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Vote on branch libraries’ future set

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.

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