Through the end of May, the library will operate from a temporary location as the main building undergoes renovation work.
Patrons can check out books, DVDs, games, and other materials via the “Library to Go,” a mini-library located in the Annex building behind the main library. Longtime patrons will recognize the orange building on Indian Creek Road as the previous home of the Vernon Area Public Library, from 1979 unti 1993, when the current building opened.
New books and bestsellers, movies, select magazines, and an assortment of other popular materials will be available for browsing and checkout at the “Library to Go.” Most other materials will be available by request: find an item in the catalog, place it on hold, and library staff will retrieve the item and notify you when it is ready to be picked up. We also encourage you to explore the many options for digital materials offered by the library, including e-books, downloadable audiobooks, magazines, music, and more. Digital materials are accessible without a physical visit to the library, and are therefore unaffected by the building renovation.
Coming: new café, quiet reading room, group study rooms
It's been 20 years since the doors opened on this building. Our furniture has had 20 years of use. Our restrooms have had 20 years of use. It is time to refurbish and refinish. When we reopen in May, you will be able to enjoy a self-service cafe: a great spot to grab a coffee and a snack and sit down with your laptop, or meet up with friends. A new quiet reading room will be just the ticket for those looking for an oasis of solitude in which to read or study. Enclosed from the main library space, the reading room features soft seating, individual tables, and a stone fireplace. New, more active areas for early readers and teens are also on their way, with interactive activity walls and cool new seating. We're adding more study rooms, including a group study room on the youth side, and a Media Lab with specialized computer equipment and software on the adult side. We'll be improving the lighting and audiovisual equipment in the Meeting Room to make program, movie, and meeting experiences that much better. And the Picture Book Room will get a colorful makeover, with a new activity table just for tots with Legos, puzzles, and iPads.
And, yes, new washrooms. The public restrooms in the front of the building and the family bathroom in the children's area are all getting a floor-to-ceiling makeover.
Unlike our Phase I work last winter, where were only closed one portion of the library at a time, this time, we are required to close entirely because there will be no working public restrooms while they are being refurbished (and we didn't think outdoor port-a-potties in winter would earn us any fans). There will be a lot of work going on in the lobby, too, so temporarily moving to the old building is much less disruptive in the end.
The $1.3 million renovation package was approved in January by the library’s Board of Trustees. Project expenses are being covered by existing funds under the library's existing budget. Some special features will be paid for with private donations and bequests. No new loans, bonds, or tax rate increases are being used to pay for these improvements. The project plans were designed by Product Architecture + Design of Chicago, and the project will be managed by IHC Construction Companies, LLC, of Elgin, Ill.