Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Expansion planning process wrapping up

With just two more Library Board meetings in 2015, the expansion planning process is nearly at an end. It’s been more than a year since the Plainfield Public Library District’s Board of Trustees began planning for an expansion to go on the 2016 ballot. By year end, the Library Board is anticipated to vote on the ordinances which would place referendum questions on the ballot for the March 15, 2016 Primary Election.

The planning process began in November 2014 when Anders Dahlgren of Library Planning Associates was contracted to update the building program with population projections and statistics. The public input began in April 2015 with Open Houses to gather community input on services for a 21st century library. Public meetings throughout the summer and fall gathered more feedback as the plans came together, helping to refine the concept plans. A telephone survey tested community support for the targeted maximum tax impact. Ultimately, public support for the project will be measured at the ballot box in March.

Visit the Building and Expansion Planning web page for the latest information on the plans and to provide feedback.

The Library Board meetings are Thursday, December 3 at 7:00pmin the Storytime room and Wednesday, December 16 at 6:30pm in the Small Meeting Room. All are welcome to attend.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Conference Call in the Parking Lot

Today, our Senior Services Liaison has a conference call scheduled with the Alzheimer’s Association. She’ll be in the parking lot, sitting in her car during that call. Why? Because her office is a workroom shared with her supervisor and 18 coworkers. What about another room? There isn’t one available. Every staff space is used for multiple functions. Even the Library Director’s office doubles as the staff conference room. This is not employees whining about working conditions. It’s the reality of working in the current Library building. The lack of space affects every level of service, from how and where employees work to how many people can attend a program. A lot of time and energy is spent on making do with physical space constraints that could be spent on providing service.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Comment: I Love the Fancy New Doors.

We’re very pleased to have a functional, accessible automatic door! You may have noticed the increasingly frequent outages of the swing-arm door opener in the year prior to the replacement. As the only accessible entrance to this public building, it is imperative to have a functional automatic opener. Every other entry to the building requires going up or down stairs.

Because Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility was not yet part of the building code when the Library was built 25 years ago, there was no automatic opener on the doors until the early 2000’s. At that time, a swing-arm power opener was retro-fitted to the existing doors. The high volume of traffic through those front doors put years of hard use on the opener.

In the 2012 Building Evaluation, replacement of that opener was estimated to cost approximately $50,000 due to the anticipated cost of redesigning the existing vestibule area to accommodate automatic sliding doors more appropriate to the volume of use. Due to the anticipated cost, the Board of Library Trustees sidelined the project until it simply could not wait any longer. When Midwest Automatic Door submitted a proposal that used the existing door openings, it was a very pleasant surprise to have the replacement cost come in under $20,000.