Christine Rodrick, Chicago Public Library, (312) 747-4053
Mayor Richard M. Daley congratulated public officials and community leaders on the opening of the Chicago Public Library’s new Austin-Irving Branch, 6100 W. Irving Park Rd., the 41st new or renovated library since he became mayor in 1989. An additional 19 library projects are slated for completion by 2005.
“Chicago is the nation’s leader when it comes to building and renovating libraries,” Daley said. “This new branch library will be a wonderful addition to the community, a place where people of all ages can gather knowledge in all its forms – from books, magazines and videotapes or by using a computer and surfing the Internet.”
The $6.5 million, 15,500 square-foot Austin-Irving Branch replaces a 1,254 square-foot storefront branch facility that served the community.
The new building houses a large collection of materials including more than 50,000 juvenile, young adult and adult books, books on tape, newspapers and periodicals. The branch library also offers free access to the Internet and to commercial databases on its public access computers. The building is two story, entirely ADA accessible and features: a children’s and an adult reading room, an auditorium, free parking, and a photocopier for public use.
The Mayor encouraged parents to make sure they and their children have library cards and to read books to them and with them.
“Parents have to remember that they share the responsibility of educating their children,” he said. “They have to make their children have library cards, and then pull them away from the television set and bring them to this wonderful new library.”
“With 78 locations across the City, the Chicago Public Library is one of the best free resources Chicagoans have to access information of all types,” said Commissioner Dempsey. “Many people worked hard to ensure the Austin-Irving Branch would open today and it is a rich resource that will serve this neighborhood for generations,” Dempsey added.
In celebration of the opening of the Austin-Irving Branch of the Chicago Public Library, children and parents can enjoy live performances at a “Family Day Celebration,” on Saturday, December 15, 2001 from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. For more information about activities occurring at the new Austin-Irving Branch of the Chicago Public Library, patrons can call the branch at 312/744-6222.
Antunovich Associates is the architect of record for the Austin-Irving Branch of the Chicago Public Library and it took approximately 12 months to construct the building and prepare it for the grand opening.
The Public Building Commission (PBC) performs the contracting and project management on the Library’s behalf. Under the leadership of Executive Director Eileen Carey, the PBC is in the midst of a historic four-year program for the City to construct or renovate more than 100 public facilities, including new police and fire stations as well as branch libraries. The PBC was created in 1956 and is chaired by Mayor Daley.
Commissioner Dempsey and Executive Director Carey spoke at the grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremonies along with: Director of the Illinois State Library Jean Wilkins, 38th Ward Alderman Thomas R. Allen, the Reverend Tom Campana, St. Pascal Church, the Reverend Steven Geske, Messiah Evangelical Lutheran Church and eighth grade student David Mika from Smyser Elementary School. Hundreds of community residents also attended the ceremony.
For more information about the Chicago Public Library or library locations, people can call 312/747-4999, TDD 312/747-4314 or access the Library’s website at www.chicagopubliclibrary.org.
The website makes the Chicago Public Library available to patrons 24 hours a day and features access to the Library’s on-line catalog, 27 commercial research databases, e-mail reference, e-books, special on-line exhibits and a creative children’s page.free cialis coupons open copay cards for prescription drugs