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CHICAGO-The new Oriole Park Branch Library at 7454 W. Balmoral Ave. in the Norwood Park community is the 44th built or renovated in the city in the last 15 years, but is among the first wave to include recycled materials in the $5-million construction project. At least 5% of the materials used in the construction of the 14,000-sf library are recycled, and 20% of the material came from within 500 miles of Chicago, city officials claim.

In addition to energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, the building includes a lighting system that automatically adjusts to make maximum use of natural daylight. A reading garden and auditorium with a seating capacity of 120 also is included.

About 60% of the library system’s buildings have been rebuilt or renovated during Richard M. Daley’s administration. “Libraries are community anchors, and they contribute immeasurably to the quality of life in our neighborhoods,” Daley says. “That’s why my administration has placed such a high priority on libraries, even at a time when budgets are very tight.”

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