By Alexandria Williams

Local Albany Park Library announces doors are closing for construction June 9 after 49 years of service to the community, leaving the community without a library for two years. Construction is estimated to cost around 15 million.

Albany Park Residents were thrown for a loop last spring after finding out their library located on the corner of Foster and Kedzie would be closing. They found a notice on the front window proclaiming that the library would close for construction purposes. This came as a total surprise to the residents, who wondered how a library that does not have the funds to stay open late on evenings or weekends when the residents use it most can afford to be demolished to build a new one in the same spot.

Many of the workers are now out of a job. Mayor Emanuel requested funds for this project last fall and the City Council approved. Regular library users were unaware of the finalized decision as the closing date was approaching. Neighbors gained knowledge of this operation and quickly began a petition receiving 200 signatures wanting more information and for the community to have input. Online reviews from EveryBlock and Albany Park Mom stated, “Yep. It’s temporary. But, the timing could have been better.”

Ald. Margaret Laurino held a public meeting May 24. Attending the meeting were Brian Bannon of the Chicago Public Library commission and Erin Cabonargi, the city’s public building commission director. They presented their plans. Bannon told the crowd at a meeting, “we have a big vision here.” The new facility will be bigger. After the second meeting, the committee to save the Albany Park Library had another 700 signatures demanding to keep the library in-service.

The new Albany Park Library is scheduled to open in the summer of 2014. Albany Park residents can register to use the library facility at Northeastern Illinois Library by September 1. Programs are also offered at North Park University and the Albany Park Community Center for the library users.

Chicago Public Library
Chicago Reader


About North Park Journalism Course

This blog is a place for NPU journalism students to post stories based on their specific beats in Albany Park: Crime, Arts and Entertainment, Business and Politics, etc. Posts should be free of spelling and grammar errors and accurate in all facts and content.
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  1. After reading through this article, I had remembered hearing about these plans and the actions they took to close the Chicago Public Library in Albany Park from a couple media outlet sources. This is proven to be a very big issue in the surrounding community not only for the loss of a recreational learning environment, but because many people, especially the youth, rely on using the library to complete necessary assignments requiring them to gain knowledge from either the books or internet available there. It is mind blowing that 700 signatures from a petition were able to be collected and yet, still no change or different course of action was taken. What’s even more mindboggling is the reasoning for it closing, paired with the complete contradiction of the opening of a new one. How can 15 million dollars be used to open a facility that was not even able to pay its staff to work there later on in the evenings or on weekends?
    There needs to be a great amount of interest and concern dealing with this issue, even if one does not technically use the center, because the entire community is affected. On that note, I thought the article showed a thorough amount of information by relating that the library was closing with the reactions of community members, the initial through closing process, and plans for opening the new library. Some information that may be helpful and offer more insight, is finding out why the petition did not change the mind of Mayor Emmanuel or Alderman Laurino. In relation to the meeting the Alderman held on the 24th of May, it could use better clarification when the people first reacted and how they were informed, if not just from a sign on the window. One small grammar error with the forming of the first quote, and the quotes need to be able to stand alone as sentences.
    The information provided was credible, with an extensive use of factual and social media related websites that all displayed either a (.org) hyperlink or other reliable sources such as EveryBlock and the Chicago Reader. The structure and flow of the article is clear and concise offering a lot of helpful factual statisitics or insight and commentary from people affected or affecting this issue. Proper attributions are made with an article that meets the appropriate length.

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