July 28, 2011
MAYOR EMANUEL DEDICATES CHICAGO PUBLIC LIBRARY’S NEW RICHARD M. DALEY BRANCH
Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Chicago Public Library Commissioner Mary A. Dempsey and PBC Executive Director Erin Lavin Cabonargi joined former Mayor Daley and invited guests, community leaders and local residents today for the dedication of Chicago Public Library’s newest library location, the Richard M. Daley Branch at 733 N. Kedzie Avenue in West Humboldt Park.
“Richard M. Daley’s legacy and service to our city is exemplified by his commitment to helping Chicagoans learn and read, which was a cornerstone of his work as Mayor,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Thanks to his unprecedented support for Chicago’s public libraries, minds have been opened, imaginations have been sparked and lives have been changed across the city.”
Serving a community that previously had been without a local library, the 16,300-square-feet and environmentally friendly branch is named for Richard M. Daley who, during his 22 years as mayor provided unprecedented support to the growth of libraries in the City of Chicago. During his 22 years in office, the City built or renovated 59 new libraries all across the city.
This branch is one of three new locations of YOUmedia, which connects youth with digital media, books and skilled mentors. Offering both a physical and online space, YOUmedia allows young people from across the city to explore their interests, learn new skills and have a safe environment in which to do homework and socialize with friends. YOUmedia at the Richard M. Daley Branch will offer young people the opportunity to take free workshops around digital and traditional media skills in areas like graphic design, podcasting, writing, photography and video, all under the guidance of experienced mentors. YOUmedia is a partnership between the Chicago Public Library, Digital Youth Network at DePaul University and is supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program, the City of Chicago and the Chicago Public Library Foundation.
The branch is able to offer the services of a Teacher in the Library, a certified teacher on hand after school to assist students with homework and a CyberNavigator, who provides one-on-one assistance to help patrons better understand technology. Both programs are generously sponsored by Walmart through the Chicago Public Library Foundation.
A special feature in the foyer of the new branch is a portrait of Mayor Richard M. Daley, commissioned by the Chicago Public Library, by Chicago artist Steve Musgrave. The new library branch offers collections in English and Spanish, including books, newspapers, magazines, educational and entertainment DVDs and databases for online research. Additional programs and services at the Richard M. Daley Branch include 32 computer stations for adults and children with free Internet access, free WiFi access, a Summer Reading Program, storytimes, family programs and holiday celebrations. Adult programs will include book discussions, financial literacy workshops and cultural programs of community interest. The Chicago Public Library continues to encourage lifelong learning by welcoming all people and offering equal access to information, entertainment and knowledge through materials, programs and cutting-edge technology.
The branch was built by the Public Building Commission on behalf of the Chicago Public Library. PBC contracts require both economic and environmental sustainability provisions for every project they develop.
Specific environmentally sustainable elements included in the design are a green and reflective roof to combat the urban heat island effect; a permeable paver parking lot, a vegetated reading garden and a rain garden with native and adaptive plantings to assist with storm water management; the use of durable and recycled materials in the construction of this project; lighting sensor and daylight harvesting; geothermal heat exchange; and, automatic, low-flow plumbing fixtures. As a result, the Richard M. Daley Branch is anticipating a “Gold” rating under the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) U.S. Green Building Council’s Rating System.
All PBC projects implement economic sustainability initiatives like bid incentives for the employment of apprentices, and minority and female workers; community hiring and resident workforce requirements; and contract provisions that require minority- and women-owned business participation and local business participation. For the construction of the new library branch, the PBC reports more than 35 percent minority and women participation and 16 community hires, employing those closest to the work at hand.
The Chicago Public Library is comprised of the Harold Washington Library Center, two regional libraries and more than 70 neighborhood branches. All locations provide free access to a rich collection of books, DVDs, audio books and music; the Internet and WiFi; sophisticated research databases, many of which can be accessed from a home or office computer; newspapers and magazines; and continue to serve as cultural centers, presenting the highest quality author discussions, exhibits and programs for children, teens and adults.
The Harold Washington Library Center, Carter G. Woodson Regional Library and Conrad Sulzer Regional Library are open 7 days a week, the branch libraries are open 6 days a week and patrons can access all of the Library’s collections online 24 hours a day. For more information, please visit the website at www.chicagopubliclibrary.org or call the Chicago Public Library Press Office at (312) 747-4050.