Mayor Emanuel Announces New Partnership that Gives Transit Riders Access to Chicago-Based Content On-Demand and Free of Charge

November 27, 2016
This is the next step in upgrading technology on CTA and highlights Chicago Public Library’s work to enhance services for residents

Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined Chicago Public Library (CPL) First Deputy Commissioner Andrea Saenz and Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) President Dorval R. Carter, Jr., today in announcing a new partnership that gives transit riders access to Chicago-focused content through the CTA's 4G subway wireless network. The CTA and CPL will be launching a joint marketing campaign in early 2017, to help direct riders to CPL's digital content, that will include e-books by Chicago authors, blog posts written about Chicago or by Chicago authors, as well as other city-focused curated content.

“Two years ago, Chicago became the first large city in North America to provide free 4G Wireless access on our trains. Today, we are taking the next step by providing free Chicago-based content on-demand. This innovative program will introduce Chicagoans to a new generation of talented, creative authors and works to enhance Library services for our residents,” said Mayor Emanuel.

The new partnership will also provide riders with the option to sign up for a Library e-card, which provides free access to ebooks, audiobooks, streaming music and movies through Hoopla, or e-magazines through Zinio. The Library will place special emphasis on works by Chicago authors, like titles written by Carl Sandburg Literary 21st Century Award winners. CPL recently expanded this ebook collection to make more titles available. Through a unique partnership with Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS) riders will also be able to access free books, movies and music with or without a Library card. All of this content will be available on a single landing page, chipublib.org/CPLonCTA

Chicago Public Library’s state of the art website provides an online experience that integrates with the catalog, showcasing the Library’s diverse range of collections, events and services. With a Library card and user account, patrons can instantly access streaming and downloadable eBooks, audiobooks, movies, television, music and magazines. Users can also rate titles, as well as write and read reviews of books, movies and music—visible not only to other CPL patrons, but also to the community of the 200 libraries around the world currently using this catalog platform. CPL’s was the first Library to launch this innovative library platform in 2014.

“Chicago Public Library allows for 24/7 access to our incredible collections and thoughtful, entertaining blog content through our website,” said Commissioner Brian Bannon. “By partnering with CTA we are going to introduce new users to our relevant and dynamic Chicago-based content.”

CTA’s 4G wireless network was installed in 22 miles of subway stations and tunnels on the Blue and Red Lines in 2015, through an initiative spearheaded by Mayor Emanuel’s Chicago Infrastructure Trust. The $32.5million project, paid for entirely by the four major wireless providers, provides millions of Chicago subway riders a faster mobile experience throughout their commutes. Over time, Chicago Public Library will continue to enhance its on-demand collections, allowing all Chicagoans to have engaging books, music and movies at their fingertips while riding the CTA.

“4G wireless communications is just one of the cornerstones of the CTA’s commitment to investing in technology,” said President Dorval R. Carter Jr. “This coverage complements other technologies that are enhancing our customers’ commutes, including expanded transit tracker information and the installation of more than 23,000 security cameras throughout our bus and rail system.”

The campaign will be designed through a pro-bono partnership by FCB Chicago and featured on CTA rail lines.

About Chicago Public Library
Since 1873, Chicago Public Library (CPL) has encouraged lifelong learning by welcoming all people and offering equal access to information, entertainment and knowledge through innovative services and programs, as well as cutting-edge technology. Through its 80 locations, the Library provides free access to a rich collection of materials, both physical and digital, and presents the highest quality author discussions, exhibits and programs for children, teens and adults. CPL received the Social Innovator Award from Chicago Innovation Awards; won a National Medal for Library Services from the Institute for Museum and Library Services; was named the first ever winner of the National Summer Learning Association’s Founder’s Award in recognition of its Summer Learning Challenge; and was ranked number one in the U.S., and third in the world by an international study of major urban libraries conducted by the Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf in Germany. For more information, please call (312) 747-4050 or visit chipublib.org.

The Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS) is a multi-type library consortium serving over 1,300 libraries in northern and western Illinois. RAILS provides continuing education and consulting, e-book services, delivery, shared online catalogs talking book services and more. Information about RAILS is available at www.railslibraries.info.

About the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA)
The CTA operates the nation's second largest public transportation system and covers the City of Chicago and 35 surrounding suburbs. On an average weekday, more than 1.6 million rides are taken on CTA buses and trains.


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