Celebrate Wauconda library's anniversary and recent renovation
Wauconda Area Library officials and patrons will gather Saturday to celebrate the facility's 80th anniversary and the recent completion of an exterior renovation.
Activities will run from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the library, 801 N. Main St.
The fun will start with a ribbon-cutting for the new stairs and ramps at the front of the building, and a plaque dedication. Other activities will include a hot dog lunch, a musical performance and face-painting. Birthday cake will be sliced at 2:45 p.m.
The Wauconda Area Chamber of Commerce helped organize the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Executive Director Maria Weisbruch said there's definitely reason to celebrate.
"This library offers so much for families, students and business people," Weisbruch said. "It is a wonderful gathering place, and the facility is something we can really take pride in."
The library primarily serves patrons from Wauconda, Island Lake, Lake Barrington, Port Barrington, Lakemoor and Volo.
It launched in January 1939 when the Wauconda Woman's Club bought books to fill one shelf at the Wauconda High School library.
The library grew over time, moving into a room at village hall in 1950 and then a different room there eight years later.
Voters created the Wauconda Township Library in 1962. The following year, the library moved into a building at 212 Osage St.
The library continued growing, and a new, 9,500-square-foot library building opened at 801 N. Main St. in 1987.
In 1988, the library became its own taxing district, leaving behind the township designation.
The building expanded to its current 27,500-square-foot size in 1997. An interior renovation was completed in 2015.
Today, the library welcomes about 15,000 visitors each month, officials said. Circulation during the 2019 fiscal year was 518,238 items -- far more than that original single shelf of books.
"The community has grown and changed so much over time, and the library has kept pace," interim Director Elizabeth Greenup said.
The recent exterior renovation began in September 2018 and wrapped up last month. In addition to the stairs and ramps, the project added LED fixtures, landscaping and other improvements to the library grounds.
The ramps and redesigned stairs have been hits with patrons, Greenup said.
"We had one patron tell us she was unable to come to the library before but now she can with the changes that were made," Greenup said.
Saturday's party is a way to thank patrons for their patience during the project, she said.
Most of Saturday's activities don't require registration. One that does, a visit with miniature horses, already is full.
A 12:30 p.m. race featuring homemade wooden cars requires a visit to the library for registration and to pick up the car kits.
For a full schedule of Saturday's celebratory activities, visit wauclib.org/great-day-your-library.