Many have asked why the Helen Plum Memorial Library Board doesn't consider another location for the library. We have prioritized staying at the current location for several reasons.
Colonel Plum's will gave his home and land to the people of Lombard "for the purposes of a public park and a free public library … to be treated as a unit." Maintaining this unique relationship is important to the history of Lombard.
Preserving and protecting Lilacia Park has always been a priority in plans for a new library, including a building in proportion to its surroundings that does no harm to the lilacs. We have addressed concerns with sights, sound, shade and scale, and suggested creative ways that increase the aesthetic relationship between the park and the library.
As the Park District's 2013 Master Plan includes initiatives to "improve library interaction/adjacency, creating more cohesion between the two sites," we were energized that we shared the same objectives.
While reminded of air rights, we were also told on several occasions, "Show us something and we will consider it." And we have, responding to all the questions the Park Board rightly asked in hopes that we could together realize our shared goal.
The investment of the tunnel underneath the train tracks provides safe passage between downtown and the Library. This is beneficial for residents and businesses, as the library has over 250,000 visitors a year.
The library owns its land and the lot to the west. Other locations would have an acquisition cost that would exceed the $900,000 budgeted for relocation while the library is constructed.
We are keenly aware of the urgency and frustration of taxpayers. Our hope is that the library and park boards can come to this from a place of partnership and agreement, and we can enhance the experience of both.
Helen Plum Memorial Library Board of Trustees