At the July 15 meeting of the Evanston Public Library Board of Trustees, I was disappointed to hear some speakers (mostly older and white) insisting that EPL keep its small branch libraries open on Central Street and at Chicago and Main Street (CAMS).
At the same time, I was heartened to hear other speakers (mostly younger, mostly BIPOC) asking that the Library reassess how it is using resources to better serve the 5th, 8th and 9th Wards of Evanston.
Library resources are stretched thin. If EPL keeps funding the Central Street and CAMS locations, it will be at the expense of neighborhoods whose needs are not being met, and whose needs have not historically been well met, as described in the recent EPL Commitment to Racial Equity.
When white people continue to insist on hoarding limited resources, it hurts other parts of our community. It is time to right this wrong.
Evanston prides itself on being progressive, but we know that we have not always lived up to that self-image. This is an opportunity to act in a way that matches who we say we are. I encourage the EPL Board to close both Central Street and CAMS branches and use those resources to bring services to the 5th, 8th, and 9th Wards.
— Margie Newman