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The Evanston Public Library is joining the green revolution, and everyone is invited.

Evanstonians can participate by joining a community-wide reading program hosted by Northwestern University.  This year’s “One Book, One Northwestern” selection, “Hot, Flat, and Crowded” by Thomas Friedman, brings a fresh outlook to the crises of destabilizing climate change and rising competition for energy. It is available at the Evanston Library in regular and large print, as a CD audiobook and as a downloadable MP3 audiobook in the digital collection at ebook.epl.org.  There is plenty more background material on understanding and meeting the challenges of the global climate crisis in the Library’s print and online collections. 

Go to the EPL Planet Care resources list at tinyurl.com/planetcare or check the library research page at www.epl.org/search  for science, business and public policy articles online.

“One Book” will culminate in a celebration of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, April 22, 2010. To find free public events, discussions and exhibits held throughout the year, go to www.northwestern.edu/onebook. 

Evanston Library will be holding several environmentally themed programs of its own this fall. Last week, EPL screened “Mad City Chickens,” a documentary on the new backyard chicken movement in America. Filmmakers Tashai Lovington and Robert Lughai explained how the urban chicken is moving higher in the pecking order of human importance. “Mad City Chickens” was co-presented with the Evanston Food Policy Council, Angelic Organics Learning Center, and Reeltime Independent Film and Video Forum.

There may be no better way to get in touch with nature than gardening, perhaps with an “eco” garden, which manages garden space ecologically, by following nature’s patterns.  Learn more about eco-gardening and how to transform a lawn, or parts of it, into a native eco-garden from award-winning gardener Dennis Paige, who will offer a lively program full of stories, ideas and photos at 3 p.m. on Oct. 18 in the Community Meeting Room, at the Evanston Public Library.

Architecture has always struggled to integrate natural environment with design. As Chicago celebrates the 100th anniversary of Daniel Burnham’s Chicago Plan, contemporary architects and urban planners are re-examining Burnham’s ideas. For a refresher on Burnham’s vision, everyone is invited to “Daniel Burnham’s Chicago,” a “living history” presentation. Actor and historian Terry Lynch will portray Daniel Burnham, discussing Chicago‘s history and Burnham’s strategy for creating a well-ordered and convenient city, at 3 p.m. on Oct. 4.

For a contrarian view of how Burnham’s principles have been applied – or misapplied – Bill Savage, Senior Lecturer in the Northwestern English Department and author of a recent Chicago Reader article on Daniel Burnham, will discuss the 1909 plan in the context of 2009 Chicago, Evanston and the region. Although Daniel Burnham probably never spoke the famous words, “Make no little plans,” Chicago-
area planners, politicians, architects and reformers have long taken them as a commandment.  At what point do Big Plans become counterproductive?  Does it make more sense to neglect what has already been built – which requires maintenance and adjustment – in the rush to the next
Big Plan? Members of the public can draw their own conclusions after hearing Mr. Savage’s presentation at 7 p.m. on Oct. 20, in the Community Meeting Room in the Library.