Indian Trails Library is the recipient of a $100,000 grant to install a solar array at the library's recently renovated and expanded building at 355 Schoenbeck Rd., Wheeling.
The grant was one of two $1000,000 awarded this year by EBSCO Information Services, a large library resources provider for academic, public library, government and school customers. The only other grant the company awarded this year went to Athens-Clarke County Library in Athens, Georgia.
"We are thrilled to receive this grant and be given the opportunity to further enhance our new building," said Brian Shepard, the library executive director. "Through our expanded STEAM programming and makerspace initiatives, we hope to educate and inspire residents to explore the lasting benefits that sustainability practices contribute to an informed community."
During the 2016-17 renovation of its Schoenbeck location, the library incorporated sustainable and energy efficiency design into the project by converting the all-electric building into one that is more environmentally responsible. Major changes included a geothermal system, installation of natural gas water heaters and LED lighting throughout the building. Preparation for the installation of the solar panels will begin within the year.
The library is also planning programming that will include lectures and exhibit from the Illinois Solar Energy Association; children's workshops, such as UV Energy with UV Beads and Solar Oven; and a community-wide sustainability fair focused on educating families on how to reduce their carbon footprint; and a career fair in sustainable technologies.
EBSCO received 90 submissions from 15 countries for the 2017. This was the second year that Indian Trails Library applied.
About Indian Trails Public Library District
The Indian Trails Public Library District serves 67,000 residents who reside in the communities of Wheeling, Buffalo Grove, Prospect Heights and Arlington Heights by providing exceptional service, resources and materials. In 2017, the library reopened after a year-long renovation in an expanded building that included private study rooms, enlarged programming space, training and ESL labs, makerspace and enhanced youth services area.