City announces new library modernization initiative

CHICAGO (WLS) -- There's a new effort to modernize existing libraries and build new ones across Chicago.

The initiative is called "Branching Out: Building Libraries, Building Communities."

Neighborhood libraries all over the city will get new money to modernize, with investments for modern facilities and infrastructure. The initiative is also focused on providing high-quality programming with trained teachers, librarians and administrators, the city says.

As part of the initiative, the Douglass Branch Library in Lawndale is getting more than $2 million. Improvements to the library include a new built-out early learning play space for children, a new dedicated YOUmedia teen space and improved accessibility to the lower level auditorium and meeting room spaces.

"The modernization of Douglass Branch Library will further support North Lawndale residents, whether it's a student looking for homework help, or a job seeker looking to connect with a life-changing opportunity," said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. "An investment at Douglass is an investment in the future of a community fixture and in the future of Chicago."

"The renovations and modernization of the Douglass branch will revitalize a vital community anchor in North Lawndale," said Alderman Michael Scott, 24th Ward. "This investment in the library's facilities and infrastructure will provide our neighbors with the safe learning and gathering spaces that the children and families of Chicago deserve."

The city says that since 2011, six new libraries have been built and by next year, another five new libraries will be built by 2019.
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