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.

Pop-Up Stores Step Aside: Introducing the Pop-Up Library

November 6, 2018

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.

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