ALBANY PARK — Albany Park residents will have a library to call their own again — albeit a mobile one — beginning Aug. 5.
North Park University has agreed to lease a portion of its parking lot at 5151 N. Kimball Ave. to the Chicago Public Library for the operation of a bookmobile while the new $15 million branch of the Albany Park Library remains under construction through 2014.
City Council approval is required to authorize the lease, the rent for which is $1. The council's next meeting is scheduled for September. A right-of-way agreement will allow the bookmobile to open prior to the council's vote, according to Patrick Molloy, Chicago Public Library spokesman.
"A big part will be holds pickup," Molloy said, noting that a similar arrangement was struck during construction of Edgewater's new branch.
Unlike Edgewater, Albany Park's bookmobile will have a browsing section.
The facility will be stocked with an array of titles from the Albany Park branch collection, taken out of storage — everything from picture books to adult fiction — as well as any new bestsellers Chicago Public Library acquires, Molloy said.
Members of the community had expressed concern at the time of the branch's closure that alternative arrangements made for adults to access books at Northeastern Illinois University was inadequate for families with young readers. Directing residents to the Sulzer Regional, Budlong Woods and Independence branch libraries was similarly seen as challenging for children, the elderly and those lacking transportation.
The bookmobile now places basic checkout services in the immediate vicinity of the former library.
Tentative hours of operation will be Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursday, 3-7 p.m.
The Albany Park Library, 5150 N. Kimball Ave., has been closed due to construction since September 2012. The proposed lease extends to Dec. 31, 2014.