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Evanston Plaza on Dempster Street at Dodge Avenue is again the home for the Evanston Public Library’s Summer Reading Stop. In a large, open room, books are neatly lined up on shelves, an arts and crafts table is ready for use and computers, a printer and Wi-Fi are available for all to access. Located right next door to Dunkin Donuts, this library is open for business.
This year the Summer Reading Stop moved a few store-fronts down towards Dodge Avenue. Connie Heneghan, library branch manager said she liked this new space “much better,” adding that it was “more appropriate for us.”
An open house was held on June 20, drawing many residents in to see the new facility. Fifth Ward Alderman Delores Holmes and Second Ward Alderman Peter Braithwaite read to the children while three Tail Waggin’ Tutors came to sit with the kids.
The Tail Waggin’ Tutors are registered therapy dogs that work in hospitals and nursing homes as well as with kids to help with literacy. Children were able to sit, pet, and read with Rock, Kimmy and Danny-boy. The Tail Waggin’ Tutors are going to be at different library sites at various times during the summer.
Ald. Braithwaite said he is “very excited” about the library outpost. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for the kids in this area to have resources through the summer.”
Ald. Holmes agreed. “I think it’s [the Summer Reading Stop] a wonderful way to bring books to the West Side.”
The library also opened two other similar sites: in the Fleetwood Jourdain Center at 1665 Foster St., sponsored by The Kiwanis Club of Evanston, and at Robert Crown Park at 1701 Main St., sponsored by the Woman’s Club of Evanston. The Mighty Twig, a new year-round library located at 900 Chicago Avenue and sponsored by the EPL Friends, was also opened in March of this year. These sites, the Summer Reading Outpost, the North Branch and the main library will play host to the Summer Reading Game this year.
The library’s Summer Reading Game is designed to promote reading over the summer. Children can register and win prizes for reading for at least nine hours as well as making weekly visits to the library. This year children can play the Summer Reading Game at all library locations.
Library Assistant Gail Mitchell said she was very excited about the Summer Reading Game this year. She added that as of June 20, a record 2,000 children had already signed up for the game. “It’s huge,” she said.
Children can sign up for the Summer Reading Game at any library location. The game runs from June 13 to July 30. The hours of all the library sites can be found at epl.org.