Loyola Park Field House in Rogers Park will soon have youth library

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Community members of Rogers Park are painting, building and working, hoping to open a youth library at the Loyola Park Field House.

"I said 'Hey we can build a library,'" said Roseanna Magada, Loyola Park Advisory Council President. "We could do it in three weeks, so here we are."

The board plans to debut the library Sunday, Feb. 23, the same day as the council's Black History Month celebration.

"There were lots of books in a very uninviting space," Magada said. "So the idea was to make it warm and inviting."

"Sometimes the kids are just here and if they don't want to participate in sports, this gives them something else to focus on," added Jocelyn Gerard, Park Advisory Council Secretary.

The library will have interactive activities, space to do homework and of course, lots and lots of books. There's a reading room on the second floor of the building as well, for older students.

The council is hoping to transform that room as well in April.

"If these kids can get what I get out of reading - visiting other places, meeting people they've never met before, it opens up a whole world," Gerard said. "If even a few kids have that experience, they'll be set for life."

Books, shelving and seating were all donated by community members, including 49th ward Alderwoman Maria Hadden, who donated a couch and a punching bag for the Field House boxing gym.

Magada and fellow council members hope the kids will take advantage of it all.

"It's always all for the children, everything that we do is always for the children and the benefit of the children," Magada said.

Jalyn Henderson is a Community Journalist at ABC 7 Chicago. She tells stories on the north side of Chicago in neighborhoods like Uptown, Edgewater, Ravenswood, Lincoln Square, West Ridge and Rogers Park. If you have a story to share in these neighborhoods you can send an email to Jalyn.L.Henderson@abc.com
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