WBEZ | library http://www.wbez.org/tags/library Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Teacher brings library close to home for her Little Village neighbors http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/teacher-brings-library-close-home-her-little-village-neighbors-106825 <p><p>The enclosed porch behind Rachel Perveiler&rsquo;s Little Village apartment is crammed with shelves stuffed with books and games. It&rsquo;s also filled with children from her neighborhood.</p><p>Perveiler&rsquo;s porch is the meeting place for &ldquo;La Biblioteca del Personas,&rdquo; or the People&rsquo;s Library. Meeting here has become a weekly ritual for Perveiler and the children in her neighborhood.</p><p>&ldquo;Okay boys, are you turning in books?&rdquo; Perveiler asked brothers Joaquin and Jose Camacho.</p><p>&ldquo;I want to still keep this one, but I&rsquo;m returning this one back.&rdquo; Joaquin said.</p><p>&ldquo;Okay, go ahead, put it back,&rdquo; Perveiler said.</p><p>As the children looked through the shelves, pulling out books, Perveiler asked 9-year old Jaylene Rios what she thought of her most recent selection.</p><p>&ldquo;Did you like Charlotte&rsquo;s Web, or no?&rdquo; Perveiler asked.</p><p>&ldquo;Oh yeah. I&rsquo;m barely right there,&rdquo; Jaylene said, as she pointed to a place toward the beginning of the book.</p><p>&ldquo;The first chapter? Okay, so you liked it?&rdquo; Perveiler asked.</p><p>&ldquo;Yeah,&rdquo; Jaylene said.</p><p>Since the library began two years ago, the teacher said she&rsquo;s watched the kids develop what she hopes will become a life-long reading habit, and she&rsquo;s seen their reading skills improve.</p><p>She points to Jaylene, who started with Frog and Toad are Friends and has now moved on to Charlotte&rsquo;s Web.</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve seen their interests grow,&rdquo; Perveiler said. Rather than just coming over because I&rsquo;m here and I&rsquo;m a new person, they come over actually to check out books, and they want to get a new book or they want to get a book that they know their friend just read.&rdquo;</p><p>The library began when the 23-year-old moved to Little Village back in 2011 to be close to her first job as a special education teacher at nearby Finkl Academy.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Porch%20Library%202%20-%20Rachel%20and%20Joaquin%281%29.JPG" style="float: right; height: 263px; width: 350px;" title="Joaquin Camacho talks with Rachel Perveiler as she checks in books. Perveiler uses a spiral notebook to keep track of what books are currently checked out. (WBEZ/Rebecca Kruth)" />Perveiler was moving into her apartment when some of the neighbor kids saw her carrying boxes.</p><p>&ldquo;They offered to help carry the boxes in. When they found out they were children&rsquo;s books, they were curious to see why [I had] all these children&rsquo;s books,&rdquo; Perveiler said.</p><p>The books were for her classroom, but since it was still summer, the kids asked if they could borrow them. They sat on her porch, read the books and returned them the same afternoon.</p><p>Word about the books soon spread in the neighborhood, and the children began coming to Perveiler&rsquo;s regularly. As the library evolved, the group members decided they needed to have some rules and expectations for members. They even developed a pledge, which greets visitors as they enter the library.</p><p>Joaquin Camacho, 9,&nbsp; read the hand-lettered poster out loud.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;As a member of the library, I pledge to be a role model. I promise to [show] respect and responsibility,&rdquo; Joaquin said. &ldquo;I promise these in the name of leadership, because the world needs leaders.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p><p>Before they can use the library, kids must also complete a special task. Each new member makes a bookmark to take home. After a week, they have to bring it back to Perveiler in good shape to prove they&rsquo;re responsible. If it&rsquo;s ruined, they have to do it again before they can check out a book.</p><p>Today, the library has around 500 books, mostly donations from friends and family. But, as Joaquin said, not all of the books come from outside sources.</p><p>&ldquo;My brother, Jose, and I are going to make a comic book, The Adventures of Big Fist and Lightning Man,&rdquo; Joaquin said. &ldquo;We&rsquo;re going to put it in the library with the other comics.&rdquo;</p><p>The library doesn&rsquo;t just have books for children: Leslie Luna, 9, said her father uses the library to improve his English.</p><p>&ldquo;He talks Spanish, and so he&rsquo;s practicing his English,&rdquo; Leslie said. &ldquo;When he was in Mexico he almost dropped out of school, because he needed to work for his family, so he didn&rsquo;t get to do a lot of education in his life.&rdquo;</p><p>Leslie said she chooses books for the two of them to read together. &ldquo;I like to help him, a lot,&rdquo; she said.</p><p>When Perveiler isn&rsquo;t available at the makeshift library, her boyfriend, Michael Aumiller, helps fill in. He said he&rsquo;s also the unofficial homework helper.</p><p>&ldquo;They have limited access to internet and that sort of thing, so they like to borrow my encyclopedias. I&rsquo;ll flag things down that are important,&rdquo; Aumiller said.</p><p>Aumiller said in neighborhoods facing challenges like Little Village, it&rsquo;s important to have an involved</p><p>network of neighbors.</p><p>&ldquo;Since the library started, I&rsquo;ve noticed we just have a greater sense of connection to the community,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;I just think that is something that is very important to the overall health of Drake Avenue.&rdquo;</p><p>As for Perveiler, she hopes that sense of community spreads to the kids, along with improved literacy skills.</p><p>&ldquo;I would like to see their interest in reading and their interest in each other socially, as friendships in their community, continue to grow,&rdquo; Perveiler said. &ldquo;If the space remains on the back porch always, that is perfectly fine with me.&rdquo;</p><p><em>Rebecca Kruth is a WBEZ Arts and Culture Desk intern. Follow her <a href="http://twitter.com/rjkruth" target="_blank">@rjkruth</a>.</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 25 Apr 2013 03:54:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/teacher-brings-library-close-home-her-little-village-neighbors-106825 Bookmobiles, bibliomulas and library budget cuts http://www.wbez.org/blogs/front-and-center/2012-04/bookmobiles-bibliomulas-and-library-budget-cuts-98549 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/bookmobile.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><em>A round-up of literacy news from around the Great Lakes</em></p><p>The <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/16/business/media/ads-urge-book-people-to-help-children-read-campaign-spotlight.html" target="_blank">New York Times</a> took a closer look this week at the new “<a href="http://www.bookpeopleunite.org/" target="_blank">Book People Unite</a>” public service campaign to encourage children's literacy. The latest video from the campaign features classic characters from children's literature, music sung by rock stars and LeVar Burton on a school bus.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/pdpKIjpaBU8" frameborder="0" height="315" width="600"></iframe></p><p><strong>Literacy meme of the week</strong><br>A <a href="http://motherjones.tumblr.com/post/21610889566/abudaii-this-is-a-mule-disguised-as-a-library" target="_blank">photo</a> of a donkey laden with children’s books has captured the attention of book lovers online this week. The photo is from a 2007 <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/6929404.stm" target="_blank">BBC article</a> about a program in Venezuela to bring books to children in remote villages. A more recent YouTube video featuring <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYtFy66bNuw" target="_blank">Bibliomulas - The Traveling Donkey Library</a> suggests the unconventional method for bringing books to children is still kicking in South America.</p><p><strong>Libraries on the move</strong></p><p>In the United States, some rural libraries are <a href="http://www.npr.org/2012/04/01/149776548/vermont-town-struggles-to-keep-bookmobiles-alive" target="_blank">losing bookmobiles</a> to budget cuts while libraries in New York City are checking out <a href="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304356604577338200273264824.html" target="_blank">e-readers</a> and building new "<a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/news/high-tech-learning-hub-coming-brooklyn-public-library-central-branch-article-1.1047024#ixzz1t4IrVTIb" target="_blank">high-tech learning hubs</a>." In Detroit, a group of elementary students have created <a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20120413/NEWS01/204130362/Outdoor-libraries-start-leading-books-at-closed-branches?odyssey=mod%7Cnewswell%7Ctext%7CFRONTPAGE%7Cs" target="_blank">outdoor libraries</a> on the steps of library branches in their neighborhood that have shut down.</p><p><strong>Early education funding fights</strong></p><p>Wisconsin missed its chance last year for Race to the Top dollars <a href="http://www.jsonline.com/news/education/wisconsin-likely-to-apply-again-for-race-to-the-top-education-grants-eh4u7gd-146755785.html" target="_blank">but may apply again</a> to get a piece of the $500 million in federal funding available for early childhood education. Commentators in <a href="http://www.cleveland.com/opinion/index.ssf/2012/04/ohio_bottoms_out_in_pre-k_educ.html" target="_blank">Ohio</a> and <a href="http://bridgemi.com/2012/04/guest-column-early-childhood-efforts-need-more-than-office-equipment/#.T5gR_9nk_To" target="_blank">Michigan</a> question what can be done to boost funding for preschool in their states after seeing low rankings the 2011 <a href="http://nieer.org/yearbook" target="_blank">State of Preschool</a> report.</p><p><em>WBEZ’s Front and Center project will launch a series about literacy in late May.</em></p><p><br><br>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 26 Apr 2012 13:43:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/front-and-center/2012-04/bookmobiles-bibliomulas-and-library-budget-cuts-98549 Poet Haki Madhubuti speaks in praise of libraries http://www.wbez.org/content/poet-haki-madhubuti-speaks-praise-libraries <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-November/2011-11-03/library books_Flickr_CCAC North Library.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Among the belt-tightening measures Mayor Rahm Emanuel has proposed to ease Chicago’s budget woes were <a href="http://chicagoist.com/2011/10/19/save_chicagos_libraries.php">$11 million worth of cuts to city libraries</a>. The proposed cuts included reduced hours for all library branches and over 350 staff layoffs.</p><p>His plan has not been well received. More than half of Chicago aldermen protested earlier this week by <a href="../../story/majority-aldermen-call-budget-changes-93680">sending a letter to the mayor</a> to express their displeasure. Cultural denizens <a href="http://timeoutchicago.com/things-to-do/chicago-blog/15010901/exclusive-chicagos-cultural-community-speaks-out-against-library-">have spoken out against the cuts, too</a>.</p><p>As of late Friday, Emanuel responded by <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/news/8609960-418/emanuel-to-ease-library-cuts-raise-all-city-sticker-fees.html">announcing plans to restore more than $3 million dollars to the CPL budget </a>and reducing both the number of layoffs and the number of weeks libraries would face shorter hours.</p><p>Nevertheless, libraries will still see reduced staffing and reduced hours under his latest proposal. And in an era of Amazon, of Tivo, and of the Kindle, some ask "What good is a library?"</p><p>Try asking this question to poet Haki Madhubuti, if you dare.</p><p>Madhubuti, best known for his affiliation with the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s, is the founder of <a href="http://www.twpbooks.com/catalog/">Third World Press</a>, now the largest independent black-owned press in the country, and founder and director emeritus of the Gwendolyn Brooks Center for Black Literature and Creative Writing at Chicago State University.</p><p>At a recent reading sponsored by the Illinois Humanities Council, he described how, as a child, he would hide in the libraries of Detroit and read and read. The cool, quiet spaces were a refuge from the harsh realities of his fatherless childhood and his mother’s early death. They were also the place where he went to discover the great works of literature that sparked his young imagination, works like <em>Black Boy</em> by Richard Wright. &nbsp;</p><p>“What saved this boy,” he said, referring to himself in those precarious years, “was libraries.”</p><p>That’s nothing short of a life or death argument from one poet. Hear him make his case in the audio above, and decide for yourself.</p><p><a href="../../series/dynamic-range">Dynamic Range</a><em> showcases hidden gems unearthed from </em>Chicago Amplified’s<em> vast archive of public events and appears on weekends. Haki Madhubuti spoke at an event presented by the <a href="http://www.prairie.org/">Illinois Humanities Council </a>in October. Click <a href="../../story/word-across-generations-kevin-coval-haki-madhubuti-aaron-samuels-and-sage-morgan-hubbard-93473">here </a>to hear the event in its entirety.</em></p></p> Sat, 05 Nov 2011 12:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/content/poet-haki-madhubuti-speaks-praise-libraries Altgeld library back in business http://www.wbez.org/story/altgeld-gardens/altgeld-library-back-business-84967 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-April/2011-04-08/ag library.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>A library opening in any community is cause for excitement. But today's dedication of the restored community library at Altgeld Gardens was particularly joyful.</p><p>The library at Altgeld was closed for more than a year after a pipe broke in early 2009, flooding the library and rendering its collection unusable. In late December dozens of residents of the public housing complex went to City Hall to demand that the library be re-opened.</p><p>The new facility is a collaboration among Chicago Public Schools, the Chicago Housing Authority and the city's library system.</p><p>To Cheryl Johnson, the new library is a portal beyond her isolated Chicago Housing Authority development. “You may live in public housing,” Johnson said, “but the library can take you internationally.”</p><p>The new library boasts 37 computer stations and free wireless internet. Library Commissioner Mary Dempsey says trained staff help people master the internet.</p><p>“Our reference librarians and cyber-navigators report sixty percent of their time is being used to help people search for jobs,” Dempsey said. Cyber-navigators teach people of all ages basic computer skills - setting up e-mail and searching the internet.</p><p>In addition to computer trainers, the Altgeld branch will have a teacher present after school to help students with their homework.</p><p>The new structure shares a building with Carver Elementary School and the Phyllis Wheatley Child Parent Center. It will be open six days a week.</p><p>There are currently 75 libraries in Chicago, with an additional four slated to open by the end of 2011.</p><p>Library Commissioner Dempsey credits MayorRichard&nbsp; Daley with being an advocate for the construction of neighborhood libraries.</p><p>“In a time when our colleagues in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, [and] Phoenix are seeing their budgets be slashed drastically, ours is improving. And in a very difficult economy to have your budget stay steady is a great victory but ours actually grew slightly this year because of the addition of the new branches.”</p></p> Fri, 08 Apr 2011 21:13:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/altgeld-gardens/altgeld-library-back-business-84967 Chinatown closer to new field house, library http://www.wbez.org/story/25th-ward/chinatown-closer-new-field-house-library <p><p>Chinatown residents are inching closer to winning some city resources that they&rsquo;ve lobbied for during the last several years.&nbsp;Chicago&rsquo;s City Council <a href="http://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/news.detail/object_id/00c4ff41-589f-47dd-93df-17a5e68a8219.cfm">allocated funding</a> in September for a new field house to replace one that was torn down nearly 50 years ago. More recently, the <a href="http://www.chipublib.org/">Chicago Public Library</a> and city officials identified a site for a new library branch and have started moving to acquire the property.&nbsp;The progress comes just as Chinese-Americans observe their 100-year anniversary in Chicago&rsquo;s South Side Chinatown.</p><p>The field house has been a particular sore point for young and elderly Chinatown residents alike. &ldquo;When I started fighting for this thing I had children,&rdquo; said Leonard Louie, President of the Ping Tom Memorial Park Advisory Council. &ldquo;And I think today my grandchildren are old enough to be able to use it. That's how long it's been.&rdquo;</p> <div>Louie himself used to play basketball at the old field house at Hardin Park, before the state tore it down in 1962 to expand the Dan Ryan Expressway. At the time, said Louie, Chinatown residents were promised that they&rsquo;d soon get another field house. Instead, Louie and other residents say children now often play volleyball over sidewalk fences, because there&rsquo;s no proper facility or community center. &ldquo;It's definitely a problem because you just have kids hanging out on the street and looking for things to do,&rdquo; said Louie. &ldquo;You're in a situation where you're just asking for trouble.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The Chicago City Council approved a $10 million allocation from the <a href="http://www.cityofchicago.org/content/dam/city/depts/dcd/tif/narratives/T_037_RiverSouthFA.pdf">River South TIF District</a> to finally build the facility near the southern end of <a href="http://pingtompark.org/Welcome%20to%20Ping%20Tom%20Park.html">Ping Tom Memorial Park</a>.&nbsp;At that price, park leaders will likely have to pare back their original vision for the facility.&nbsp;&ldquo;The original plans for the field house were to include a natatorium, which is an indoor swimming pool,&rdquo; said Louie.&nbsp;But park district officials estimate that could cost anywhere from $15 million to $18 million. More recent field houses, like the <a href="http://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/parks.results.cfm">Taylor-Lauridsen Playground Park</a> and <a href="http://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/parks.detail/object_id/cc227392-429c-42df-adec-bdb4023e94de.cfm">Jesse Owens Park</a>, did not include swimming pools, and ran just below $10 million. Still, Louie hopes whatever the city builds could be expanded to include a swimming pool later. He and other park leaders are also exploring the possibility of raising additional money to fund the natatorium.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Calls for a new library have also reached the right ears. Though the current Chinatown library is far from large, it has among the highest circulation rates in the city. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a very literate community,&rdquo; said Chicago Public Library spokesman Ruth Lednicer.&nbsp;For a long time, movement toward building a larger and newer facility was stymied by an inability to find a proper site. But now Chinatown and city officials agree that a privately-owned lot on the southwest corner of Wentworth Ave and Archer Ave holds enough space.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Right now, the parcel holds a parking lot and a small grocery store, both owned by the same person. The city&rsquo;s development committee recently approved a preliminary move to acquire the property through eminent domain.&nbsp;That matter is expected to come before the City Council at its meeting on February 9.&nbsp;But officials will also continue to negotiate with the property owner, who expressed an interest in jointly developing the land with the city to include a library.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Meanwhile, <a href="http://www.dannysolis.org/">Alderman Daniel Solis</a> (25th Ward) said he&rsquo;s working on getting a TIF district approved to fund the construction of the library.&nbsp;&ldquo;Specifically how much, it&rsquo;s too early to tell,&rdquo; said Solis. &ldquo;But the TIF would also look at opening up opportunities for other developments in the area.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>These developments are perhaps some of the early fruits of a recent political awakening in Chicago&rsquo;s Chinatown.&nbsp;C.W. Chan, a founder of the <a href="http://www.caslservice.org/">Chinese American Service League</a>, <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/news/politics/chinatown-looks-centennial-aims-political-clout">told WBEZ</a> in May that as the Chinese-American population in Chinatown and its surrounding areas grew quickly during the last twenty years, the community&rsquo;s needs grew, too. &ldquo;Recently the community has really been working very hard together to really take an inventory of our community needs,&rdquo; said Chan, &ldquo;and to see whether we can really have a much better working relationship with our elected officials to present our needs and to secure the kind of resources that we need in the community.&rdquo; &nbsp;</div></p> Fri, 21 Jan 2011 21:42:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/25th-ward/chinatown-closer-new-field-house-library