In a last-minute protest, 14th Dist. State Rep. Kelly Cassidy and Women & Children First bookstore owner Linda Bubon met outside of the Rogers Park public library to demonstrate against library cutbacks Jan. 23.
Public library hours in Chicago were cut in the city's 2012 budget amid outcry from librarians and supporters. Libraries across the city will be closed on Monday mornings this year.
A handful of daycare children walked over to the Rogers Park Library, 6907 N. Clark, on Monday morning to find it closed. Instead, Cassidy and Bubon greeted the youngsters at the locked front door.
Bubon and Cassidy, both openly LGBT community figures, talked about their experiences growing up with libraries.
"I would spend hours just sitting in the stacks," said Cassidy.
Just four adults attended the protest, which was organized last-minute in solidarity with other demonstrations in the city. Mystery writer Sara Paretsky protested outside of the Beverly library branch, while others led protests at the Bucktown and Little Village branches.
In Rogers Park, Bubon read to the group of children, despite the cold drizzly weather. The old library hours remained on the door, but inside, the Rogers Park branch was dark.
The Rogers Park protest was put together the night before, Bubon said. Cassidy was invited the morning of the event.
Cassidy, whose district encompasses Rogers Park and Edgewater, noted that she holds satellite meetings with constituents at the Rogers Park Library branch.
"Ironically enough, my satellite hours were on Monday," she said.