MAPLE PARK – In the past five decades, much has changed in this community that straddles the Kane-DeKalb county line.
In the past decade or so, in particular, the changes have come much faster, as the village has added new homes by the dozens and new residents by the hundreds.
And, at the same time, the Maple Park Public Library has evolved alongside the community it serves.
This year, the library will mark its 50th year of service. And the library will throw an old-fashioned birthday party to celebrate.
“We felt that just an open house was not enough for this kind of occasion,” Maple Park Library Director Kimberly Martin said. “But we still wanted to invite people in, to show them what we offer and show off our new space a little bit, and just have some fun.”
The library will host the party from 5 to 8 p.m. Aug. 1. The free event will include traditional birthday party food staples such as hot dogs, cake and lemonade, and will feature activities for children, including a magic show and balloon animals.
The library was launched in 1963, the effort of a group of village residents. In 1998, the library became a public library district.
The library has been located in the Maple Park Community Center since 1970. It boasts about 900 cardholders and is open 30 hours a week.
Martin said the library has sought to improve its physical location and range of services.
She noted that the library recently renovated one of its three rooms with new shelving, floors and paint.
And the library also seeks to keep its residents aware of the breadth of the holdings available to them through the library’s affiliation with the PrairieCat online library catalog system and through e-books.
Martin said more work is planned to “make the library more modern and inviting,” while library leaders mull the possibility of asking taxpayers in Maple Park through a referendum to bolster the library’s operating budget, hire more staff and further expand services.