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!

Outpost ahead…

February 24th, 2011

Evanston Public Library Friends announce that work begins today at the new 900 Chicago Avenue, Suite 102 location, for Evanston Public Library Friends’ Outpost, despite the Library Board’s lack of support for the initiative at last night’s Library Board meeting. In the very near future patrons will be invited come see what’s in store, and the Outpost space is anticipated to open officially in mid-March.  Staffed by volunteers, the space will have a collection of donated books and other reading material for children and adults, as well as computers and internet access, and will be open to the public five days a week.

EPLFriends are thrilled to have found such a perfect interim space for the new Outpost at 900 Chicago Ave., and are grateful to Thomas Ahleman of Studio Talo for his pro bono design work, to Boston Street Lab for their generous offer of shelving, and to those who have so generously supported the Friends’ efforts to keep neighborhood services alive. As Library Board Trustee, and ILA President, Gail Bush has said, “continuity” is such a critical factor for libraries. While not a library in the traditional sense of the word, the Outpost will help to provide that continuity in a way that is innovative and forward-thinking.

“The Friends are deeply disappointed with the decision of the Library Board, but will maintain our commitment to provide this service to the Main and Chicago neighborhood,” said EPLF president, Ellen Newcomer.  “We hope that the books from South Branch, which have been purchased with Evanston taxpayers’ money, will stay in Evanston and help bolster our collection at the Outpost and as a distribution point for our other locations throughout the City.”

Extra, extra…read all about it.

January 22nd, 2011

Library Board meeting is a cliff hanger, but in the end, the Board goes with a plan for temporary space for South Branch.

Read Trib Local account of the meeting.

Check out Evanston Patch

See what Evanston Review has to say

Disgusted, on many levels.

September 22nd, 2010

Evanston Public Library Friends group members are rightfully disgusted by last week’s action of the Evanston Public Library Board to adopt a zero-tax-increase guideline.

Friends group members expressed their anger by leaving the downtown library’s community room as the board finished its 5-3 vote Sept. 15 in support of the proposal by member Diane Allen-Jacobi.

The zero tax increase, except for salary and benefit adjustments, makes no sense in light of the board’s recent decision to take control of the library system budget by switching to a Library Fund model.


The saga continues

September 21st, 2010

Evanston mayor had financial link to one of her Library Board picks

September 21, 2010 By BOB SEIDENBERG

Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl had financial dealings with one of her new nominees to the Library Board, stepping in and buying the family’s house after it went into foreclosure, public records show, and then serving as a landlord for an unspecified period before selling it back.

With the City Council’s consent, Tisdahl appointed new member Sharon Arceneaux just two days before the Sept. 15 Library Board meeting, in which Arceneaux and a second new board member gave the board a new majority on a proposal to back guidelines for no tax increase next year.

Read the rest of the article here.

Evanston Public Library Friends’ mission is to support the library. The concern of EPLFriends is that these are challenging times for the library. Board members need to have a vision of all that libraries can do for a community, the skills to help realize that vision, and the desire to do the job. We are looking forward to tomorrow night’s meeting and hope that all Board members keep their fiduciary duty to EPL top of mind.

Evanston Review: Evanston Library Board sets zero-tax ‘guideline’

September 16th, 2010

Members of the Evanston Public Library Friends stormed out of a Library Board meeting Wednesday night, charging that the board’s action to adopt a zero tax increase guideline would in effect undermine months of work the group put in trying to save the city’s two branch libraries.

Group members showed their disgust with the action, leaving the downtown library’s community room as the board finished its 5-3 vote in support of the proposal by member Diane Allen-Jacobi.

Read more.

Evanston Press: Sides won’t budge on Library Fund debate

September 15th, 2010

Evanston City Council members probed Library Board members Monday on their recent move to adopt a Library Fund model, giving them control on library budget decisions, in a sometimes tense meeting where neither side moved off of their position.

Read more.

Trib Local: Library board, city council talk library fund

September 14th, 2010

Evanston’s City Council and Public Library Board of Trustees sat across from each other Monday night in an attempt to stem the tide of controversy surrounding the board’s recent transition to a library fund model

Read more.

Here’s what our Mayor thinks. Is it true?

September 9th, 2010

For many weeks we’ve heard the opinion of our Mayor both to us and through others, and now she’s stated her stance in an editorial in the Evanston Review. We urge you to read this Opinion by our Mayor and comment as you see fit. Is this how Evanston really feels about its libraries? We need each of your voices to let the City know how we feel about preserving and enhancing our City’s libraries. Then PLEASE COME to an important City Council meeting between the Library Board and the City Council on Monday, Sept. 13th 7PM. Let ’em hear you.

Guest Essay: Great library system just too costly to city ::Forum:: PIONEER PRESS :: Evanston Review

Fair and Balanced…At last!

September 3rd, 2010

Hey, everyone, there’s a new newspaper/blog/media outlet in town and it’s called Evanston Patch. It’s awesome and they’re doing a great job covering the Library discussion FAIRLY, and even doing an editorial about the Fund model. Hats off to the hard-working Roundtable, the Review, and TribLocal for their outstanding coverage as well, but for now, check out Evanston Patch.


and give them, a Woot, woot! while you’re there.

Remember — we need you on the 13th at the City Council meeting at 7PM!