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Beyond the Bookshelves: Preparing for our future

For the past several months, we’ve undergone an extensive self-evaluation at the Geneva Public Library in order to serve you better.

Libraries are changing, and our patrons use materials that range from physical books to downloadable media; they use the library for meeting and connecting; they come to create – and we need to determine the best way to provide a full array of 21st-century services.

Our process began with a community wide survey, followed by six focus group discussions with different segments of our community.

We’re currently reviewing a needs assessment prepared by architectural firm StudioGC that analyzes our demographics, library use, operational costs and other factors to evaluate how the current facility is or is not serving our community. Key issues include:

• How to provide patrons with new and expanded services that will prepare them for the 21st century;

• How our building age and layout are impacting our operational and staffing costs;

• How our physical space, square footage and parking limitations affect the services we provide to the community.

You’ve told us that the library needs to do more to help the community prepare for a digital world. You’ve also indicated that you want more space for community events and more flexible meeting spaces.

You want a facility that provides adequate parking. You believe the library is an important part of downtown and the community. We know you need non traditional services that include DIY spaces where people can create, invent and learn with 3-D printers, software, craft and hardware supplies, tools and more – spaces where community members can engage in digital media creation, small-business support, parent networking and more.

The library board meets monthly and is actively working to determine the best course of action for providing 21st-century library service to benefit our community.

We encourage your participation and feedback. Contact library Director Christine Lazaris at or call 630-232-0780.

• • •

A note from the circulation desk: Come join us for “Celebrate the Season” from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11. This year, the holiday Giving Tree will benefit Fox Valley Troop Support.

Please join us for music, crafts, refreshments and a visit from someone special from the North Pole!

• • •

“The Librarian Recommends”: Emily Thompson, youth services outreach librarian, said that one of her favorite books is “Roller Girl” by Victoria Jamieson.

“This vibrant graphic novel has it all – plucky characters, middle school angst ... and roller derby!” she said.

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

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