Tuesday, May 19, 2015

From the Suggestion Box: Headphones


The suggestion box submission: “Headphones should be cheaper $1.75”

The Library sells headphones as a convenience to our computer users. You are welcome to bring your own. The headphones are purchased in bulk for the best possible price and sold at cost, rounded for convenience in making change. The current charge is $2.00 because the Library pays $1.96 each for the headphones.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Building & Expansion Planning Web Page

The newest addition to the Plainfield Library's web site is up! Take a look at the Building & Expansion Planning page on the Library's web site. On the Library's home page, you'll find it at the top of the Quick Links box on the left side of the screen. This will be your one-stop source for expansion planning information throughout the process. As documents and information becomes available, it will be posted there. Sign up for a special email newsletter exclusively on expansion planning. Take a survey and provide your feedback.

There isn't much posted yet, as the process is just beginning!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Original Library Room is a Misnomer

The “Original Library Room” isn’t an entirely accurate name for the southwest section of the current building, which was once the entire Library.

The first library building for the Village of Plainfield was actually a 750 square foot frame structure near the corner of Lockport Street and Illinois Street, where the Heritage Professional Center (formerly First Midwest Bank) now stands. That Library opened its doors in 1926.

What is now referred to as the “Original Library” was built in 1941 with the remaining funds from the two bequests that established a tax-supported Library for the Village of Plainfield.

The Plainfield Township Library also operated a library facility prior to merging with the Village Library to form the current library district. That 900 square foot facility opened in 1981, located in Grande Prairie Elementary School.

The current building expanded the 1941 facility from 2,700 square feet on two levels to 27,160 square feet on three levels. The expansion project began in 1990 and opened to the public in 1991. Staff began referring to the older section of the building as the “original library” and the name stuck.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Open House Report to Guide Priorities for Concept Plans

Thank you to all who attended the four open house sessions last week! In celebrating National Library Week with its “Unlimited Possibilities @Your Library” theme, you had the opportunity to give input for the first time in the Library’s expansion planning process. Ideas for fourteen 21st century library services from around the nation were presented with participants voting for their top three services. Ninety one people voted for their top 21st century library services.

With a combined total of 49.9% of the vote, the top five services were:
  • ·         Performance Space
  • ·         Early Literacy Space
  • ·         Digital Studios
  • ·         Study Rooms
  • ·         Quiet Space



The Library Board of Trustees will use the information gathered in these sessions to help prioritize services during the expansion planning process. The next step in the expansion planning process is development of concept plans for several options, including size of facility, parking, storm water retention/detention and estimated cost. The concept plans will be scored according to how well they meet the identified community needs and priorities for service. Using those scores, the Library Board of Trustees will determine which concept plan best meets the needs of the community. That concept plan will be the basis for design development of the final plan. The concept planning process is expected to occur during late spring through early summer.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Flyers NOT from the Library Found Around Town

It has been reported to Library officials that laminated flyers have been distributed around town. "Historic Library Puts Town on Map" is the headline at the top and a logo for Northwestern Medicine appears near the bottom of the page, with 5 paragraphs of typed text on the back. This flyer is NOT from the Library and doesn't reflect any plan or design for a future library expansion.

Our apologies for any confusion or misconceptions about the Library's future expansion planing that this may have caused.

The Library's design development phase will begin next week with a contract for architectural services on the April 15, 2015 Board Meeting agenda.

Drop by any of the four Open Houses next week to join discussions of 21st century Library services and what you want from your Library!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Board of Trustees to Pursue Single Building Options

At their regular Board Meeting in March, the Library Board of Trustees decided unanimously to pursue only single building options for the library's future expansion. The planning process began with an update to the 2008 Space Needs Analysis, a statistical overview of the Library's position among its peers according to current and projected service populations on the local, regional and national levels. This information guides an estimated space need for the projected service population. The next step is to create a building program, which an architect will use to guide development of a building design. The building program translates the Library's overall space need into specific types of space like meeting rooms, shelving areas and computer work areas.

Four major factors were discussed in the decision to pursue only single building options:

  1. Overall operational costs are significantly more for two buildings.
  2. It is a long term cost commitment to operation of two buildings.
  3. In an ideal situation, a branch would be located in the northwest quadrant of the library's service area. But our situation is not ideal. A "starter" service point could be used, like the pick up lockers and drop box service points utilized by some other libraries.
  4. This library has never passed an operating tax rate increase, even when it expanded from 2,700 sq ft to 27,000 sq ft.
So I now have at least one firm answer to "what's the plan for expansion?" So far, the plan is one building - everything else is still open to any possibility.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

From the Suggestion Box: Handicapped Parking

LC wrote:
"Handicapped parking for the Library should be in front of the building not on side. Handicapped people have to walk for their access."

You are correct. The handicapped parking is as close to the front doors as possible, given the location of the Library's front doors and parking lot. But it is still a distance from even the closest space to the front doors. If you investigate further, you will find additional ADA accessibility issues with the current building. The front door automatic opening mechanism is slow at best and makes the doors heavy if you need to open or stop them manually. Using top and bottom shelves on the 90" shelving makes much of our book collection difficult to access. There is no ADA accessible staff entrance. This means that staff members needing the accessible entrance and handicapped parking use the same handicapped spaces as the public and must use the front doors.

In a perfect Library, the handicapped spaces would be conveniently close to the front doors for the public with a separate accessible staff entrance with its own designated handicapped parking conveniently close. This Library building is far from perfect.

FTR - The Library does not have the authority to designate on-street spaces for handicapped parking.