Monday, March 9, 2009

Features of the Proposed Library Expansion

In addition to doubling the size of the collection, the proposed library expansion includes many features and upgrades to the existing library. Here are a few:

The 300-seat auditorium located in the downtown library would provide a venue for numerous programs and events, especially additional cultural events in partnership with other organizations in Plainfield. Everything from Park District dance recitals to music programs to author events could be accommodated here. The venue is modeled after the auditorium in the Skokie Public Library, where they offer everything from community theater to their Steinway Young Musicians concert series.

Computer classrooms to seat 15 are planned for each of the two locations. These would allow for expanded computer classes for all ages. Local businesses and organizations would be able to rent these classrooms for training etc. when library programs are not in session. When not otherwise being used, the classrooms would provide additional computers for public PCs during peak usage times.

Internet PCs for public use will more than double, for 40 to more than 80. This expansion will allow for more separation of children's PCs by age group.

Expanded storytime rooms in each location would allow the library to accommodate more than twice the number of children in storytimes. With space for 25 participants plus their caregivers in each, these rooms would also be available to house other programs for young children.

Multi-purpose rooms in each location would accommodate programs of up to 100, but be divisible for smaller meetings and programs. These rooms would be available for rental to local businesses and community organizations also.

A program room exclusively for teen programming in the downtown would allow for expanded programs like the Homework Help Center. This space would provide a safe and positive environment for teens to participate in a wide variety of activities.

The downtown library parking lot will expand the current Village lot on Route 59 and connect it to a reconfigured Illinois Street parking lot. The reconfiguration of the Illinois Street lot should make it much more user-friendly. The placement of the Library's main entrance facing Route 59 should move the majority of library patrons' cars to the expanded Route 59 side of the lot. The Route 59 lot is generally underutilized today.

After hours pick up lockers are planned for both libraries. Residents will be able to request materials on hold for them be placed in a locker. Library staff would provide the locker number and code, allowing for 24/7 pick up of materials.

Drive up book drops will be located at each library allowing or more convenient return of materials.

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