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2 new libraries in housing developments to be unveiled by Mayor Emanuel

A new library on Taylor is being unveiled Tuesday. | Chicago Sun-Times staff photo

A new library on Taylor is being unveiled Tuesday. | Chicago Sun-Times staff photo

The legacy tour continues!

Watch for Mayor Rahm Emanuel to officially cut the ribbon Tuesday on two buildings containing libraries within housing developments on the city’s North and South sides — highlighting the modernization and growth of Chicago’s library system during his tenure.

The co-located developments of shared spaces provide residents with both a state-of-the-art community anchor and mixed-income CHA housing, which will provide a total of 44 senior apartments, including 30 public housing and 14 affordable apartments at each site.

While the library in Little Italy will be located at 1336 W. Taylor St., while the Independence branch is at 4024 N. Elston Ave. The Independence branch had been close in fall 2015 after a fire. A new West Loop library opened last week.

A rendering of the Independence library branch.| Facebook

A rendering of the Independence library branch.| Facebook

Highlighting the more than $275 million in new investments to Chicago Public Libraries during his time in office, Emanuel tells Sneed:

“When I was a kid, my mom would drop my brothers and me at the library to check out books that detailed the past.”

He added: “Today, kids go to the library to turn on computers to explore the future. Albert Einstein once said, ‘The only thing you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library.’

A new library is being unveiled Tuesday in Little Italy. | Chicago Sun-Times photo

A peak inside the new library being unveiled Tuesday in Little Italy | Chicago Sun-Times photo

“It is truer today than it was when he said it. Chicago’s libraries are community anchors and early learning centers,” he said. “They are places to get homework help and search for a job.”


Emanuel, who is this/close to former President Barack Obama and was his chief of staff, also emphasized upcoming plans for the planned Obama Presidential Center in Woodlawn.

“Chicago will be the first city in the country to have a neighborhood library in a presidential library,” he said. “We are writing the next chapter on what a library looks like and does.”

What’s next?

Sneed hears upcoming speeches will cover the park system, education and public housing.

Our mayoral rocket man has already given two major speeches outlining his legacy of achievement at the Chicago Transit Authority and the City Colleges of Chicago at the grand openings of the new North Terminal at the 95th/Dan Ryan Red Line Station and the new Daley College Manufacturing Technology and Engineering Center.