Aspen Drive Library in Vernon Hills turning 5 with a party
Born of controversy but popular from the day its doors opened, the Aspen Drive Library in Vernon Hills celebrates its fifth anniversary Saturday.
Public activities will run from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the library, 701 Aspen Drive.
A balloon artist will make creations for kids. Face-painting and sidewalk art are planned, too, as is a photographic retrospective.
The smaller of the two Cook Memorial Public Library District facilities, Aspen opened June 10, 2010.
Set on previously vacant land south of Route 60, it was created to serve patrons in the southern half of the Libertyville-based district.
Libertyville activists and many residents in that town had spent years fighting plans to build a second library in Vernon Hills, defeating ballot plan after ballot plan. It took a library board dedicated to expanding services to come up with a plan that worked -- one that didn't require voter approval and also called for significant improvements at the Cook Park Library in Libertyville.
"It was a long time coming," Vernon Hills Mayor Roger Byrne said.
The Aspen Drive Library has become incredibly popular, to the point that officials are planning a parking lot expansion to accommodate patrons. In five years, customers have checked out an estimated 2.75 million books, DVDs, CDs and other items.
Cook Memorial Director David Archer isn't surprised by that towering figure.
"It shows the need was there," he said.
Aspen Drive Library, by the numbers95,608: Items in collection
495,028: Annual circulation (May 2014 to May 2015)
1.3 million: Estimated number of visitors since opening in 2010
20,000: In square feet, the size of the interior
28: Fish in the big tank near the children's department
Source: Cook Memorial Public Library District