Community members are invited and encouraged to share their ideas and preferences as planning begins for improvements to the building and grounds of the Vernon Area Public Library.
Associates from RATIO Design of Chicago will conduct two Planning Open House sessions open to the general public as they begin a conceptual study for redesign, remodeling and a possible addition to library building.
Residents are encouraged to drop in during either session to connect with the planning team. Attendees can review vision boards, share ideas, ask questions and express their desires and priorities.
RATIO representatives will also conduct targeted listening sessions with representatives from various stakeholder groups including community leaders, English as a Second Language students, young families and teens.
Additional opportunities for public review and feedback will be made available online at VAPLD.info/LibraryPlan.
The 2024 project will build on previous work that was underway when the COVID-19 pandemic began in spring 2020.
Since 2020, public libraries have seen changes in patron behaviors, including demands for outdoor gathering spaces, a desire for ongoing hybrid-service delivery models and programs, and increased attention on building qualities such as physical security, air quality and environmental sustainability.
“We are fortunate to have the opportunity to align library plans with today’s service needs and expectations, rather than pre-2020,” said Vernon Area Library Director Anne Rasmussen.
The project will assess and make recommendations about space use across the entire library campus, including the 50,000 square foot main building, the 10,000 square foot annex building, and the library grounds and parking areas.
In addition to space use, architects will make sure all library spaces meet applicable standards for accessibility, air quality and environmental sustainability. The team will also evaluate the library building’s overall ability to accommodate future renovations.