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Library Love Lasts Longer

By Jocelyn Geboy in Arts & Entertainment on Oct 17, 2006 10:30PM

We love the library. We can hardly believe this idea exists. Don't have THIRTY dollars to spend on a book you'll read in a day and a half? You can just go and check it out of the library, read it, and give it back. Ever since we were kids, we have been checking out piles of books, reading them quick, and getting more. There's something about getting lost in a book that we've never been able to let go of.

Let's face it, libraries have other strange allures. Sometimes, they have this incredible somnolent quality, making us wonder if the people who work there are able to work longer than four-hour shifts. And we have never done it, but we've always kind of wanted to do it in a library. You'd have to be all quiet and ... well, you know. AHEM.

2006_10books.jpgBut there are things about libraries that we have to take in trade for their no-money goodness. Most of them aren't open on Sundays. You have to schedule appointments to get on the Internet. If you're looking for it, we have never seen Swank or Club Confidential at a public library (seriously, we used to sell that at the Crown Books where we used to work!). And until very recently, it was often difficult to make it to the Harold Washington Library after work.

But now the flagship of the Chicago Public Library system will extend its hours and be open until 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday like the two regional libraries (Sulzer and Woodson). YAY!! We are thrilled. We can leisurely make our way over there from Michigan Avenue and get some books to take home. We can see some of the evening author events at the library and get some books afterwards. Any more time the library is open is good news to us.

The decision will cost $188,000 for the extra eight hours a week, but we think it's definitely worthwhile and a hell of a lot cheaper than buying everyone at the library BlackBerries, for example. According to Library Commissioner Mary Dempsey, the decision was made due to the rising number of students and residents moving into the surrounding neighborhood.

In other library news, the Sun-Times article we read also mentioned that an integrated library system called "Find it Chicago" will finally come to fruition next spring. To wit: "The $11 million high-tech system will give the city's 1.6 million library card holders better and faster access to the system's vast catalogue." Bring it on, bitches, bring it on.

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