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The Chicago Public Library wants the public to know that all of its locations, "including the Harold Washington Library Center, Woodson Regional, and Sulzer Regional Libraries, will be closed on Wednesday, February 12, 2014."
For the same reason that they closed January 20 and will close again February 17.
To honor somebody's birthday.
In this case, Lincoln's.
But with the schools closed, wouldn't this be a good day for the libraries to be open? Maybe even with special programming?
Wouldn't at least some of the kids come in to find a book or movie, use a computer, or get some help researching a project? Wouldn't their parents be glad they were there?
And wouldn't that be a great way to honor a man who—in legend at least—read his way from a log cabin to the White House?
When I asked about the closing, library spokesperson Ruth Lednicer responded (by e-mail), "It is a city holiday, meaning all city employees are given the day off."
CPL employees also have a day off every weekend, unless they work at the Washington, Woodson, or Sulzer libraries, or the Pumping Station outpost. On these frigid Sundays, when suburban libraries are open and packed, all 76 of CPL's branches—even those in the spiffy new buildings that have gone up lately—are shut tight.
Says Lednicer: "The 76 branches are open six days a week, offering after-school hours in all neighborhoods as well as full-day Saturdays. This is typical for most large library systems, to offer Sunday hours at regional libraries while ensuring that the neighborhood branch libraries are open on school days."