January 26, 2022

Chicago Public Library Receives $2.5 Million Grant to Expand Early Learning Spaces Across City

From the City of Chicago:

Mayor Rahm Emanuel was joined this morning by Chicago Public Library (CPL) Commissioner Brian Bannon at the Albany Park Library branch to announce a significant expansion of Chicago Public Library early learning spaces across the city.

Thanks to a $2.5 million grant from Exelon Corporation to the Chicago Public Library Foundation, CPL will open an 18,000 square foot flagship location at Harold Washington Library Center with 14 additional satellite locations to follow. This is the largest single gift ever made to the early learning initiatives at Chicago Public Library, and the expansion supports joint goals of the Library and the City of Chicago to provide access to quality early educational programming year round.


Chicago Public Library is a pioneer in early learning initiatives with cutting-edge programs available through 80 branch locations, and has longstanding experience championing early literacy and STEM learning. With more than ten million visits to neighborhood locations annually, CPL is among the city’s largest providers of free, high-quality early learning support. Each year more than 35,000 children and families participate in early literacy workshops provided by branch libraries. These programs are designed to support the basic building blocks for early literacy and success in school.


The 18,000 square foot children’s space at Harold Washington Library Center will serve as the flagship early learning center, much like the existing YOUmedia for teens and Maker Lab for advanced manufacturing. The fourteen satellite locations will draw inspiration from these current early-learning initiatives and the early learning prototype that opened in September 2014 at Chicago Public Library’s Albany Park location. Each of the following fourteen sites will provide STEM programming specific to the neighborhood each serves:

• Harold Washington Library Center
• Woodson Regional Library
• Sulzer Regional Library
• Austin Irving Branch
• Budlong Woods Branch
• Legler Branch
• Lozano Branch
• Little Village Branch
• Sherman Park Branch
• Toman Branch
• Kelly Branch
• South Chicago Branch
• Thurgood Marshall Branch
• West Englewood Branch
• West Pullman Branch

Read the Complete Announcement

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.