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2017 Kane County Chronicle Best of the Fox

Beyond the Bookshelves: Looking to the future with a proposal for a new library

Published: Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016 5:30 a.m. CDT

During the past week, the Geneva Public Library has hosted three public forums as part of a process to reach out and listen to what our community has to say regarding expanded library services in a new building at 210 S. Sixth St. These forums represent the next phase of a process that began more than a year ago to evaluate the condition and operating costs of our building and determine how to best serve our community in the future.

Our aging and undersized facility can’t be expanded to fulfill the needs our community has expressed for more meeting space, more programming space and increased opportunities to learn and create. As a result, the library board of trustees bought the land on Sixth Street and hopes to build a new facility. 

Under the draft plans that we’re presenting to the community for feedback, the proposed library would increase space available for programs and services. We’re seeking public input before we finalize the building plans and project costs. This plan would require the board to go to referendum in April 2017, and the library board will host a public hearing to review the plans and cost with the community at its Dec. 22 meeting.

Given the age of our facility, which is over 100 years old in some sections and costly to operate, it makes the most fiscal sense to build a new library.

What does a new library offer? We’re working with architectural firm StudioGC on plans that include early literacy spaces; space for more youth programming, as well as space where parents can socialize; an exploration commons for STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) projects, cooking, etc.; a tech commons with computers and space to create videos, etc.; a craft commons offering amenities such as a 3-D printer and more multiple, divisible meeting rooms; outdoor reading and program spaces; and an area to enjoy coffee and talk.

We are fortunate to live in a community that values its library. And we welcome your feedback. We plan to reach out to community organizations to continue to share our plans. You can keep up with the latest news on our website, gpld.org, our Facebook page, and our e-newsletter. Contact Board@gpld.org with your questions, or to get involved.

A note from customer service

Our first “Tales on the Town” storytime at a local business is from 3:30 to 4 p.m. Nov. 29 at Forever Yogurt, 507 S. Third St., Geneva. This program is designed for families of children age 6 and younger. Siblings are welcome!

‘The LibrarianRecommends’

Cathy Medearis in customer service was struck by the poetry she found in “The Jungle Book” by Rudyard Kipling in an unedited version published in 1894. “It was nothing like Disney, and it was really interesting. I didn’t realize Kipling was such a poet,” she said.

Paula Krapf is public relations and marketing manager for Geneva Public Library. The “Beyond the Bookshelves” column runs the third Thursday of each month. Feedback can be sent to editorial@kcchronicle.com.

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