Extended Hours at Waukegan Public Library

Post date: Wednesday, April 23, 2014 - 9:41am

At their April 16 meeting, the Waukegan Public Library Board of Trustees unanimously voted to extend the hours that the library is open to the public by two hours on Thursday evenings from 6 – 8 p.m. This brings the total hours the library is open to the public to 56. The hours were originally reduced in 2010 due to budget constraints.  “Our goal has always been to reclaim our lost hours and this is a step in the right direction,” states Richard Lee, Executive Director of the award-winning library.

As of Thursday, May 1, Library Hours will be:

Monday-Thursday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Friday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Electronics Waste Recycling and Paper Shred Event at Waukegan Public Library on April 19

Post date: Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - 10:36am

To celebrate Earth Day, the Waukegan Public Library’s Off the Grid (OTG) team is hosting a free recycle event for paper and electronic waste on Saturday, April 19 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the parking lot behind the library on the corner of Clayton Street and Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue.

Electronics and computer equipment to be collected include wires & cables, circuit boards, monitors, VCRs, DVDs, cameras, gaming consoles, modems, and telephones. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has classified most electronic scrap as hazardous waste. Improper disposal adds dangerous amounts of heavy metals, such as lead and mercury, and toxic chemicals into the country’s landfills. Electronic and computer items will be collected by Midwest Computer Recycling, Inc., and broken down into components for reuse and/or refurbishment.

Up to 9,000 pounds of paper will be shredded by a mobile truck run by Opportunity Secure Data Destruction (OSDD). The truck has a camera so that you can see the shredding in action. Paper can have staples, regular paper clips and rubber bands, but no large metal, plastic, x-rays, or batteries. OSDD takes all shredded paper to the paper mill for pulping and recycling.

OTG is a committee of Waukegan Public Library employees who meet monthly to discuss green initiatives in the library, such as implementing recycle drives for the needy in the community, developing Earth Week activities for staff and patrons, coordinating field trips to organizations who practice environmental initiatives, and planning an annual staff farm-to-table luncheon and bake off.

This will be the first recycle event at the Waukegan Public Library. The event is free and open to the public.

Get Covered by Midnight at Waukegan Public Library

Post date: Tuesday, March 18, 2014 - 4:23pm

Library will stay open until midnight on Monday, March 31 to enroll residents in health insurance available through the Affordable Care Act

The March 31 deadline for uninsured residents to enroll in one of the Affordable Care Act’s marketplace health plans is less than two weeks away and the Waukegan Public Library is planning to stay open until midnight that day to enroll as many residents as possible.

Out of 28 enrollment sites around Lake County, the Waukegan Public Library is one of the leading locations, signing up over 550 residents in health insurance since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was put into effect last October. The library is part of acounty-wide initiative to increase access to healthcare for Lake County residents called Enroll Lake County, headed by the Lake County Health Department/Community Health Center and the Alliance for Human Services.

The Waukegan Public Library will be the only Lake County location open until the midnight deadline. Bilingual navigators will be available for scheduled appointments, group sessions, and drop-in enrollment. Under the ACA, every individual in the country must have insurance by midnight, or they will face a fine of $95 or 1% of their annual income. Those who miss the deadline will have to wait for the next enrollment period although there are exceptions made for life changes such as a birth in the family, the loss of a job or a divorce.

“As navigators we have been able to change the lives of so many of our community members who were uninsured and seeing the smile on their faces when they receive their new health insurance cards in the mail is priceless,” said Tatiana Alonso, Waukegan Public Library Promotora/Ambassador Coordinator and Affordable Care Act Navigator. “It is an honor to be able to provide this joy to so many families in our community.”

In addition to its commitment to helping residents obtain health insurance, the Library also offers a bilingual Functional Health Literacy Navigation class, which teaches Lake County residents about their right to be healthy, including healthy eating habits to prevent illness and how to build trust with medical caregivers. The class is paid for by the Building Bridges through Health Navigation grant funded by the Health Care Foundation of Northern Lake County in partnership with the Alliance for Human Services.

“Knowing how to navigate the health care system is essential to our community, especially when almost 72,000 Lake County adults are uninsured,” said Richard Lee, Waukegan Public Library Executive Director. “As a library, our mission is to ensure that our patrons have access to the information and resources that they need to be successful. When access to health care is a barrier to that success, we must do what we can to remove the obstacles. Health literacy has become one of our most important initiatives.”

Although navigators will be on hand to accommodate drop-ins, the library is encouraging individuals to make an appointment. Residents should bring identification, their most recent paycheck stub, and social security card. To make an appointment or get more information, contact Tatiana Alonso at (847) 623-2041, ext. 273 or talonso [at] waukeganpl [dot] info.

In addition to health insurance sign-ups, all regular library services will be available until midnight, including book and movie checkout, computer and internet access, and fax service.