Betsy Bird has landed at the Evanston Public Library. Who, you might ask, is Betsy Bird? Well, if you're more into fantasy football than a dream librarian lineup, this is akin to Walter Payton being available for your roster. Bird arrives in Evanston from Manhattan and the New York Public Library, where she was the youth materials specialist, aka children's librarian, with a budget of $1.7 million to purchase everything from the classics to "Captain Underpants" for 89 branch libraries, and in charge of not only the 50,000 volumes in the children's section, but treasures like the...

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“The library in summer is the most wonderful thing because there you get books on any subject and read them each for only as long as they hold your interest, abandoning any that don't, halfway or a quarter of the way through if you like, and store up all that knowledge in the happy corners of your mind…” ― Polly Horvath, My One Hundred Adventures

Growing up, I had a blue Schwinn bicycle with a double basket on the rear wheel and almost every day in the summer I would ride it down to the Sterling Public Library. It was a Carnegie library built of red brick in 1905. I had...

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