EPL is turning 150 and you’re invited on Oct. 14th!

EVANSTON, IL. – In 1873, Evanstonians unanimously voted to fund a free public library and make the assets of the former Evanston Library Association – all 932 volumes – free and available to the public.

In celebration of our 150th year of connecting Evanstonians to the resources available in their community, EPL is hosting an Open House on Saturday, Oct. 14. Drop by the Main Library or the Robert Crown Branch for events throughout the day. Here’s just a sample of what’s happening at our Main Library:

  • Score freebies like limited-edition bookmarks, and enter a raffle for one of our ‘I Read Banned Books’ tees. 
  • Go on a library scavenger hunt – we’ve got them for kids and adults!
  • Explore a crafty new hobby. Teens can use our button maker, and adults are invited to explore the art of origami hands on. 
  • Learn about Evanston’s history.  We’ll be throwing open the doors to our Evanstoniana room. 
  • Discover Evanston authors. Pick up our 150 Evanston Authors guide and see our curated collection of locally authored books. 
  • Get reading recommendations from your neighbors with our latest community book picks on display and help with your eReaders from our helpful tech staff.
  • Meet board members and volunteers and learn how you can participate more in your library. 

Plus join us for scheduled programming at both locations:

  • Repair Cafe. We’ll be fixing your stuff at our wildly popular repair clinic! Sign up for a timeslot with one of our volunteers to repair your small appliances, toys, garments, jewelry, books, electronics, knives and more. Robert Crown, 10 a.m. all ages
  • Eclipse Watch Party! Check out the annular eclipse with safe viewing gear. Main Library sidewalk, 10:30 a.m. kids
  • Birthday Storytime. Celebrate 150 years with stories of birthdays and counting. Robert Crown, 10:30 a.m. kids
  • Community Art Project. Paint with us and contribute to our next art installation. Robert Crown, 1-3 p.m. all ages
  • Gaming Tournament. Go head-to-head with your friend for a chance at glory on Super Smash Brothers, Mario Kart, Just Dance and more. Main Library, 1-3 p.m. teens

Thank You Reception 

The public is also invited to the 150th anniversary’s capstone event, a Thank You Reception, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Main Library, for our entire Evanston Public Library community. The reception will feature a program on the Library’s collaboration with Shorefront Legacy Center to fully digitize the Evanston Newsette and the Evanston Review and desegregate a portion of our city’s history. Join us and allow Evanston Public Library to express our gratitude for the role our community members play in making our work possible.  

Go behind the scenes!

Curious about how a library really works? Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the Main Library at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., or 3 p.m. and learn more about what it takes to bring you all the books and programs you love.  

Order your EPL swag

The Evanston Public Library has opened an online swag store with styles that celebrate EPL’s commitment to intellectual freedom and access to books and ideas. Get your ‘I read banned books’ and ‘Literacy & Justice for All’ tees, tote bags and mugs online at epl.org. 

A limited number of our most popular tees will be available at a discount at the Main Library during the Open House event, where we’ll also have giveaways for participating in our open house festivities. Proceeds benefit library programs that extend our reach to parks, schools, community centers and more all throughout Evanston. 

Dig into a good book from an Evanston author

The Evanston Public Library will be celebrating 150 Books by Evanston Authors. Pick up a guide this fall or drop by our Oct. 14 Open House to see our curated collection of locally authored books. 

Join the campaign

The Evanston Public Library relies on the generosity of our community members who go above and beyond to donate to the Library. Our $150,000 campaign in celebration of our 150th to fund programs and services that keep you connected – consider making a gift in honor of the next 150 years.

Learn more and find the full list of events on our 150th Anniversary page at epl.org/150. 



Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.

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