- Providing a welcoming and accessible environment in which all individuals receive professional service and assistance in fulfilling their educational, research, literacy and entertainment needs.
- Educating and empowering the public through the preservation and distribution of timely and accurate information as guided by the Principles of Intellectual Freedom.
- Offering people of all ages and backgrounds a stimulating environment in which to discover a love of lifelong learning.
The Library offers dynamic, service-oriented programs with a goal of creating a literate public. We provide a place where adults can learn and practice new skills and children are given opportunities to interact with books and enjoy stories. The library occupies three floors, is 33,000 square feet in size and circulates over 375,000 items per year from an extensive collection of books, periodicals, media, E-books and downloadable audio. The entire facility is handicapped accessible and is equipped with a ramp and elevator. The reference and non-fiction collections are housed on the lower level of the building. Adult fiction, teen and youth services are located on the first floor. The second floor is home to the audio-visual materials, a computer lab, a training room for computer instruction, Outreach Services office, a community room, conference room and study rooms.
The library offers three pillars of service: Literacy and Education, Community Economic Development and Personal Pursuits and Enrichment.
Under a Literacy and Education umbrella, BPL offers direct literacy programming, curriculum support, and hosts community organizations offering literacy services.
Early Childhood (birth through 5)
- Toddlin' into Reading: Literacy for 0-3 year-olds – The library has programs to reach out to Berwyn families with children 0-3 years of age. Some of these programs are available in Spanish.
- Let's Read Together: Family Literacy Parent Workshops – These free seminars are designed to give Berwyn parents and caregivers tips on how to give young children a head start on a life of learning. Parent Workshops are held at schools and educational organizations throughout the City of Berwyn.
- Tell Me a Story: Preschool Storytimes - The Library serves approximately 500 children per month with thematic storytime programs. Staff visits each preschool class once a month for six months. Each child is presented with an Early Reader book to keep and take home to be read with a family member.
Homework Help (grades K-8)
- Utilizing trained volunteers, Berwyn students can receive free walk-in homework help.
Weekly In-house Storytimes
- Storytimes introduce children to the world of books and reading with fun and interactive experiences. These storytimes are often a child's first introduction to the development of pre-reading skills within a group setting.
Summer Reading Programs (Birth – Seniors)
- Children who don't read over the summer tend to lose literacy skills while children who do read during the summer actually improve their reading ability. Summer learning losses accumulate over several years and are an important contributor to the achievement gap. The Berwyn Public Library has partnered with the local schools to create a fun and highly participatory Summer Reading Program to support students' continued learning throughout the summer. We offer child, teen, and adult programs.
Morton West High School Students
- The Berwyn Public Library and Morton West High School have teamed up to offer literature-based support for students. The library supplements the school’s curriculum by offering multiple copies of five titles per year. Teacher's guides and classroom books are packaged by the library and loaned to the High School for the school year.
Adult Learners and ESL
- The Library is taking a leadership role to meet the growing need for ESL services in our community by working with 8 community organizations. These groups provide English for Academic Purposes and Life Skills ESL through personal tutoring, small group tutoring and classroom learning. We avoid duplicating current services and provide more access to learning tools for students and research for educators. The Library provides conversation groups, book talks for students, and a literacy center with space dedicated to their needs. The library also offers GED and citizenship classes.
- The Lucy A. Barahona Literacy Center is an updated resource collection that serves literacy learners of all ages, teachers and tutors. Located near the Computer Lab on the second floor, it is a "living" collection -- designed for browsing. Materials may also be delivered to Berwyn literacy programs, making it mobile as well.
The Berwyn Library has a consumer health service called "Ask Us."
- Patrons can request information about diagnosed conditions or diseases. Staff will provide patrons with current accurate information about their diagnosed conditions. The Berwyn Library has been designated as a Consumer Health Care Service Library by the Network of National Libraries of Medicine. We are one of only six public libraries in the state to have this designation.
- The library has a well-equipped computer lab with access to the internet, databases, and Microsoft Suite. We also have a learning lab for computing classes.
- The library provides free wireless internet access. Getting online is quick and simple, and there is no time limits. The wireless network is compatible with all enabled devices, such as a laptop, tablet, PDA or smartphone.
- The library offers free basic computer classes for adults. Classes cover mouse basics, keyboard basics, searching the internet, email, and Microsoft Office programs.
Community Economic Development
The Career Center offers adult patrons assistance for job searching
- Job seekers are encouraged to visit our Career Center located in the Reference Department on the lower level of the library to search for jobs, take online classes, and seek career or educational related information. Patrons can print and fax resumes for free. Also located in the Career Center are books on writing resumes and cover letters, tips on how to ace an interview, as well as additional information on searching for a job online.
- The library offers free resume writing workshops.
- The library maintains a Career Center blog with national and local job links, job searching tools, a jobs forum and a listing of community employment services.
- The library strives to help citizens unravel complex public policy issues and navigate community services and resources by offering an array of information/educational programs presented by skilled guest speakers. The library offers presentations and workshops on federal, state, and local programs and resources available to manage personal finances in this time of economic uncertainty. The library also participates in community planning initiatives and city-sponsored events that promote special programs or economic incentives.
Small business Resources
- With a Business and Libraries Working Together grant from the Secretary of State’s office the library offers business packages that include equipment (laptop computer, projector, video camera), software (planning and office functions) and training videos (office safety, sexual harassment, hostile workplace) to Berwyn businesses.
Volunteer and internship opportunities
- Library volunteers play an important role as partners in the library's goals of connecting people and building community. Youth, teen and adult volunteers contribute their unique talents, skills, and knowledge. Staff delegates meaningful work to volunteers and keeps them involved in jobs suited to the volunteer’s skills and ability for short and long-term projects.
- The library mentors a few Dominican University library students each year through our internship program. Interns shadow professional staff, offer off-site storytimes and gain experience through working an information desk. These are invaluable learning opportunities for both the individual interns and the library.
Partner with community organizations
- The library brings value to the community through the activities and programs we offer, the resources we provide, and the unique position the library has as an educational partner. The library recognizes the need for cooperation and collaboration within the community. The library actively participates in community events and works with targeted community organizations to provide meaningful and relevant literacy, economic development, and enrichment services to residents.
- Partnerships enhance the library and its activities, offering a mutual benefit to both parties. These collaborative partnerships include local schools, non-profit organizations, small businesses and governmental relationships within the City, County and State. Partnerships can assist the library with additional volunteer support, may underwrite expenses and can increase awareness of programs and services.
Personal Pursuits and Enrichment
With appropriate collections in a variety of formats the library strives to:
- meet the community’s desire for literature, popular titles, and information on current topics and issues of high interest.
- meet the community’s need for answers to questions on a broad array of topics related to work, school and personal life.
- support life-long reading for children, teens and adults that stimulate the imaginations, meet interests, and encourage reading for pleasure.
- adapt to changes in technology by making downloadable E-books and audiobooks available to all Berwyn library card holders.
Community reading program
- Berwyn Reads is Berwyn’s One Book, One Community reading program. This city-wide reading and discussion program encourages all residents to read the same book at the same time. The program runs biennially on odd numbered years.
Reading guides and blogs
- The library staff currently maintains multiple staff blogs. Blogs are accessible from the library’s website. They include Browser’s Corner (adult fiction), Career Center (job seeking), and children’s literature blogs that encourage reading for fun and discussion.
- The library creates suggested reading lists, read-a-likes, recommended websites, book discussion resources, and multiple guides to using library databases, resources and services.
On and off-site Programming
- The library provides free community-based programming. The library features an annual Fairytale Ball and off-site Trivia Night and Book Lovers programs. We host author talks, entertaining and informational lectures, and craft programs. The library presents wildly popular annual kids, teen, and adult summer reading programs. Between lectures, book and film discussions, writing, knitting and gardening clubs, a community reading program and an astounding array of programs for children, teens and adults, the Berwyn Public Library is a happening place.
Q1. What do you need to get a library card?
Q2. What is the checkout or loan period?
Q3. How do I access the library’s website from home?
Q4. What type of computer services does the library offer?
Q5. Does the library accept donations?