Chicago Public Library – Uptown Branch

The Uptown Branch will be a polling place on Tuesday, November 3 for precincts 9 and 15. As a result, we will be closed for library services on that day.  If you’re not sure of your polling place, you can check the location on the Board of Elections website.  (Just because you live close to the library, that doesn’t mean it’s your polling place!)

We’re also announcing, with some sadness, a couple of staff changes.  Branch Manager Mary Clark and Children’s Librarian Laura Jenkins have both decided to retire at the end of November. Librarians from other locations will fill in at Uptown temporarily, until their replacements are selected and in place.  You can use the branch email address or, even better, just call 312-744-8400 if you wish to reach the new staff after November 30.

Mary says:

In the ten years as Branch Manager at Uptown Branch, I have been very impressed by and very grateful for the support and generosity of the Buena Park Neighbors.  Anytime we partnered with BPN, the events and programs were a success: the aldermanic candidate forums, architectural preservation programs, and the Clean and Green effort that brought new plantings to our space along Sheridan.  Neighbors who were authors, musicians, artists, chefs, teachers and social workers, and let’s not forget the bird watchers, shared their knowledge and talents with the community. When the BPN Parents Group approached Alderman Cappleman about new carpeting for the Community Room, it was nothing short of a miracle that we received new carpeting throughout the Branch.  I found the BPN presidents and the small groups that met at the library to be thoughtful, sincere people.  A special thank-you goes out to Gene Tenner who has faithfully included library information in the BPN newsletter.  Uptown Branch Library will continue to thrive with Buena Park Neighbors close by!  Thank you for your part in making my last 10 years at Chicago Public Library so enjoyable.

Laura says:

The Uptown Branch provided me with my dream job.  I have loved being a part of this community, especially getting to know your children as they grow.  In some cases, I met them before they were born!  There has been so much pleasure in sharing songs and books and rhymes with babies who then turned into toddlers and hopped around in story time, and then eventually began the thrilling process of becoming independent readers.  Some children came to me as voracious readers, and then turned into teen volunteers, helping with summer programs.  And many of them have gone on to college and careers but have come back from time to time to say hello.  Thank you so much for sharing your children with me for (can you believe it?!) twenty years.  Many years ago I was at a party with people I didn’t know.  When I said I was a librarian, one person said, “Oh! I remember my librarian when I was a kid.  Her name was Mrs. So-and-so.” And then a second person said the same thing, and I thought: that’s what I want.  I want to have children grow up and remember me with fondness.  I hope that will happen with some of your children, and I can promise that I will remember you all with fondness and love.  This job was 99% wonderful, and sometimes I couldn’t believe that I was actually getting paid for all the fun I had.  Thank you for being such an enormous part of my life.  And, if you think your child would like a personal note from me, please email me at  with your child’s name and your mailing address and I will be very happy to send a note. In the mail! With stickers!


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