The site for a new branch library on the North Side was proposed Wednesday by the Public Building Commission.
It will be forwarded to the Chicago City Council and, if approved, the new branch would be constructed at 1701 N. Milwaukee Ave. Public comment on the proposed site is invited from now until the council takes up the matter.
This new, full-service library would replace two storefront branches, Damen and West Town. The Damen Avenue Branch has been in a rented store at 2056 N. Damen Ave., for nearly 35 years; the West Town Branch has been a storefront facility even longer and currently is at 1271 N. Milwaukee Ave.
The new library will be more than three times the size of both existing branches combined, according to Chicago Public Library Commissioner Mary Dempsey.
By consolidating two small branches into one large building, the Chicago Public Library will be able to provide the best possible service to the surrounding neighborhoods, Dempsey said.
The new branch will house a comprehensive collection of materials for children, teens and adults-including books, books on tape, newspapers and periodicals, and computers with Internet access-and will be fully accessible to people with disabilities.
Under Mayor Richard M. Daley-who also chairs the PBC-Chicago already has built or renovated 41 library branches since 1989, including the new Austin-Irving branch that opened in December at Austin Avenue and Irving Park Road. Also under development are new libraries in nine other communities, including Logan Square, according to PBC executive director Eileen Carey.
As with each announcement of a new neighborhood library and expansion of local library services, Daley is reminding parents that all children should have library cards and should participate in the Chicago Public Library’s many reading programs.