September 8, 2014

Mayor Rahm Emanuel Kicks Off Teacher In The Library Program For 2014

Chicago Public Library Sees Historic Increase In Homework Help Provided To Students; Gains Follow Expansion Of Teacher In The Library Program To All 80 Library Branches And Partnership To Provide Live One-On-One Online Tutoring Seven Days A Week

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Public Library (CPL) Commissioner Brian Bannon welcomed students and teachers into the Mabel Manning library branch today to kick off a new year of Chicago Public Library’s popular Homework Help program, where Mayor Emanuel announced that the Homework Help program provided over 82,000 sessions to school children and teens during the 2013-14 academic year – a 38 percent increase in after-school educational engagement from the previous school year.

“Opportunities to learn shouldn’t stop when the school bell rings and the Teacher in the Library program offers students an added resource to receive help with their studies, at libraries across the city,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Critical investments in after school programs like Homework Help ensure that all of Chicago’s children have access to high-quality educational support that will prepare them for success in school from Kindergarten to calculus.”

This 38 percent increase in after-school educational engagement is the highest number on record and far exceeds CPL’s goal of increasing services to students by 20 percent. These gains follow Mayor Emanuel’s recent expansion of the Teacher in the Library program to all 80 library branches, and a new partnership to provide live one-on-one online tutoring seven days a week for all students with a library card. These recent investments make Chicago Public Library’s Homework Help program the largest and most comprehensive in the country.

“The Homework Help program has become a tremendous asset to Chicago Public Library’s strategic focus on nurturing learning,” says Library Commissioner Brian Bannon. “These after-school programs focus on helping with assigned homework and reinforcing concepts from the classroom. Parents constantly praise the positive impact their branch’s Teacher in the Library has made on their child’s grades and confidence in school.”

During the 2013-2014 school year, the Chicago Public Library’s extremely popular Homework Help successfully delivered academic support and guidance to thousands of Chicago school children and teens throughout the city.

In January 2013, Mayor Emanuel and Commissioner Bannon announced an expansion of the Teacher in the Library program to provide homework support for children throughout Chicago. Thanks to the Chicago Public Library Foundation, Teacher in the Library places fully accredited teachers in neighborhood branches throughout the city for structured, after-school guidance to help students complete homework assignments, using appropriate learning strategies so they can do the homework themselves and encourage independent thinking.

Through a partnership with Brainfuse, CPL’s website at provides one-on-one online tutoring seven days per week, between 2 p.m. and 11 p.m., for all students with a library card. This online homework service provides students tutoring, collaboration and study tools in Math, Science, Social Sciences, English, Language Arts and Computer Literacy. Assistance in these core subjects is available in English and Spanish for all students, from early elementary through advanced college prep. The site also provides a Spanish language study center and ESL assistance, as well as test preparation tools for the ACT/SAT, GED, and the USCIS citizenship test.

Students also have access to comprehensive writing assistance and productivity software assistance. For those requiring more detailed explanations of difficult concepts, students can submit questions to tutors or join online study groups in the Brainfuse classroom at any time, 24 hours a day. The Adult Learning Center includes all of these resources geared toward adult learners.

Since 1873, the 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 recently received the Social Innovator Award from Chicago Innovation Awards; won a National Medal for Library Services from the Institute for Museum and Library Services 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, visit or call the Chicago Public Library at 312.747.4050.