Much is afoot at the Evanston Public Library, where new director Karen Danczak Lyons took over in March after a long career with the Chicago Public Library.
Perhaps most notably, Lyons and her staff are making plans to take over operations of The Mighty Twig, the independent library founded by volunteers last March after the city closed the South Branch due to lack of funds. Under a proposal approved by the library board, the new branch would be staffed by Evanston Public Library employees with help from volunteers, and would be supported by fundraising and grants.
Lyons and her staff are also studying the feasibility of a new branch location in west Evanston, in line with a strategic plan for the years 2011 through 2014 that sets improved accessibility as a major goal.
The strategic plans calls not just for an increase in the library’s physical reach but also an increase in its outreach to different demographics within the city. Given Evanston’s growing Hispanic population, the library recently hired a Latino Outreach Library Assistant and is expanding its programs for Spanish speakers.
Patch plans to sit down with Lyons in the next week or so to ask her about her vision for the library’s future and what challenges she sees along the way. We’ve got some ideas for questions, but we’d like to know what readers want to learn. Tell us what you’d like to ask Lyons in the comments and we’ll do our best to include it in the interview.