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Northwestern Contributes $50,000 to Evanston Library Remodeling

February 22, 2007 | by Alan K. Cubbage

EVANSTON, Ill. --- The Evanston Public Library has received a $50,000 donation from Northwestern University to help fund the remodeling of the library's spaces for children's and teen services, library and University officials announced today (Feb. 22).

The new area will significantly expand and remodel the heavily used children's room in Evanston's main library, 1703 Orrington Ave. It also will provide dedicated, separate space for younger children and for teenagers.

Northwestern's gift to the Room to Grow Campaign will be used to fund the construction of a “reading bar” in the new teen space known as “The Loft.” Estimated total cost of the project is $2.4 million, with funds coming from the city, the state, the library's endowment and private donations.

“We're very pleased to be partners in this effort, which will benefit Evanston's children,” said Northwestern President Henry S. Bienen. “Libraries, like universities, serve as wonderful learning resources for their communities, so we're excited by the opportunity to help enhance Evanston's public library and the educational opportunities it provides for children and their families.”

The new children's area will include age-appropriate space for children and teenagers and multifunctional program areas. Library Board President Marybeth Schroeder described the new space as “inclusive and accessible for all Evanston young people with their diverse needs and wide-ranging abilities.”

The remodeled area will include museum-quality interactive exhibits. It is expected to open in September 2007.

“We very much appreciate Northwestern's generous gift,” said Library Director Neal J. Ney. “The University's donation adds to the 'wow' factor for this exciting project.”

Northwestern has provided high-speed Internet access via the University's network to the Evanston Public Library since 1994. The University also donated design and editorial services for all of the Room to Grow campaign publications.

“We're happy to assist the library and we look forward to seeing the new children's library area when it's completed,” Bienen said.