Nestled on a residential street in the affluent Near North neighborhood in Lakeview, about a mile from Wrigley Field and a few miles north of the Loop, the Lincoln-Belmont branch of the Chicago Public Library stands ready to serve the community.
Taking a look around the building, it is clear that the focus is on kids. Talking with the branch manager, Dick Dohnalek, he confirmed that much of their programming is focused on the kids of the community, with outreach programs to the local schools and the local YMCA. He pointed out I had just missed a group of kids from the YMCA program.
The library, no doubt like many others, organizes their programming around STEAM, adding an emphasis on The Arts to the STEM concept. This makes sense, as there is a local elementary school in the area with a Performing Arts focus. He said they also add a focus on early reading, so they sometimes call it STREAM. They do much of their early learning programming on Storytimes.
While the clientele of the library is generally affluent, Dick pointed out that the library serves bilingual kids from families who work in the area or are attracted to the programming at this particular branch.
He also mentioned that the Chicago Public Library system has recently named a new director, Brian Bannon, who has brought many innovations to the library and has won International awards, of which he was quite proud.
I know personally that my grandson is a consumer of library services of this library, as he recently brought home the very popular “Dragons Love Tacos” and pretty much memorized the extremely clever and quite challenging text. Not bad for a 2 and ¾ year old.
[Not bad at all, Dave, and thanks for writing a post that extends the reach of the blog into Chicago. There are a few other Illinois posts from libraries I've visited in my circuit around Chicago.
Each library I visit has something I haven't seen before. Here's it's this recycling centr for American flags. What a great service; people often don't know what to do with a damaged or soiled flag. Thanks for doing this, Lincoln -Belmont.]