The city of East Chicago faces many challenges; the lack of emphasis on reading being a major concern, as it places children and adults at a disadvantage. In 2017, only 22.5% of students in local schools passed the subjects of English/Language Arts and Math on the ISTEP test and report cards from schools list their grades as “D’s” and “F’s.”

Adults are also negatively affected by the lack of reading; it produces a lower education level and a lower income. East Chicago has a 35.9% poverty rate with a median household income of $26,486. In addition, parents with lower education levels are less likely to push the importance of reading to their children.

The East Chicago Public Library (ECPL) is determined to bridge the literacy gap by being a valuable conduit to accessible information. By introducing programs to the community and local schools, direct contact with students and parents will initiate a relationship with the library. Special cultural events such as celebrations for Black History Month, National Library Week, Hispanic Heritage Month and more will also spark interest in wanting to learn more. Children and adults will be encouraged to visit the library, and while there they can explore other tools available to them.

Through programs and scheduled events, ECPL will incorporate services that are offered at the library, educating the public on the multitude of free tools available to them. As an institute that provides access to various resources and services, ECPL looks to assist East Chicago residents in accomplishing their goals and offering them the information that could help them reach their potential.

To learn more about the ECPL’s programs or scheduled events, visit