Imagine you’re sitting, waiting, bored. Maybe you’re at the Robert Crown Center, waiting for your kid to get out of hockey practice. Maybe you’re in the waiting room at the Erie Family Health Center waiting for your appointment. Perhaps you’re at the Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center, waiting for a show to begin. Waiting can be tough, so wouldn’t it be cool if there were free books available for download at each of those locations? And wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t need your library card to look at them?
Introducing the Pop-Up Libraries of Evanston, IL, brought to you in partnership with Baker and Taylor and the Gerald M. Kline Family Foundation. You’ve heard of pop-up stores, I’m sure, but a library? Absolutely. Evanston Public Library has strategically placed five mobile hotspots filled with free books around the city. If you see one of our signs, you’ll be able to whip out your phone or device and instantly download a book for free of your choice. An array of hot titles have been loaded onto these hotspots, and there’s no waiting. See something you like? You can have it for a week, no charge. Just log-in to the mobile hotspot by going to your wireless settings and tapping on the Pop-Up Library wi-fi connection. Next, go to the website on the poster, and select your book. After you’ve done so a prompt will appear, instructing you to download the book to your phone or smart device so you don’t have to stream it to read it. You don’t need to download an app. Just put the book on your browser and go.
Why are we doing this? Here at the library, we realize that a lot of people have phones and other smart devices but not everyone keeps their library card on them at all times, or even has one that they can use. This is our way of getting ebooks into people’s hands in the places where they often have time to kill. And Evanston is one of only five library systems in the United States trying out these devices.
Interested in giving it a go? Here are the Pop-Up Library locations at this time. Look for the instructional posters at each site:
- Erie Family Health Center (1285 Hartrey Ave, Evanston, IL 60202)
- Presence St. Francis Hospital (355 Ridge Ave, Evanston, IL 60202)
- Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center (1655 Foster St, Evanston, IL 60201)
- Robert Crown Center (1701 Main St, Evanston, IL 60202)
There’s also a fifth location but it’s a bit of a surprise. Expect that to be announced another day.