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Skokie Public Library Helps Low-Income People

Despite the best efforts of the Chicago Housing Authority to prevent the public from learning about a Section 8 housing lottery this spring, librarians at Skokie Public Library made sure that thousands of people were informed.

In early April we heard about large groups of individuals queueing up outside the Chicago Public Library main library and branches before they opened. They had heard a rumor that the lottery for Section 8 (affordable) housing was starting soon and that they could find information at their local library. When the librarians tried to find out the source of the information, they ran into a brick wall. The Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) was not giving out any information …

One enterprising librarian from the Evanston Public Library got hold of the information and sent it out to all in her network. It arrived at our library without any mention of confidentiality … we decided to make the information public on our community website, SkokieNet.org. It went live on April 11th . And we started to get a steady flow of calls, emails, and visits to the website.

Here is the full story. Way to go, SPL!

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