When budget problems forced the Evanston Public Library to close the South Branch a year ago, a group of volunteers from the Friends of the Evanston Public Library opened its own library, dubbed The Mighty Twig, at 900 Chicago Avenue.
Saturday, the facility celebrated its first birthday with cake and picture book giveaways for the kids.
Volunteers have put in more than 5,600 hours during the first year, serving 33,000 visitors, 7,700 computer users, and more than 3,800 toddlers at story time.
Volunteer Katie Nordenson has been with the library since its beginning.
More than 10,000 books have been checked out to 700 children, including four who borrowed more than 250 books each.
Books are checked out on the honor system, and no fines are levied for late returns. Kids use a reading log to keep track of materials they borrow.
Especially popular are the five Mac computers that enable users to go online, do homework research, and send emails to family and friends.
Kindergardener Sam Kemeny, 5, operates one of the library's five Mac computers.
EPL Friends board member and secretary, Cheryl Chamberlain, declared that “we could never have imagined the success that The Mighty Twig would become.”