Four New Libraries “Pop-up” in Evanston

EPL is one of just five libraries in the country to offer this innovative service.

Pop-up LibraryWant to read a new book but can’t make it to the library? No problem. No library card? You don’t need one. With the EPL launch of pop-up libraries, you can check out a digital book in locations across Evanston with a smart device. EPL has placed digital pop-up libraries at various high-traffic Evanston locations in a pilot effort to remove barriers to service such as not having a library card or not being able to come into the library. This new service approach is designed to welcome and serve residents who do not currently have an Evanston Public Library card.

“We are looking forward to providing a new way to access the Evanston Public Library’s eBook collection in convenient places outside the walls of our libraries where we’d like to improve service,” says Library Director Karen Danczak Lyons. “We hope to welcome new members to our family of EPL patrons.”

No holds, no waiting.

There are no holds and no waiting for any of the titles featured on the pop-up units. Four mobile hotspots filled with free books are strategically placed around the city in busy, high-traffic places that are marked with posters. When at a pop-up library site, one can instantly download a free book of choice to a smartphone or other device. An array of hot titles has been loaded onto these popups for a one-week, free check-out period with no waiting. Users at the designated locations can log-in to the mobile hotspot by going to wireless settings on their device and tapping on the Pop-Up Library wifi connection. Next, they can go to the website on the poster and select a book. After doing so a prompt will appear to download the book to a phone or smart device so it doesn’t have to be streamed. No app is necessary. The book is ready to read.

popup library usersThe pop-up locations in Evanston are:

  1. Erie Family Health Center, 1285 Hartrey Ave.
  2. Presence St. Francis Hospital, 355 Ridge Ave.
  3. Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center, 1655 Foster St.
  4. Robert Crown Center, 1701 Main St.

Smartphone usage is growing dramatically. According to the Pew Research Center, at least 77 percent of Americans in 2017 owned smartphones, up from just 35% in Pew Research Center’s first survey of smartphone ownership conducted in 2011. Pop-up libraries allow smartphone users to immediately download a book, no card necessary, and with no fines or fees attached.

This new service is offered in partnership with Baker and Taylor and the Gerald M. Kline Family Foundation.


Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.

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