Author Archive


October 15th, 2012

Enjoy the music of V3NTO, recent Grand Prize Winner of the Chicago Brass Festival Competition as they perform at FREE concert with your donation of any size to benefit Evanston Public Library Friends. THIS TUESDAY NIGHT, OCTOBER 16, 8PM, Music Institute of Chicago in Evanston. Check out this dynamic trio here:

Wow! We did it. Together.

September 20th, 2012

Last night the Evanston Public Library Board of Trustees unanimously voted to bring The Mighty Twig into the Evanston Public Library system, starting January 1, 2013. The library will become the EPL Chicago-Main Library.

EPL Director Karen Danczak Lyons said that this move is part of an ambitious plan that can bring great rewards:

“It’s an opportunity to confirm our commitment to thoughtful neighborhood services” and meets “an urgent need to serve children, new immigrants and seniors. All of Evanston deserves innovative, creative and compelling library service.”

In addition to serving the Chicago-Main neighborhood, EPL will study neighborhood services throughout Evanston. Funding for these efforts will include a plan for individual and corporate fund-raising as well as grant acquisition. Partnerships will be explored. Evanston Public Library Friends will join in these efforts.

Even though library services have been hit hard throughout the country, here in Evanston we’ve proven that we do what it takes to keep innovation in library services alive and well.

What about The Mighty Twig? How will it change?

– First, a transition plan.
– Next, more complete library services including holds, pick-ups, returns, and assistance from EPL library staff.
– EPLF volunteers will remain a crucial component of Chicago-Main Library operations.

Thank you to everyone who helped make this happen — donors, volunteers, Twig patrons, library staff and the EPL Board of Trustees.

Books Alive! Three Saturdays in June! Quality Children’s Programming Brought to you by Evanston Public Library Friends.

May 31st, 2012

At The Mighty Twig, June 16 from 2pm to 4pm. Evanston artist and author Laura Montenegro brings her book, A Poet Bird’s Garden, to life with puppetry, storytelling, and creative participation from the audience. Best suited for ages 5-12. Children take home a copy of the book as a gift! Fun food provided by Whole Foods.

At the Evanston Public Library North Branch, June 23 from 11am to 12:30pm. Join Evanston author and former District 65 Librarian Denia Hester as her book Grandma Lena’s Big Ol’ Turnip comes to life! Join in with tales of community spirit, family, and plant your own big ol’ turnip seeds to take home. A free copy of the book is available for children to take home. Best suited for ages 4-8.

At the Dempster/Dodge Summer Reading Stop, June 30 from 2pm to 3:30pm. The book Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile by Bernard Waber comes alive in a drama workshop brought to you by Northwestern University’s Imagine U. Theater students from NU will join in with parents and their children to bring this lovable crocodile and his story to life. Parent/caregiver participation is requested in the workshop. Best suited for ages 5-10. Take home a free copy of Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile.

Books Alive! is supported by a generous grant from The Woman’s Club of Evanston. No registration is necessary. Just a love of books and the arts is required to attend this program.

A Busy First Year at The Mighty Twig, Your All Volunteer-Run Experimental Library

April 18th, 2012

Just the facts:
33,292 visits
7,715 computer users
3,851 toddlers at story-time
700 children have checked out more than 10,000 books
More than 30,000 free books distributed to 14 site around Evanston

Reception for New Evanston Public Library Director, Karen Danczak Lyons

April 18th, 2012

Are you an Evanston Public Library Friend? We thought so! Good friends show up. Take some time this Friday, April 20, from 3 to 5 PM, in the Community Room of the Main Branch of the Evanston Public Library, to welcome the new library director. The Evanston Public Library Board of Trustees invites the public to a welcome reception. Stop by and make sure to tell the new director that you’re an Evanston Public Library Friend! (Refreshments will be served.)

James Kennedy Brings “Dome of Doom” to The Mighty Twig this Friday!

April 18th, 2012

Evanston Public Library Friends’ The Mighty Twig welcomes The Order of Odd Fish author James Kennedy for an interactive, fast-paced evening of performance, writing, dueling, and fantastical fun, for kids ages 10 and up, on Friday, April 20, 4:30 pm to 7:30 pm, at 900 Chicago Avenue in Evanston. Critics love James Kennedy. Kids will find fun, free books, and food, generously donated by Whole Foods.

The Mighty Twig is Open, and Amazing!

March 28th, 2011

So, an amazing thing happened on Saturday, and we’re proud you played a part in it. One month ago the Evanston Library Board voted not to fund the continuation of the South Branch Library. Undaunted, EPL Friends stepped up and decided to fund our own experimental space while the Library Board continues its visioning process. Without missing a beat, or running the risk of losing the interest and enthusiasm of our members and the SB community, EPL began work in an empty storefront at 900 Chicago Ave. That space, less than one month later, became the Mighty Twig. Smaller than a branch, (but mighty) the Twig provides kids and adult books, internet, computers, storytime and a community space for everyone.

More than 500 people came to check out the Twig on Saturday, and more than 300 of you took out books on our Honor system of lending. No cards, no fines, no fees, no fooling. Kids fill out a reading log to help them (and parents) get into a good habit of being responsible for the books they check out, and to help parents know which books they are looking for amongst the dust bunnies under their beds.

We’re thrilled — seriously couldn’t be happier — with the initial community reaction, and we hope that this success will carry over as a model that makes sense for elsewhere in Evanston.  If you haven’t seen the space yet, you have to come by. Twig is open Tues – Sat. 10 – 5, with later nights until 8PM on Thursdays beginning in mid-April.  Check out some of our press here: Evanston Now, Trib Local, take a video tour with Evanston Patch .

Lots of things are still in motion for The Mighty Twig, and we still welcome donations of time, books, and financial contributions. All in, we figure it costs approximately $154 per day to run the Mighty Twig, with our entirely volunteer staff.  We welcome your input and suggestions and thank you for your continued support!

3…2…1… Twig opens in 3 days!

March 24th, 2011

Mighty Twig volunteers get MT ready for her debut performance on Saturday

We had more than 83 volunteers come out to help us last Friday and Saturday, with more than 420 volunteer hours logged over the course of the two days as people cleaned and labeled and shelved our collection at the Mighty Twig.

This week we’ve had about 10 people there every day putting the finishing touches in place, and it’s enormously gratifying to see such strong community support. It’s remarkable the stuff that Evanston is made of.

The Grand Opening fast approaches on Saturday and Team Twig continues to inspire! Today’s Library Heroes of the Day… Cheryl Chamberlain and Ed Lally who custom-built our computer table extraordinaire! Cheryl’s worked tirelessly to whip the Mighty Twig into shape for Saturday’s grand opening. Come see it in action Saturday 10 – 5PM. Signs are up, rugs are down, books are ready to be read. Saturday’s the day… be there!


March 14th, 2011

It’s almost here…! The Grand Opening Event for Mighty Twig will be held:

Saturday March 26th

10AM – 5PM

Children’s Party

1PM – 3PM

Come Celebrate this Exciting Day with us. We know it’s a busy day around town with a number of other events also happening, but we hope you’ll take some time to swing by and say hello.

Making progress at the Mighty Twig

March 9th, 2011

Shelving arrived and is being assembled…

(thank you, Boston Street Lab for your generous generous donation, and your supervision of Situation Normal at the storage facility on the other end of their journey!) The Friends went quickly to work assembling the units — thanks to our volunteers, to Trish and our steadfast Board, and to Marcia Mahoney who’s going to single-handedly whip this thing into shape if it kills her! We’re looking forward to more volunteer help in the coming weeks, so please stay tuned, or volunteer some time 3/18 and 3/19 by emailing us at and let us know if you can help sort or stock, or stick labels.