Looking for a quiet place to study in the evenings? Working shifts all weekend, but still want to pick up a good read? The Evanston Public Library has you covered with new Library Express extended hours self-service in the early morning and late evening at the Robert Crown Branch.
The Robert Crown Branch Library, 1801 Main St,. is normally open and staffed 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon to 6 p.m. on Sundays. Beginning Friday, April 1, patrons who register for Library Express privileges will also be able to visit the Robert Crown Branch from 7 to 9 a.m. Monday through Thursday, and 6:30 to 9 p.m. Friday through Sunday, whether a librarian is on site or not.
Library Express hours are made possible by a system called Open+. The Open+ system allows patrons who have signed up for extended hour access to scan their library cards and enter a code to access the branch when library staff are not on duty.
During these extended hours, patrons will be able to use the quiet library space for studying, reading or work. Computers will be available for use and patrons will be able to check out materials using automated check-out stations.
“Extending library hours helps us achieve our goal of more equitable access to our services and materials for residents who may work late or have other obligations that make it difficult to visit us during normal business hours,” Access Services Manager Timothy Longo said. “We hope this will allow more people to take advantage of the library.”
Patrons who would like to sign up for extended hours access must stop by the Robert Crown branch or the Main Library during regular library hours to register, sign an agreement and have a brief orientation. During the orientation, library staff will explain how to access the library and how to use services and materials after hours.
Similar systems are already in use in other libraries in the United States and have been used successfully throughout Europe for more than a decade. The extended hours at the library branch will still be limited to hours when the rest of the Robert Crown Community Center is open and staffed.
For additional information on Library Express at the Evanston Public Library’s Robert Crown Branch and to get started registering for access, visit www.epl.org/express.