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Where to Check Out a Library Book Today

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCChicago.com

    Today, for the first working Monday in the city’s history, all the Chicago Public Library’s neighborhood branches are closed.

    Only three public libraries are open today:

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    • Harold Washington Library, 400 S. State St., 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
    • Carter G. Woodson Regional Library, 9525 S. Halsted St., 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
    • Conrad Sulzer Regional Library, 4455 N. Lincoln Ave., 9 a.m.-9 p.m.

    (Conveniently, Sulzer is the branch closest to Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Ravenswood home.)

    However, if you don’t live near one of those libraries, that doesn’t mean you can’t check out a book. Every suburban library is open today, and most of them are part of the Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS), which offers reciprocal borrowing privileges to all members. Locally, the only non-members are Park Ridge, Skokie and Oak Park.

    Here are the addresses and hours of a few suburban libraries convenient to Chicagoans:

    •     Evanston Public Library, 1703 Orrington Ave., 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
    •     Niles Public Library, 6960 W. Oakton St., 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
    •     Eisenhower Public Library, 4613 N. Oketo Ave., Harwood Heights, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
    •     Cicero Public Library, 5225 W. Cermak Road, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
    •     Evergreen Park Public Library, 9400 S. Troy Ave., 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
    •     Blue Island Public Library, 2433 York St., 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
    •     Calumet City Public Library, 660 Manistee Ave., 9 a.m.-9 p.m.

    I’ve never been to a library that wouldn’t allow an out-of-towner to use the Internet, so you can take advantage of that, too.

    However, if you’re an inner-city resident without a car or an elementary school student who wants to stop by the library on her walk home to read about African wildlife, you’re probably out of luck. You’re also probably out of luck if you’re looking for a book in Spanish or Polish. Life in Chicago is just going to be tougher for you from now on.

    Buy this book! Ward Room blogger Edward McClelland's book, Young Mr. Obama: Chicago and the Making of a Black President, is available on Amazon. Young Mr. Obama includes reporting on President Obama's earliest days in the Windy City, covering how a presumptuous young man transformed himself into presidential material. Buy it now!