Evanston aldermen are scheduled to vote tonight on whether to keep the city’s two branch libraries open beyond their scheduled Aug. 31 closing date.

The aldermen will receive a report from the non-profit Evanston Public Library Friends group saying it has raised  $110,000 toward the target the aldermen set of providing $168,000 to fund branch operations for the six months from September through February.

The aldermen will also get a report from the Library Board’s Sustainable Funding Task Force, which the aldermen directed to develop a plan for sustainable funding of the branch libraries into the future.

That report provides hardly any additional information beyond what was available before the aldermen made their request.

It suggests that the library could receive funding through public-private partnerships, that it may be possible to create a separate tax levy for the library, or create a special service area tax levy for the branches, or create a separate library taxing district.

The library discussion is scheduled as a special order of business at the start of the full City Council meeting, so it’s expected to begin no earlier than 7 p.m.

Related link

Library reports from City Council packet

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Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. No branches

    There should be no vote.

    All of the alderpeople said they had to come up with ALL the money, not just most of it.

    Plus, let us recall that the LIBRARY FOUNDATION does not even wish to fund operations in the branches. If the library itself doesn’t care….it is difficult for me to understand why the taxpayers should be asked for funding. We should close the branches and forward all the money raised to help with the main library operations for the entire community can benefit, not just a couple neighborhoods.

    Unless we have a surplus, we need to stop the spending. After all the North Branch is the only one they really want to keep open in order to help the Central Street businesses.

  2. No Branch Library Tax or Branches for the ‘Privileged’

    I hope the aldermen will vote against keeping the two branches open [or openning more on the west and south-west side as would be needed for equality].  We do not need these branches which only exist for a small group of people who consider themselves too privileged to have to travel ‘all the way downtown’ Evanston.
    We certainly don’t need more taxes to fund these or waste the cities resources in keeping them open.
    The branches have adequate public transportation available for people to get downtown. Or is their failure to want to come downtown a condemnaton of the downtown area?
  3. The Branch Library on the way to Lee St. Beach

     Okay, there’s a LOT of stuff that has to be sacrificed.  Libraries and branch libraries and bookmobiles should NEVER be among those things.  I hope that "my" branch will not be "out."  I hope that some one or many of you will act to save ALL of the libraries. 

    I took my grandchildren to Lee St. Beach when we were last on a visit from southern California.  I took them on the route I used on my Schwinn Monarch from home to the beach on lazy summer days.  I was 10.  That library was "mine" until I graduated high school and even long after I had my own child.  I wonder  how many people would drop off a book and get another one on their way to the beach.

    Whatever the library means to YOU, I am sure it is a recollection of happy moments…when your mind and your imagination would take you anywhere the pages of a book might describe; when the best smell in the world was in the quiet corner of the kids’ section on a rainy day; when the summer was "official" because the book reading contest had begun.  It was a day of great pleasure, even at Summer’s end, when my mother and I would go to Chandler’s books to get my school books for the upcoming year and then to the library.  One book that I found was called "Seatmates."  It remains among my favorites.  I recently found a copy on e-bay and it sits on my bookshelf, always reminding me of carefree days and smaller worries.  

    God bless those libraries, all of them!

    1. Enquiring minds want to close

      Enquiring minds want to close the branch libraries.

       It appears that Lucia lives in Southern California, and she expects us to maintain the expensive branch libraries because of all of the pleasant  memories she had.  

      We can’t afford it.

      And even if we had the money, we shouldn’t be living in the past and spending money on memories.  Whatever happy  memories people may have about the branch libraries, or Chuckie Dawes’ house, or the former Catholic school that is now the Civic Center….it is time to move forward.   

      Evanston is not a museum, and the City Council should not be in the business of preserving memories…..they should be concerned with people who are living here now, and the future.

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