Public Library/School Library Hybrid

School Library Journal reports that Chicago has opened the Back of the Yards Library, a public library location that’s built specifically to serve as a school library. The school it serves is the new Back of the Yards High School, which is next door.

Staffed with Chicago’s first teen librarians (two part-time staffers share the position), the public library will also have a children’s librarian, plus a branch librarian who is also a K–12 media specialist, who will serve that role at the library for students who come to the branch during class hours. The library shares a wall with the school, but students have to exit their building to enter the branch. Heralded by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the hybrid archetype is reportedly one he hopes to replicate going forward.

This is an interesting project. In Houston we have a few libraries that are within steps of a school (elementary, middle or high), but none that share facilities like this. I’d look forward to hearing how the project goes as they move into the school year.

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Sandra Fernandez is a social media and public relations consultant, tech enthusiast, book lover, and blogger. You can find her main blog at and more of her writing at

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