Final stage of Glen Ellyn library remodel will add cafe, drive-through
Step into the lobby of the Glen Ellyn Public Library and the octagonal layout can seem disorienting.
And while the nearby youth department is colorful and welcoming, the entry feels a bit stark.
Library officials hope to turn the page on that dated look with a $1.75 million redesign of the lobby and circulation area -- the third and final phase of a multiyear project to renovate the building's interior.
The library also is adding two new conveniences: a cafe and a drive-through window on the west side of the building for patrons to pick up books on hold or even pay a fine on-the-go.
Traffic flow in the parking lot already lends itself to the drive-through since patrons pull up to the library with the driver's side of the vehicle facing the building at Prospect and Pennsylvania avenues.
As for the cafe, the library will lease the space to an outside vendor to run the dining spot with a menu of snacks and hot and cold beverages.
"The cafe feature is something that patrons have been asking for longer than I've been here," said Director Dawn Bussey, who took the helm of the library in 2007.
The cafe will serve patrons just outside the arched entrance of the youth department, which reopened in 2015 after a $1.1 million overhaul -- the second phase of the interior remodel.
And like that department's transformation, new, cozy furniture, paint, carpeting and lighting will make the lobby much more vibrant, open and welcoming. Or as Bussey said, a space where patrons "want to be."
"You'll step in and get an idea of where it is you need to go," she said.
The library board has hired the same two firms -- Product Architecture and Design and Shales McNutt, a construction management company -- that oversaw the first two phases of the remodel. The final stage is set to break ground Jan. 8.
"It is our hope to remain open for service to the public during the entire project," Bussey said.
Building reserve funds will finance the construction. Proceeds from the Glen Ellyn Library Foundation's Jungle Book Ball Saturday night also will benefit the project. General admission tickets cost $150.
The library expects to unveil the new-look lobby and consolidated circulation work spaces in May.