On Nov. 3 the Garfield Park Library officially opened its doors as the new “Green Library in the Park,” and they meant it. Previously known as the Shelby Branch, the entire building has been revamped and refurbished to focus on resource conservation and environmentally friendly living, thanks to a grant from the Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation.
The transformation took four months, and in the meantime loyal booklovers had to make due with a temporary facility, but now they can enjoy full use of a beautiful — and eco-responsible — new library back at good old 2502 Shelby Street. Outside, enthusiastic readers will find butterfly and wild bird gardens filled with native plants, charging stations for electric cars, rain barrels and a snazzy book-themed bike rack. But the greenery doesn’t stop there.
The library was redesigned with natural light in mind. Energy monitoring programming makes sure the 21 publicly available computers don’t take more than their fair share of electricity, and a composting area and worm farm has been created to deal with the messier bits of green living.
On top of being a shining example of energy and resource conservation, the Garfield Park Branch will also be a source of resources and education for anyone who wants to tune in to green living. Start your venture by stopping by, or check them out online at www.imcpl.org, or on Facebook on the Green Library in the Park page.