How you can learn about facility options at the Vernon Area Public Library
After two recent open houses, officials at Lincolnshire's Vernon Area Public Library are sharing information about possible expansion or renovation options via a display in the building's lobby.
Five portable panels in a ring near the checkout desk contain information about features that could be included in a construction plan.
The goal, officials said, is to inform as many people as possible about the concepts being considered -- and to get ideas from the public about concepts that should be considered.
"We are making a plan based on community feedback," library spokeswoman Catherine Savage said. "The boards are the menu. We need the community to place the order."
A drive-up window, more meeting rooms, a dedicated space for teens and an outdoor activity space are among concepts highlighted in the display, which should be up through June. Others include a maker space, a more convenient entryway and an expanded parking area.
"These are the things we hear library visitors ask for the most," Savage said.
Vernon Area officials are discussing expansion and renovation options because library usage has been rising. More than 331,000 people visited the library between June 2018 and last month, Savage said, up from more than 318,000 people during the previous 12-month period.
Officials also are dissatisfied with how the annex behind the main library is being used.
The annex served as the library until the current main building opened in 1993. But lately it's been used for offices and public programs.
Among the facility options being considered:
• Demolishing the annex and expanding the primary building.
• Reconfiguring the library's interior.
• Remodeling the annex.
• Constructing a usable structure that would connect the main building and annex.
A timeline hasn't been proposed, nor have a budget or financing options.
Vernon Hills resident Elisa Bailis was among the patrons who stopped at the display Wednesday. It caught her eye as she was walking to the children's department with her young son.
Bailis said she appreciated the library staff's effort to tell people about the construction options. She said the lobby display is a "great opportunity" to inform folks who might overlook an item in the library newsletter.
Savage stressed that the information on the display doesn't constitute an expansion proposal. "There is not yet a plan," she said.
The display includes patron survey forms. Officials want to know which ideas people like and which they're less enthusiastic about, Savage said.
"Do they have other ideas or concerns that are not on this list? We want to hear it all," he said.
Any library user can take the survey, not just Vernon Area Public Library District residents or cardholders.
The survey is available online at vapld.info/facilityplan.html, as is information about the various options.