The Vernon Area Public Library's main building will close for remodeling beginning March 5.
Patrons will have continued access to books, DVDs, games, and other materials via a “Library to Go” to be operated out of the former library building on Indian Creek Road.
The $1.3 million renovation package was approved in January by the library’s Board of Trustees. Planned improvements include a new self-service café, a quiet reading room with a fireplace, and new dedicated areas for teens, early readers, and group study. The public restrooms will also be refinished.
The 50,000-square foot main library is expected to reopen by the end of May. During the construction period, library patrons will be able to access materials via the “Library to Go” in the library’s Annex building. The library’s Annex building is located directly behind the main library, with an entrance off of Indian Creek Road.
The 10,000-square-foot Annex will be familiar to some as the “old library” — it was home to the Vernon Area Public Library from 1979 until 1993, when the current building opened. It currently houses the library’s Technical Services department, storage for extra copies and seasonal materials, and a large classroom space.
A portion of the Annex will be fitted with shelving, computers, checkout stations, and some seating to provide patrons continued access to materials during renovations.
New books and bestsellers, movies, select magazines, and an assortment of other popular materials will be available for browsing and checkout at the “Library to Go.” Most other materials will be available by request: patrons can find an item in the catalog, place it on hold, and library staff will retrieve the item and notify the patron when it is ready to be picked up.
Patrons are also encouraged to explore the many options for digital materials offered by the library, including e-books, downloadable audiobooks, magazines, music, and more. Digital materials are accessible without a physical visit to the library, and are therefore unaffected by the building renovation. Digital content is accessible through the library’s website.
The project plans were designed by Product Architecture + Design of Chicago, and the project will be managed by Elgin-based IHC Construction Companies, LLC.
Project expenses are being covered by existing funds, which have been saved in a building fund as part of the library’s regular budget. No new loans, bonds, or tax rate increases are being used to pay for these improvements.
— Submitted by the Vernon Area Public Library