The Evanston Public Library’s Robert Crown Branch is kicking off its Evanston Community Journal program to help document the stories and capture the identity of our community.
Patrons can check out one of three empty journals (one each for kids, teens, and adults) for two weeks and return it with up to four pages filled with their own content. Patrons are encouraged by prompts to write about their connection to Evanston—their first memory of living here, how the city has shaped their family, what makes the city special, and more. But any kind of content is alright, as long as it’sG-rated and kind.
Writing, poetry, artwork, collage, or anything that can translate onto the page without compromising the integrity of the journal is welcome. All languages are welcome as well. When the journals are filled, they will be added to the Library’s permanent collection and available for all to read for posterity. Check out a journal here today!
Robert Crown Branch Librarian Bea Echeverría was inspired to launch the Evanston Journals program by a similar initiative started by the American Library Association and other Libraries across the country. She said the intention was to create a way to draw the community together and gather stories from individuals all across Evanston.
“It’s truly for the people, by the people,” she said. “And I like that idea, of things made on a grassroots community level.”
The journals are free for anybody to use. If the project takes off, Echeverría said it could become a way of documenting the historic record of Evanston through the eyes of its people, which would present a unique perspective.
“Either we read hardcore nonfiction or fiction, but you hardly ever read the lives of people around you,” she said. “It’s nonfiction, but reads like fiction. I think that’s pretty cool.”