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Article updated: 12/29/2011 12:48 PM

Arlington Hts. library plans remodeling

By Deborah Donovan

The increase in technology and decrease in use of printed books is prompting a remodeling of the Arlington Heights Memorial Library in 2012.

The entire library except for the recently renovated Kids' World will be affected by the project, estimated to cost $2.6 million, Paula Moore, executive librarian, said Thursday. The administration saved funds over recent years, and no tax increase will be required, she said.

"It's the first major reallocation of the space since the building addition" of the early 1990s, said Moore.

The changes will be planned during the first quarter of the new year, with bids expected to be let in May or June and about four to six months of construction starting in September.

Major changes will include a studio that will be similar to a classroom where residents can learn about and use new technology. The area might also have smaller rooms for patrons to work in, she said. A small, experimental version of the studio will open next month.

Arlington Heights residents are all along the spectrum as far as learning about technology, which includes computers, electronic books, streaming movies and music, and smart phones. The library staff wants to be able to help all of them, she said.

"People have a great need to learn about technology," said Moore. "Social media, video editing, organizing digital photos -- they need information and assistance, and we want to dedicate more space to do that."

In other changes:

Ÿ The number of rooms for small groups, whether businesspeople or students, will more than triple from its current four.

Ÿ The display for popular books will be larger and arranged by subject. Patrons will find it looking more like a book store.

Ÿ Nonfiction volumes that are not being used will be removed to make room for the changes, but library officials promise that, yes, there still will be books in the library.

Ÿ New carpeting and paint will spruce up the building.

One of the ways the library system has saved funds for the remodeling was by deciding against installing a new checkout system because the demand for checking out printed books has declined. That move saved $400,000.

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