CHICAGO – Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and Chicago Public Library (CPL) Commissioner Chris Brown today announced the expansion of Sunday library service to an additional 24 locations on Sunday, December 19, 2021. With these branches now opening on Sunday afternoons, every community in Chicago has access to library services seven days a week. This extension of service hours delivers on Mayor Lightfoot’s pledge in June of 2019 to expand library hours to Sundays and her commitment to complete the expansion by the end of 2021.
“With more than 20 Chicago Public Library branches extending their operational hours, we are able to continue our commitment to provide the services our families and communities need like free spaces, access to Wi-Fi and other academic resources,” said Mayor Lightfoot.
Chicago Public Library has 77 branch library locations across the city, in addition to three regional libraries—Woodson, Legler and Sulzer Regional Libraries—and the Harold Washington Library Center. All locations will be open from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday afternoons moving forward, allowing Chicagoans an extra day to access the important resources offered by the library.
“Chicago Public Library is dedicated to eliminating barriers to critical library resources, and the people of Chicago deserve access to broadband, information and technology every day of the week,” said Chicago Public Library Commissioner Chris Brown. “Thanks to the strong support of Mayor Lightfoot, this investment in Sunday hours enables us to demonstrate our continued commitment to equity and access for Chicagoans.”
Mayor Lightfoot announced the expansion of Sunday hours to branch libraries in June of 2019. Rollout of the expanded hours began in December 2019, after Mayor Lightfoot’s support of CPL’s 2020 budget that included additional investments to accommodate the new hours. Locations continued to be added throughout 2021, culminating with the last group of branches adding service on Sunday, December 19, as follows: Bezazian, Blackstone, Chicago Bee, Clearing, Douglass, Edgebrook, Gage Park, Garfield Ridge, Humboldt Park, Jeffery Manor, King, Little Village, Lozano, Manning, Near North, North Austin, North Pulaski, Pullman, Roden, Scottsdale, Thurgood Marshall, West Chicago, West Loop and Wrightwood-Ashburn.
CPL has continued to make equitable access to library services and resources a main priority in recent years. On October 1, 2019, Chicago became the largest city in the country at the time to eliminate public library overdue fines, removing barriers to basic library access, especially for youth and low-income Chicagoans. CPL has also focused on equity through partnerships with the Chicago Housing Authority, opening a new Altgeld Branch Library earlier this year and co-locating three additional libraries with public housing, and through the opening of the Legler Regional Library this year, giving the city’s west side residents access to a regional library for the first time in over forty years.
The timing of this expansion of library hours aligns with winter break for CPS students throughout the city, looking for activities during their time off from school. These folks are encouraged to “Make Stories Come Alive,” by participating in CPL’s Winter Learning Journey, opens a new window.
About Chicago Public Library
Since 1873, Chicago Public Library (CPL) has encouraged lifelong learning by welcoming all people and offering equal access to information, entertainment, and knowledge through innovative services and programs, as well as cutting-edge technology. Through its 81 locations, the Library provides free access to a rich collection of materials, both physical and digital, and presents the highest quality author discussions, exhibits and programs for children, teens, and adults. For more information, please call (312) 747-4300 or visit chipublib.org. To follow CPL on social media, visit us on Twitter (@chipublib), Facebook (Chicago Public Library), or Instagram (@chicagopubliclibrary).