Evanston Public Library’s North Branch to temporarily close in August for repairs

Yvonne Kim, Reporter

The Evanston Public Library’s North Branch will close throughout the month of August as part of a 2016 plan to improve and repair its dated building, city officials announced last week.

The North Branch, located on 2026 Central St., will close on July 31 and reopen Aug. 29. While closed, upgrades and repairs will be made to the ventilation, lighting and water systems, said project manager John Devaney.

“We all understand that the construction needs to proceed,” he said. “It’s better we do this on our terms than to suddenly in the middle of January lose a water pipe. … We wouldn’t be doing a service to the citizens of Evanston if we let things go that far.”

The proposed closing went to the library’s board for approval in 2015 and passed unanimously, Devaney said. He added that much of the library, including the existing sewer system and main water pipe, is original to the building from 1937.

While closed, the North Branch will upgrade its HPAC system to meet current ventilation codes. It also remodeled its bathrooms two years ago to ensure compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Devaney said.

“The space will have a much more clean and sleek and much more energy efficient experience for our patrons,” he said. “We want to be welcoming and clean and healthy … especially because we entertain a lot of children.”

The library’s book drop will be unavailable for use throughout the closing and events such as book groups or storytimes will not be held, said neighborhood services manager Connie Heneghan. She added the library chose August to close because it is typically the least busy month.

“Capital improvement makes it sound like you’re making things so much better, but it’s taking responsibility for maintaining city property and library property,” Heneghan said. “As much as I hate closing, it’s really good to take care of the property and to make it a facility where we can provide the best service possible.”

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