Vernon Area Public Library commissions space study

  • A consultant has been hired to study space options at the Vernon Area Public Library in Lincolnshire.

    A consultant has been hired to study space options at the Vernon Area Public Library in Lincolnshire. Courtesy of Vernon Area Public Library

  • The annex at the Vernon Area Public Library in Lincolnshire is used for public programs, such as a Picnic With Police event last year.

      The annex at the Vernon Area Public Library in Lincolnshire is used for public programs, such as a Picnic With Police event last year. Russell Lissau | Staff Photographer 2017

 
 
Updated 3/1/2018 4:49 PM

The Vernon Area Public Library District board has hired a consultant to conduct a space study at the Lincolnshire facility.

The goal is to make the most effective and efficient use of the library at 300 Olde Half Day Road, Vernon Area spokeswoman Catherine Savage said.

 

"We're looking for information that will help inform a long-term space plan," Savage said.

The board on Monday approved a contract with StudioGC, a Chicago architecture and design firm. The study will cost $16,000, while preparing and delivering public presentations of the report will result in additional fees.

The firm will study data about library operations and examine other aspects that could help Vernon Area officials plan for the future, Savage said. Community focus groups about the library's public spaces are likely.

One area the company will examine is the library annex, which is behind the main building, Savage said.

The annex was the library from 1975 until the current building opened in 1993. Since then, officials have used the annex for public programs and staff offices and as a shipping center for new materials.

"Right now, we don't feel that it's working well as either staff space or public space, but what its future should be is unclear," Savage said.

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Options could include improving the annex, connecting the two buildings or weighing whether it's even cost effective to maintain a second building, Savage said.

Savage called the pending space study a "natural extension" of the facility assessment officials conducted in September 2017.

That effort led to the development of a schedule for future maintenance projects, such as roof replacement and parking lot resurfacing.

Officials should have results from StudioGC to share with the public this summer.

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