Thursday, October 16, 2014

Compliment of the Day: Kudos for Computer Instructors

As a Library Director, it always makes my day when someone goes out of their way to compliment a staff member on a job well done. We’ve been on a roll with these kinds of compliments recently, especially in the area of computer instruction. One was a compliment for ES, helping a gentleman at the public computers with a resume. Another was a compliment for LS, teaching and spending extra time working with a Computer Class student with special needs. A third compliment commended multiple staff members on their willingness to answer computer questions and provide excellent support for our public computer users.

Despite the limitations of the Library’s Computer Classroom, our computer instructors and staff are able to provide instruction and support for computer users and learners at all levels. Even at the public computers, staff help computer users as much as they can. Their hard work does not go unnoticed! Thank you, instructors, for a job well done!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Question of the Day: Can’t the Literacy DuPage representative set up their display somewhere else?

The full question was: Can’t the Literacy DuPage representative set up their display and talk to potential volunteers somewhere that is not right by the computers?

The short answer is no. There just isn't anywhere else that allows for connecting with adults as they enter and exit the library. With no space on the ground level for a person with a display, the choices become the entry areas on the upper or lower level. Since Youth Services is housed on the lower level, the upper level entry area is the choice. Now look at the space: stairs, hallway area, opening onto the main floor. And where is the first logical place for a display as you enter? The table across from the Check Out Desk stands in the space available, right behind the public computers. It’s Literacy Awareness Month. Our library was the first partner outside of Dupage County for Literacy DuPage. No other agency in Will County fills this need. Literacy DuPage relies on volunteers to provide tutoring for adult literacy learners. Allowing a volunteer to recruit other volunteers at our library to help fulfill literacy needs in our community makes sense.

This is another example of the current building’s deficiencies as a functional library.

On the positive side - this display and volunteer recruited more than a dozen new volunteers for Literacy DuPage.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Question of the Day: Why was the Museum Pass checked out when I tried to get it?

This question was asked at the Check Out Desk recently: “Why was the Museum Pass checked out when I tried to get it? I was the first person at the Check Out Desk!”

Yes, you may have made it to the Check Out Desk first, but you were not the first in line. What you did not notice or were too late to see was the physically challenged woman who was waiting at the front doors well before the Library opened. She stopped Maintenance Assistant Jayne O outside to ask for help. This customer knew that she could not be first to the desk if she had to wait for the elevator, even though she was the first person waiting for opening time. So Jayne went to the Circulation staff on this customer’s behalf and brought her the passes for which she’d been waiting. 
The first customer received the passes, she just needed a little help to get them.

This story is just one more example of the deficiencies of the current building in providing library service to our community.

Friday, July 18, 2014

What is a Public Library?

Assistant Library Director Lisa Pappas shared this blog post from BookRiot: Libraries Are Not a "Netflix for Books". The author's words resonated with both of us. The role a public library plays in its community cannot be reduced to comparison with a for-profit company. The core philosophy of public libraries, open and equitable access for all, is diametrically opposed to profit motive. A public library provides an environment where people can improve their lives. It is more than any set of services, more than books, more than the staff. Ms Jensen states it clearly:
"The library is the center and the heart of community."

Monday, April 14, 2014

Celebrate National Library Week with Us!

The Plainfield Public Library District is facing many of the same issues that libraries across the country are facing today: a perception that public libraries are irrelevant, just warehouses for books. However, the role of the public library is evolving, not becoming irrelevant, as shown in Libraries are Dying? Think Again on CNN today. A strong library is able to not only withstand change, but thrive within it. The internet was seen as a threat to libraries, but people are learning that getting thousands of results for a search was not as useful (or quick!) as having a professional sort through that information to provide needed answers. The library’s role as a gathering and collaboration space has grown as people seek connection to the community beyond home and work. Embracing this evolving role requires looking at things differently and getting people to experience the reality of today’s library. 

Celebrate National Library Week with us and experience how we can connect you to information, to fun and to your community! 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

My Neglected Blog and a Front-Page Article

Apologies for the quiet here on the blog! There are half a dozen unfinished posts for this blog that I really should have finished and posted.

Well, 2014 is a new year and things are hopping at the Library. But our perennial issues remain. Check out yesterday's Joliet Herald News front page article on the Library and our space issues:
Librarians Look for Elbow Room

We're doing our best with what we've got - and kudos to our staff for staying positive and finding creative solutions for our most pressing needs.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Parking Lot Project Underway!

It would be impossible not to notice the construction being done on parking lots around the Library if you have visited the Library or driven by on Route 59! The pavement has been removed from the Village's Illinois Street lot and the lot beside the Library. The Library's vacant lot fronting Route 59 has been cleared and leveled in preparation for paving. The redesign and expansion of parking around the Library is a cooperative project with the Village of Plainfield. It will result in a continuous parking lot with wider spaces and aisles for public parking to serve both the Library and the downtown area. Features of the new lot will include landscape barriers, a new location for the Library's dumpsters for trash and recycling, and a walkway to Lockport Street along the access drive beside the former Baci building.

Residents have expressed two main concerns regarding the project:

To achieve the most functional and efficient design, trees on the Library's vacant lot fronting Route 59 were removed. As many as possible were saved along the northern side of the lot. While the removal of existing trees was necessary, improvements to the adjacent landscaping are planned for the Library property in addition to the landscape barriers included in the parking lot design. In the Spring, the Library will undertake a project to address both the issues of drainage on the southeast corner of its property, a need identified in the 2012 Library Building Evaluation, and the aesthetic improvement of its grounds.

Concern about cars cutting through the redesigned lot from Illinois Street to Route 59 has been expressed in social media. The design of the new lot will not have direct access from Illinois Street to Route 59, to deter its use as a cut through. Should this still become an issue, measures to slow through traffic, such as speed bumps, would be installed.

Though the construction and lot closures are an inconvenience at this time, the end result will be a larger, functional public parking lot to serve the Plainfield community. The Library Board of Trustees and staff appreciate your patience  as this project moves toward completion.