Friends of the Northtown Library News

The Friends of the Northtown Library will be holding a book sale on October 21 and 22 to benefit our library. The sale begins at 10:00 a.m. on both days, and ends promptly at 4:00 p.m. Hardcovers, paperbacks, CDs, and DVDs will be available. And they’ll cost less than last year!

If you’d like to donate gently-used books, CDs, or DVDs, please do not put them in the book drops outside the Library. Instead, donations can be dropped off at the Front Desk. Be sure to indicate that they’re for the book sale. Materials in Urdu, Hindi, Arabic, Russian, Hebrew, Assyrian, and Spanish are especially sought for our multi-lingual community.

If you’re interested in helping with book sale set-up on October 14-15, please contact  We’ll soon have a Facebook page, too!

The Friends will be conducting a brief survey asking for information on how patrons use the Library. No names or addresses will be collected.  The survey will be available in Arabic, Urdu, and Spanish as well as English.

We’d like to see the Friends truly represent West Ridge, so our membership form will also be available in several languages.

A Friends group for our younger patrons is under discussion; such membership would require parental permission but would be a good leadership opportunity for our teens.

Both survey and membership forms will be available at the Northtown Library the second week of October.


2 thoughts on “Friends of the Northtown Library News

  1. All good. Thank you. FYI, a former teacher friend who provides support to youth and their families who come to the library pointed out to me that while on the one hand it would be lovely to have a new library, her concern is where will immigrant families and their children be able to go for support and help during construction. As I understand from her, other locations in the area are mostly maxed out in terms of facility use and so could not host programs currently hosted by the library. it was interesting to hear her perspective based on her experience with families who rely on the library. Perhaps others who connect with your site are already aware of the important role of the library to those communities. Likely so. I was unaware though. And had the view that a new library would be a 100% good thing. Now, I am wondering how to meet on-going needs AND address space needs of the library.


    • I’ve heard similar comments from others, and I could not agree more. Although we’re a long way from determining if there will be a new library where the current library stands, or a reconfiguration/rebuilding of the current library, or a new library elsewhere in the ward, the most important people to be considered are the children, who have no voice in the outcome. I urge residents to stop in at the library after school hours to see who’s there. It’s mostly the immigrant community, the kids getting help with homework and using the Internet for school research and projects. Many come from families that cannot afford Internet service. Many of these kids don’t have cellphones, or tablets, or any of the digital devices that more affluent families can give their kids. Their parents use the library for additional study after English classes at places like the Indo-American Center and the Rohingya Culture Center.

      The library is situated in the less affluent part of the ward and its services are critical to helping our newest residents and our struggling residents make a place for themselves in our neighborhood and our country. It’s vital that decision-makers take this into account as part of the feasibility study that is currently under discussion between the alderman, the Public Buildings Commission, and the LEARN coalition. POWR (People of West Ridge), a nonprofit community resource I started 18 months ago, is part of LEARN, and I have brought this matter up with the leadership. They are aware of the concern, but it would be helpful if residents themselves contacted LEARN to express their opinions. Unfortunately, at this writing LEARN has neither a Web site nor a Facebook page.

      The head of the coalition is Antonio Martinez, Jr., of the Chicago Community Trust, and he can be reached via email at Concerns can also be expressed to other coalition members: Shalom Klein, Executive Director, the Jewish Community Council of West Rogers Park,; and John Kane, president of the West Rogers Park Community Organization (WRPCO), Other neighborhood groups are also involved, so you can also contact your local block club or neighborhood group; if they aren’t part of the coalition, they should be. The library is the best community resource we have, and deserves our support. It’s also critical that as many voice as possible be heard in the debate about what kind of library we should have and where it should be located. A library that is inaccessible to the people who need it most would be a disgrace to West Ridge.


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