Roselle Public Library District sends bond request to voters

At the Jan. 11 meeting, the Roselle Public Library District board announced it is pursuing a $22 million bond referendum to raise revenue to erect and furnish a new library campus. The referendum question will be on the April 4, 2023, election ballot.

The board of trustees voted unanimously to put the referendum to a public vote.

"We conducted community-wide surveys in 2018, 2021 and 2022, and our residents expressed a bold and exciting vision for their library," said Katie Smith, board president. "The community wants a space that offers more than access to the latest in literature and music - residents want a place to gather and socialize, a place for their children to learn and interact with the world around them, a place to create and build things, and a place to sit among nature and take joy in this wonderful community. The revenue from the bond request will provide all that - and more - for our neighbors."

The new library complex would be a cornerstone for the Main Street vitalization and provide Roselle a modern and highly functional library to meet current and future needs of adults and children alike.

The complete project will include something for everyone:

• For toddlers and children: a colorful and interactive space designed to accommodate their size and the different means by which children learn.

• For teens: a space of their own with places to do homework individually or collaboratively, areas to socialize, and gaming consoles.

• For adults: areas providing cozy, coffeehouse-style seating, spaces to spend quiet time alone, work remotely, collaborate with colleagues, or visit with friends.

• For seniors: spaces to read and relax, socialize with friends, work on projects, attend events with children and grandchildren, and hold meetings.

• For busy patrons: a drive-thru window and self-service/order pick-up area.

• For individuals with special requirements: the proposed facility will be ADA-compliant. Sections of the building will accommodate individuals with sensory needs including hands-on learning environments, and quiet and muted spaces.

• For creatives: a maker space for those interested in creating items with equipment including 3D printers, sewing machines and other high-tech materials.

• For nature lovers: an efficiently designed space full of natural light; a children's garden; an outdoor balcony, patio and rest spaces; green spaces with native plants.

• For community groups: large and small meeting spaces with state-of-the-art audio/visual equipment.

Although the Roselle Public Library District continues to maintain a longstanding conservative approach to fiscal management, available funds will not cover the full cost needed for the new campus and technology upgrades.

"Our last bond was retired over 29 years ago, and we are proud that we've been able to maintain and operate the library without debt since then," said Samantha Johnson, executive director. "Our building is 41 years old and needs improvements and modernization, particularly the roof, HVAC, elevator, and masonry. Repairs and renovations now would only provide short-term relief without making significant enhancements to our services. Building a new library - with a community campus - is the most fiscally responsible, long term solution for our residents."

Without funding from the proposed referendum, major repairs and improvements to the library will be deferred to later years or not addressed at all. Technology upgrades, innovative programming and any remodeling would be addressed every 8 to 10 years based on priorities and available funding.

The library district will hold a series of open houses and other educational opportunities for residents to learn more about the proposed library campus and programming that would be made possible if voters approve the referendum. Visit

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