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Waukegan Library’s expanded Literacy Suite re-opens

The Waukegan Public Library re-opened North Shore Gas Literacy Suite Jan. 22.  | Special Sun-Times Media

The Waukegan Public Library re-opened the North Shore Gas Literacy Suite on Jan. 22. | Special to Sun-Times Media

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Updated: March 27, 2013 2:12AM

The Waukegan Public Library re-opened the North Shore Gas Literacy Suite on Jan. 22 after an expansion project, which tripled the existing program and classroom space for family and adult education. The construction was partially funded by end-of-year donations totaling $10,055 from the “Deck the Walls Campaign,” and the remainder paid with allocated construction funds.

The library’s Literacy Suite originally opened in January 2010 offering no cost educational opportunities for adults and families in reading, writing, math or speaking English. Within the short amount of time since the room was open, the great demand for literacy programs at the library required additional space to accommodate large student waiting lists for classes such as Conversational ESL, Citizenship and Leamos, and space to hold new classes like Spanish pre-GED and Health Literacy Education.

Construction began in December to split the Literacy Suite into three separate classrooms. The new spaces can accommodate groups of up to 20 for computer classes, family and early learning, adult education and tutoring. There are also plans to purchase a second library SMART Board to help with family and adult literacy classes.

The Waukegan Public Library is offering opportunities for individuals or businesses to sponsor one of the new Literacy Suite’s children or adult classrooms. Sponsors will have their name prominently displayed on the wall of the room they are sponsoring and will be included in all publicity for that room, including class and program schedules. The current classrooms available for sponsorship include a tutor/study room for $5,000, a children’s classroom for $15,000, an adult computer classroom for $20,000 and an adult classroom for $25,000.

For more information on how to sponsor a classroom, contact Elizabeth Stearns at or call (847) 623-2041, ext. 256. In addition, the library is still accepting donations to help offset the costs of construction. Patrons may contribute online at All donations are tax deductible, accepted through the library’s foundation, a nonprofit with a registered 501(c)(3).

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