Tuesday, July 19, 2011

"New" Reference Desk First Change of Many

If you've stopped in the Library since last weekend, you may have noticed changes. The long, low, built-in Reference Desk is gone, removed by the Maintenance staff and a volunteer (Thanks, Tyler!) and replaced by what used to be half of the Youth Services Desk. Sheets of plastic divide the Original Library Room into two separate rooms, one still accessible to the public, holding the magazines, local history and newspapers as before. As you go down the main stairs, you see the vacant space left by the removal of half of the Youth Services Desk.

This is the first step in the Library's Design on a Dimetm style project. The changes are geared toward continuing service and collections to meet the community's needs until 2015. Why focused on 2015? Well, the first possible expansion referendum date being considered by the Board of Trustees is November 2012. It takes about 24 months from groundbreaking to grand opening for most libraries. That makes the earliest possible library expansion open in 2015, giving us 4 years to try to keep making due and shoehorning things into the space we have.

More changes are coming, as we prepare for new, tall shelving and relocation of existing lower shelves. The construction aspects of the project will begin after Summer Reading Grand Finale, August 6 but disruption to public areas will be minimal.

Look for the next round of changes after the weekend!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Cooling Down Inside

A temporary fix has been made to the air conditioning. The temperature on the upper level of the Library is going down.

On par with the kind of day it's been, several offices were still not getting any cooling once the fix was made. Fortunately, a simple but time-consuming reset of thermostat modes corrected the problem. Cool air is flowing into all parts of the building again!

More A/C Issues at the Library

The Library's air conditioning is not functioning on the upper level of the building. The lower level is still cool, though.

The part necessary to fix the problem is not readily available. In the meantime, the service technician is attempting a temporary fix while we wait for the part. With the system being over 20 years old, breakdowns are becoming more frequent. With the anticipated weather for the next few days, we'll be thankful to have even a temporary fix.

Stay tuned for updates!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Plainfield Library Needs Another Nimmons, McClester or Stratton

After reading this American Libraries column, I started thinking about the Plainfield Public Library's rich history of bequests. The generosity of three families made our Library what it is.

Ebanezer and Celeste Nimmons left $25,000 to the Village of Plainfield "if the town shall have organized a free public library" to establish, equip and operate a tax-supported library.

George and Marietta McClester left a charitable remainder trust to the Village of Plainfield "to secure a proper and suitable site and cause to be erected" a library building. Any funds remaining following the building could then be used for maintenance of the library building.

The Village established the McClester-Nimmons Village of Plainfield Free Public Library in 1925. In 1926, the Library opened its doors, in a small, frame building on the south side of Lockport Street.

In 1940, the remainder of the two estates was used to purchase the property at 705 N. Illinois Street and build a new 2,700 square foot library. The McClester and Nimmons names can still be seen, carved in stone above the former entrance to the building that opened in 1941, now the Original Library Room.

Fannie Stratton left the remainder of her estate, a 160-acre farm, to the McClester-Nimmons Village of Plainfield Free Public Library. The farm was operated by the Library from 1954 to 1988, for additional income. Proceeds from the sale of the farm were used to help construct the 1990 addition to the Library and for the build out of the lower level in 1996.

The Nimmons, McClester and Stratton families left a lasting legacy to Plainfield with bequests that allowed our Library to grow into the vibrant community hub it is today.

Friday, July 1, 2011

June Statistics Setting New Records!

The very first statistics for the month of June came in this morning - and they are incredible!

747 new library cards were made in the month of June. That's equivalent to the number of cards made in a month at the height of Plainfield's housing boom!

Even more exciting is the number of checkouts from our digital collections. 1,270 were checked out through MyMediaMall, which includes ebooks and e-audiobooks in a variety of formats. That's more checks outs in a single month than libraries more than twice our size - Schaumburg, Arlington Heights, Evanston and Aurora!