Mayor Richard M. Daley today joined 19th Ward Alderman Virginia Rugai, Chicago Public Library Commissioner Mary Dempsey, community leaders and residents for the dedication of the new Beverly Branch of the Chicago Public Library, 1962 W. 95th St. It is the 53rd new or fully renovated library to open since Richard M. Daley became mayor in 1989.
“Our library building program surpasses that of any other city in the nation, and I think we’d all agree that it has been money well spent,” Mayor Richard M. Daley said. “Libraries are an important part of our effort to give Chicago the best educational system of any city in the nation. And a library is more than just a place to gather information. In neighborhoods all over the city, we’ve found that when you build a public library you’re also building a community center.”
The new and welcoming 16,000 square feet Beverly Branch will house the offices of the Chicago Public Library’s South District Chief. Included among the library’s many services and collections are free Internet (there are 30 computer stations for adults and children), free WiFi access, online research databases, educational and entertainment DVDs, audio books and music CDs, a $500,000 opening day collection of books, newspapers and magazines for children, teens and adults, and Special Collections of Irish Heritage and African American History materials.
“The full service Beverly Branch is a comfortable and inviting facility that incorporates the character and charm of the Beverly neighborhood in its design and collections,” said Commissioner Mary Dempsey. “The attractive new Beverly Branch is now a spacious facility that increases and improves library services in a diverse and thriving residential, school and business community.”
The library will offer a variety of programs and services including children’s programs such as the Summer Reading Program, storytimes, story crafts, teen book discussions, family programs and holiday celebrations. Adult Services programs will include book discussions, author appearances, educational, financial literacy and cultural programs of community interest.
The Beverly Branch was designed to achieve a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certification through the United States Green Building Council. Green buildings incorporate environmentally friendly focus areas into their design. The building is equipped with a high efficiency variable heating and cooling system, combination carpeted and terrazzo floor coverings, a massive under-floor technology system to accommodate extensive use of electronic technology, an attractive landscaping with a storm water and runoff management system, and a picturesque outdoor reading garden. There also is a large meeting room/auditorium that will accommodate 100 people, free parking for 21 vehicles, accessibility to several public transportation routes, and the library meets the Americans with Disabilities Act standards.
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 hours of service for Beverly Branch will be Monday through Thursday from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm; Friday and Saturday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm The library will be closed on Sundays.
The Chicago Public Library is comprised of the Harold Washington Library Center, two regional libraries and 76 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 remaining 76 branch libraries are open 6 days a week and patrons can access all of the libraries’ collections online 24 hours a day. For more information, please visit the website at chicagopubliclibrary.org or call the Chicago Public Library Press Office at 312.747.4050.