Whitney Young Branch Library Addition & Renovation

7901 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive

This project is a complete renovation and modernization of the Whitney M. Young, Jr. Branch Library, located at 7901 South King Drive. The nearly $12 million investment will be managed by the PBC and will incorporate the exterior walls of the existing structure into the envelope of the new building. The new branch will provide the neighborhood with a modern library space that continues to serve as an essential community anchor, providing critical services and resources to meet a variety of local needs.

Renovation plans include a 3,000-5,000 square foot expansion, bringing the branch to 14,000-16,000 square feet. The renovated facility will feature an early learning center for children, a YOUmedia digital media lab for teens, new state-of-the-art furniture and equipment, additional meeting and study spaces, refreshed collections, ADA accessibility throughout the building and a computer commons that will add computer capacity. The legacy building will be retrofit for energy-efficient mechanical systems and improved lighting.

Additionally, the library will have digital skills training available to patrons of any age through the Library’s CyberNavigator program, which recently expanded to every neighborhood in the city through the Connect Chicago initiative.


We are thrilled to offer the community this much-needed and highly anticipated branch. The expanded building will include more flexible space to meet the needs of all ages.
– Chicago Public Library Commissioner Brian Bannon

Libraries are a place to read, learn, discover, and explore, which is what makes them fixtures in communities across the city. Whether it’s new educational opportunities for youth or the modernization of a branch like Whitney Young, we are going to make sure our libraries continue to grow so they can help our communities grow as well.
– Mayor Rahm Emanuel