Library Closure FAQ

Is the library open?

All Evanston Public Library buildings are closed until further notice.

What if I have a question for the library?

You can speak to a librarian M-F, 9am-5pm at 847-448-8630. You can also reach a librarian through email or IM, which you can find at https://www.epl.org/ask-a-librarian/

How can I read books while you are closed?

The Evanston Public Library offers a digital collection of eBooks and audiobooks – accessible from the comfort of your home, 24/7, with an Evanston Public Library card.

You can also download these library apps onto your devices for access to our digital collections:

In fact, there are many library resources you can access from home with your Evanston Public Library card. Consumer Reports, Mango Languages, the NY Times and Chicago Tribune are just a few. Go to https://www.epl.org/resources/ for a complete list.

How do I return books or movies that I have checked out? What about WiFi hotspots?

Good news! There is no need to return any materials while the library is closed. All book drops are closed. Due dates have been automatically extended and no fines will accrue while the library is closed. This also applies to WiFi hotspots. Please hold on to the items you have checked out until the library reopens. Thanks!

Will I be charged an overdue fine? 

No. Due dates have been automatically extended until June 1 and no fines will accrue while the library is closed.


What if I don’t have a library card?

If you live in Evanston, or attend a D65 or D202 school, but do not have a library card, you can apply for an Evanston e-Card that will allow you to access the library’s online resources and check out e-books and e-audiobooks.

Apply for an e-Card here

Other local libraries are also offering this service for their residents.

For example, if you are a Chicago resident, Chicago Public Library is offering the same service.

What if I teach at an Evanston school but don’t live in Evanston?

Each D65 school and ETHS have a school card number that can be used to access EPLs databases for school assignments, research, etc (these cards do not work for Libby, Hoopla or Kanopy). Teachers can reach out to Amy Odwarka at D65 or David Chan at ETHS to get their school card number. Students should ask their teacher for their school card number or use their personal Evanston library card number.

What if my library card expired?

We have automatically extended all library cards that were set to expire while we are closed. If you are having issues with your library card, please call the library for help Monday through Friday between 9am and 5pm. The number is 847-448-8630 and is being staffed remotely.

How do I read today’s newspapers if I don’t have my own subscription? 

Many newspapers offer several–not many–free articles a month at their website, e.g. the New York Times. If you’ve exhausted those or if the newspaper of your choice does not offer any free access, e.g. WSJ, go to ProQuest Global Newsstream at https://www.epl.org/resources/, be ready to enter your EPL card number, and then choose your publication (select the “Publications”) tab and select “Latest available issue,” which is usually today’s.

How do I get help with holds, reference requests, and other questions?

You can call the library for help Monday through Friday between 9am and 5pm. The number is 847-448-8630 and is being staffed remotely.


I use EPL for free internet.  How do I access free internet when the library is closed?  

Those who qualify for public assistance (SNAP, free lunch, etc.) can get 60 days of Internet Essentials free from Comcast. Apply by April 30th (available via mobile) online or call (855) 846-8376.

Check this map for free wifi locations.

Xfinity WiFi hotspots LOCATED IN BUSINESSES AND OUTDOOR LOCATIONS are available to anyone who needs them for free during the COVID-19 national emergency, including non-Xfinity Internet subscribers. The Evanston locations are listed at the bottom of this page.


Is the library social worker still available to help people?

Yes, the Evanston Public Library Social Worker is available to provide support and help navigate services during this difficult time. Christina Mendez can be reached at 847-448-8659. She is available Monday-Friday from 10 am-6 pm. We encourage you to leave a message. She or another mental health provider will return your call.

Si necesita hablar con alguien en Español para apoyo con su bienestar, por favor contacte a Cindy Castro, trabajadora social, al número 847-316-3703, está disponible de lunes a jueves de 9-4pm. Si no contesta, por favor de dejar un mensaje y ella le regresara la llamada lo más pronto posible.


How do I apply for unemployment benefits?

The IDES (Illinois Department of Employment Security) FAQ page for Covid-19 related unemployment questions is the best source of information for individuals who find themselves unemployed because of the Covid-19 emergency.

ILAO (Illinois Legal Aid Online) also has very good, up-to-date information for unemployed Illinois residents.

All physical unemployment offices are closed until further notice.

Apply online at the IDES website or call (800) 244-5631. You cannot apply in person. IDES offices are closed due to coronavirus.

Because there are so many people applying for unemployment benefits, they are requesting that applicants apply online or call during designated times, based on your last name:

Online application schedule

The online application is closed from 8pm-10pm every night for processing.
Otherwise, it is open.

Last name begins with A-M Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays
Last name begins with N-Z Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays
Anyone who can’t apply on their designated day Saturdays
Call center schedule

The call center is open at (800) 244-5631 from 7:30am-6pm every weekday.

Last name begins with A-M Tuesdays and Thursdays
Last name begins with N-Z Mondays and Wednesdays
Anyone who can’t call on their designated day Fridays

Information Needed to File for Benefits: 

  • Your Social Security Number and Name as it appears on your Social Security card; 
  • Your Driver License / State ID (this will provide your weight, which is required when filing); 
  • If claiming your spouse or child as a dependent, the Social Security Number, date of birth and name(s) of dependent(s); 
  • Name, mailing address, phone number, employment dates, and separation reason for all the employers you worked for in the last 18 months; 

° Wage records (W-2 form, check stubs, etc.) from these employers may be necessary. 

  • If you worked since Sunday of this week, the gross wages earned this week; 

° You must report all gross wages for any work performed, full or part-time; 

° Gross means the total amount earned before deductions, not “take home pay”, including wages in the form of lodging, meals, merchandise or any other form; 

° Gross wages must be reported the week in which they are earned, not the week in which you receive the wages; 

° If your gross wages earned in any week are less than your weekly benefit amount, you still may be eligible to receive a full or partial benefit payment); 

  • Records of any pension payments you are receiving (not including Social Security); 
  • If you are not a United States citizen, your Alien Registration Information; 
  • If you are a recently separated veteran, the Member 4 Copy of the DD form 214 / 215; 

° Other copies of the DD Form 214 / 215 are acceptable, but the Member 4 copy is the most commonly available.

  • If you are separated from work as a civilian employee of the federal government, copies of your Standard Form 8 and Personnel Action Form 50.  

What are some emergency resources for Evanston residents that are available?

City of Evanston’s Coronavirus Information Page is the best centralized resource for information and resources available to Evanston residents (including information about utilities, bills, food, housing, etc).

The Illinois Department of Financial Protection and Regulation (IDFPR) has also issued guidance on Help for Consumers Struggling to Make Payments on their Debts Due to the COVID-19 Crisis and Guidance for its Regulated Financial Sectors.  This guidance includes information for Illinois residents who are having issues with paying student (and other) loans, mortgages, rent, and other debts. 


I’ve either lost my 2020 Census mailer or I never received it in the first place, and I want to make sure that I’m counted. What can I do? 

If you never got the mail or can’t find it, it’s not a problem! Go to https://my2020census.gov/login and click where it says If you do not have a Census ID, click here. You will be taken to a series of screens that ask questions about your address: answer each and then press the “Next” button in the lower right corner to move to the next question.

If you need help, there’s a “help” button on each page–or call our Reference Desk at 847-448-8630 Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm. Note that there is NO citizenship question: the census counts citizens and non-citizens alike! Completing the census is not only required by law, it helps your community secure important federal funding needed to support services for you and your family.


How can I get tax assistance?

The federal and state tax filing deadlines have both been extended to July 15, 2020.

Check this website from our free tax assistance provider LadderUp for information about their reduced services due to Covid-19.


How can I get Landlord/Tenant Help?

Our partner Metropolitan Tenants Organization is accepting phone calls at their 24 hour hotline number 773-292-4988. They are prioritizing Evanston calls, with a callback time between 24-48 hours.


Open WiFi locations in Evanston:

1. Xfinity WiFi
737 Reba Pl
Evanston, Illinois 60202
Site type: Government / Library / Other
SSID: xfinitywifi
11. Xfinity WiFi
621 Madison StEvanston, Illinois 60202Site type: Government / Library / OtherSSID: xfinitywifi
21. Xfinity WiFi
635 Chicago AveEvanston, Illinois 60202Site type: Government / Library / OtherSSID: xfinitywifi
2. Xfinity WiFi
648 Custer Ave
Evanston, Illinois 60202
Site type: Outdoor
SSID: xfinitywifi
12. Xfinity WiFi
537 Custer AveEvanston, Illinois 60202Site type: Government / Library / OtherSSID: xfinitywifi
22. Xfinity WiFi
749 Chicago AveEvanston, Illinois 60202Site type: Eating / Restaurant / BarSSID: xfinitywifi
3. Xfinity WiFi
702 Madison StEvanston, Illinois 60202Site type: Government / Library / OtherSSID: xfinitywifi
13. Xfinity WiFi
709 Chicago AveEvanston, Illinois 60202Site type: Government / Library / OtherSSID: xfinitywifi
23. Xfinity WiFi
801 Chicago AveEvanston, Illinois 60202Site type: Government / Library / OtherSSID: xfinitywifi
4. Xfinity WiFi
548 Elmwood AveEvanston, Illinois 60202Site type: OutdoorSSID: xfinitywifi
14. Xfinity WiFi
707 Washington StEvanston, Illinois 60202Site type: Government / Library / OtherSSID: xfinitywifi
24. Xfinity WiFi
1000 South BlvdEvanston, Illinois 60202Site type: Office BuildingSSID: xfinitywifi
5. Xfinity WiFi
601 Linden PlEvanston, Illinois 60202Site type: Government / Library / OtherSSID: xfinitywifi
15. Xfinity WiFi
705 Washington StEvanston, Illinois 60202Site type: Government / Library / OtherSSID: xfinitywifi
25. Xfinity WiFi
832 Custer AveEvanston, Illinois 60202Site type: Financial / Travel / Other / ProfessionalSSID: xfinitywifi
6. Xfinity WiFi
620 Madison StEvanston, Illinois 60202Site type: Government / Library / OtherSSID: xfinitywifi
16. Xfinity WiFi
750 Chicago AveEvanston, Illinois 60202Site type: Government / Library / OtherSSID: xfinitywifi
26. Xfinity WiFi
729 Chicago AveEvanston, Illinois 60202Site type: Government / Library / OtherSSID: xfinitywifi
7. Xfinity WiFi
740 Custer AveEvanston, Illinois 60202Site type: Government / Library / OtherSSID: xfinitywifi
17. Xfinity WiFi
733 Chicago AveEvanston, Illinois 60202Site type: Government / Library / OtherSSID: xfinitywifi
27. Xfinity WiFi
743 Chicago AveEvanston, Illinois 60202Site type: Government / Library / OtherSSID: xfinitywifi
8. Xfinity WiFi
625 Madison StEvanston, Illinois 60202Site type: OutdoorSSID: xfinitywifi
18. Xfinity WiFi
739 Chicago AveEvanston, Illinois 60202Site type: Government / Library / OtherSSID: xfinitywifi
28. Xfinity WiFi
842 Custer Ave – AlleyEvanston, Illinois 60202Site type: OutdoorSSID: xfinitywifi
9. Xfinity WiFi
900 Washington StEvanston, Illinois 60202Site type: Government / Library / OtherSSID: xfinitywifi
19. Xfinity WiFi
609 South BlvdEvanston, Illinois 60202Site type: Government / Library / OtherSSID: xfinitywifi
29. Xfinity WiFi
528 Kedzie StEvanston, Illinois 60202Site type: Government / Library / OtherSSID: xfinitywifi
10. Xfinity WiFi
813 Sherman AveEvanston, Illinois 60202Site type: OutdoorSSID: xfinitywifi
20. Xfinity WiFi
745 Chicago Ave
Evanston, Illinois 60202
Site type: Government / Library / Other
SSID: xfinitywifi
30. Xfinity WiFi
710 Main StEvanston, Illinois 60202Site type: Government / Library / OtherSSID: xfinitywifi

 

 

Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.