in February.

The main library downtown will open at 10 a.m. instead of 9 a.m. Monday through Saturday. It will continue to open at noon on Sunday. The main library will remain open, as it does now until 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and until 6 p.m Friday through Sunday

The Evanston Public Library is trimming its hours from Dec. 1 through the end of the city’s fiscal year in February.

The main library downtown will open at 10 a.m. instead of 9 a.m. Monday through Saturday. It will continue to open at noon on Sunday. The main library will remain open, as it does now until 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and until 6 p.m Friday through Sunday

The north and south branch libraries will lose their evening hours, closing at 6 p.m. instead of 8 p.m. on the two days each week they had evening hours. The branches will also open an hour later, at 10 a.m., on Saturday, the same time they now open the other days they operate.

The north branch liberay will continue to be closed on Sunday and Friday and the south branch will continue to be closed on Sunday and Monday.

Library Director Mary Johns says the cuts will allow the library to more efficiently use reduced staff resources as the city tries to deal with its difficult budget situation.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Why have a north and south branch at all?
    Evanston is a very small city and the main library on Orrington Ave is less than 3.5 miles *walking* from anywhere in the city. I do not understand why the city would pay to maintain 2 branches in such close proximity. Focus the resources, build a better collection and services in the main library, divest the north and south branch locations (if owned) and save some electricity to boot. At a minimum, closing the north branch is no brainer, although not much in the city’s finances makes sense.

    1. In reply to “Why have a North
      In reply to “Why have a North & South branch at all” –
      You are obviously a resident that has easy access to the downtown library. For those of us that live nearer to one of the branches they are essential. I can not imagine going for a “stroll” of 3 1/2 miles each way with my children to get new books each week as is our custom now. I will really miss that tradition if they take away our library.

      1. Tragedy strikes again
        It’s very unfortunate to hear that you would have to travel a little further to get your books every week. That would require you to get on a bus or train or even drive… a hardship no one should have to bear (other than all the areas of Evanston that don’t have branches but they don’t count).

        Down with shared sacrifice! Branch libraries forever!

  2. Library Hours
    I’ve not heard the official reason for the change in hours but I assume budgets are a big part.
    Maybe they would have done so even if the north and south branches were closed, but their cost sure did not help.
    Keeping the branches and the wide assortment of everything for everybody and hang the cost, but the cost cuts may just be starting. The Council will probably still bend to every project they think is ‘nice’ until we get deeper and deeper in the hole and it is too late to recover and the needed taxes will drive too many people out.
    Do we want to become another California ? NU is private but even so Evanston’s condition will have effects even on NU—certainly on the daily lives of students and faculty/staff [esp. those living in the city who are free to move to Wilmette, etc.]. Until this year U.Cal. Berkeley was ranked as number two university in the WORLD. Now the NYT reports they dropped to 39—behind NU State and City budgets DO MATTER ! Will we learn or wait for failure ?

  3. A good start
    I commend the decision to shave some hours off the library’s operating schedule and encourage more of this kind of thinking. We could do without some of the storytimes, lecture series and movie showings for awhile, too. They probably take a lot of librarian manhours to plan and promote. Of course they’re fun, but we could do without them for a year and bring them back if financial picture improves.

    1. cutback on programming – no!
      I might be able to be convinced the branch libraries have had their day – though I’d like to see a bookmobile replace them, maybe going to Dempster and Dodge one day a week, Ridgeville Community House building another…places that are truly far from the library…but cut back on programming at the main library too? NO WAY. That place, in addition to the high school and Levy Center, is the very soul of Evanston. That’s where people can come for great free programs, movies, children’s music, information about taxes, the flu, you name it. Nobody would gain a thing from any cutback whatsoever.

      On this I think we can all agree – if it’s to be the only library, long hours, lots of programs!!

  4. Long walk to either Main or North library.
    If you are 3.5 miles from the Main library [a typical location that far would be Loveless Park], Google says that Main to North is between 1.8 and 2.2 miles. Thus you have to walk 1.3 to 1.7 miles to the North branch. I wonder how many people “stroll” that far ? No I suspect they take a car esp. if as you say it with the kids [understanding kids who will walk 1.8 to 2.2 miles each way !], and what about bad weather and winter, that is quite a stroll with kids.
    If you live in Wilmette Greenleaf and Sheridan is 1.6 miles to their libary. From Lake and Hunter would be 2.6 miles.
    People realize if they want to live away from whatever and close to whatever that there are trade-offs. For example if I want to live by Loveless Park and take the Metra to the Loop, I realize my price for living there is I have to walk that distance everyday and not ask everyone to suffer from pollution a car would produce to get me to Metra and I would not expect to ask the CTA to provide a bus route.
    Most of the arguments I’ve heard about the branch is from people who seem to live within a short distance [1/2 mile?]. I assume the north branch will be happy to know they have people who walk 1.8 to 2.2 miles to get there. Maybe after they build a ‘West Branch’ for people in that area, they can build a “Far North Branch.”

  5. Library Visitors
    Are there any stats. on how many visitors to the branches are black and Hispanic ? From what I know the areas with these populations are generally [for south branch] in a strip from Chicago Ave. to Elmwood and Howard to Main or perhaps Dempster; and for north branch south of McCormick—a pretty good walk to the North Branch.
    I excluded Asians from my question since the stereotype–right or wrong–at least is that they are heavily into education and thus should make up a reasonable proportion of the visitors at all library branches [I certainly see this at Wilmette library]. However that is a mute issue since the demographic reports are that they make up a small portion of the population and Asian children in the schools [less than 5%] is so small that test stats. for them are not broken out.
    I find this very odd given the number of NU students, faculty, staff and what you would consider a proportional level of the workforce [and children] that should select Evanston. Are the statistics bad ? Do they answer polls and census as being white ? mixed ? not want to live in Evanston for some reason [want to live in Wilmette or others] or does Evanston really have a problem attracting Asians—a “discrimination” problem ? Or are they invisible to the library staff since they stay away from the library for some reason ? provide books at home ? or go to the Wilmette library ?

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