October 23, 2017

Chicago Public Library Gives Online Courses the Personal Touch

For over two years, Chicago Public Library (CPL) has brought free online courses to adult learners via its Learning Circles program, partnering with Peer 2 Peer University, a non-profit organization that facilitates learning outside of a brick-and-mortar classroom by cultivating high-quality, low-cost learning. The online program has helped over 225 participants complete classes since 2015, on topics ranging from personal finance to writing skills.

NYPL, CPL Wi-Fi Lending Pilots Progressing | ALA Annual 2015

Early results from two Knight News Challenge award-funded pilot programs indicate that mobile hotspot lending could help bridge the digital divide in city neighborhoods where broadband adoption is low, and home Internet subscriptions are considered a luxury. A capacity crowd was on hand to hear Luke Swarthout, director of adult education services for the New York Public Library (NYPL) and Michelle Frisque, chief of technology content and innovation for Chicago Public Library (CPL) discuss NYPL’s “Check Out the Internet” and CPL’s “Internet to Go” services during their “A Tale of Two Cities: NYPL and CPL Wi-Fi Lending Projects” presentation.

One Book Online | One Cool Thing

One Book, One Community programs are, of course, a staple of public library adult programming. In “One Book, Well Done,” we offered a look at what makes a successful program; in the inaugural One Cool Thing column LJ visited a variation on the theme, the self-published One Book read The ­Slender Poe, from Sacramento Public Library, CA. Now, another twist: in February, the Chicago Public Library (CPL) launched its One Book, One Chicago (OBOC) Online, becoming, it says, the first public library in the nation to offer free, in-browser, social reading of a full novel.

CPL, NYPL WiFi Hotspot Lending Programs Funded by Knight Foundation Grants

In an effort to address the lack of broadband access among low-income residents, the Chicago Public Library (CPL), and New York Public Library (NYPL) on June 23 announced new programs that will allow patrons to check out and take home wifi hotspots. NYPL’s “Check Out the Internet,” and CPL’s “Internet to Go” programs are made possible, in part, by grants awarded this week by the Knight News Challenge, a competition developed by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in partnership with the Ford Foundation and Mozilla, to fund and promote projects committed to making the Internet an open, equitable platform.

Chicago Public Library to Expand YOUmedia Program in 2014

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Monday that he would expand the Chicago Public Library’s (CPL) YOUmedia digital skills program by $500,000 in order to serve 25 percent more teens in 2014. The program teaches web design, digital media production, and programming. The announcement comes just a week after the online expansion of CPL’s homework help program.

$1 Million Gates Grant to Fund Chicago, Aarhus Libraries’ Innovation Partnership | ALA Annual 2013

On June 30, at the Chicago Public Library’s YouMedia wing, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced a $1 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The grant will allow the Chicago Public Library (CPL) and Aarhus Public Libraries in Denmark to work together to create a new model for innovation, experimentation and decision-making within libraries.

Chicago Kids Read a Record 1.5 Million Books as Part of Rahm’s Readers Summer Reading Program

Some 60,232 Chicago kids read more than 1.5 million books this summer, thanks to Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Rahm’s Readers, the Chicago Public Library’s summer reading program. Studies show that children who participate in summer reading programs maintain or improve their reading skills and start school ready to learn.

A Hard Act To Follow | Editorial

It came as a shock to hear that Mary Dempsey had resigned as head of Chicago Public Library (CPL) this week after 18 years as the city’s library commissioner. San Francisco Public Library’s Brian Bannon (an LJ Mover & Shaker) will take over March 1. I shouldn’t have been surprised, though—not only because of the continuing budget woes Dempsey’s had to deal with over the last couple of years but also because we’d talked about her future plans.

Chicago Public Library Lays Off 176 Employees, Closes 75 Branches on Mondays

Going back on an original plan to close branches for four hours on Monday and Friday mornings, the Chicago Public Library will now close its branches on Mondays. The union wants the library to rescind layoffs, including all the library pages, and not reduce service hours at any of the branches.