Evanston Public Library’s South Branch to close next month

Grace Johnson

The Evanston Public Library’s South Branch, 949 Chicago Ave., will close next month, the City of Evanston announced Thursday.

The South Branch’s lease will be terminated on Feb. 26. It is closing due to the limited amount of funds allocated to the Evanston Public Library Board in the city budget.

After the branch closes, library patrons can return materials from the South Branch to the Main Library, 1703 Orrington Ave., and the North Branch, 2026 Central St.

The South Branch has been in financial jeopardy for some time. Last year, Evanston Public Library Friends raised $108,400 in conjunction with $50,000 from the Evanston Public Library Board to extend operations at the South Branch for six months, through February of this year.

Evanston Public Library Friends is currently searching for a new location with the South Branch staff to house the library in the interim.

“Our hope would be that there is a seamless transition between the old location and the interim one,” said Lori Keenan, vice president of Evanston Public Library Friends.

EPL Friends and the Library Board were surprised the city has not been communicating the information to residents that the South Branch will be moving to an interim location, Keenan said.

The South Branch of the library first opened in 1917. Keenan said the loss of the branch would hit the neighborhood hard.

“The neighborhood has had a library presence for almost 100 years,” Keenan said. “It’s important to keep it there.”

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