Renewing Our Story Blog
The library is proud to be the “jewel” of the community with extensive services, a spacious facility and a diverse collection of resources supported by a knowledgeable and friendly staff. Since the award-winning building opened in 2004, the Board of Library Trustees and staff understood that keeping current for patrons and providing the newest materials and technology was of utmost importance. Times change quickly, and the library is used by patrons much differently than twenty years ago. The library has become a center for community engagement and learning. In that end, OPPL needed to create new flexible spaces to accommodate the patron’s needs without compromising the beauty and openness of the building.
With this in mind, the original architect Michael C. Barnes and the architectural team from Wight & Co. are repurposing spaces in many public areas to offer more study rooms, a larger program room, an updated Computer Lab, a Sensory Room, a Mother’s Room, an improved preschool area, a Teen Room, a Tween space and more. Understanding the library’s need to be current, the Board of Library Trustees have been saving money over the past decade to pay for these renovations without further taxing the Orland Park residents. This project is estimated at just over $3,000,000 and the anticipated timeline of this project is October, 2019 through August, 2020.
Most of the changes will happen in the public spaces. The Information Technology Department hosts public computers for ages 18 years and up, as well as the Computer Lab which is currently housing the SMART Lab equipment. If a computer class is in progress, patrons have no access to the variety of equipment for their use. The Computer Room will be more open so patrons can observe what is being offered as they enter the department. The SMART Lab equipment (3D printers, the VHS to DVD converter, Mac computers and more) will be housed in a separate space visible to all patrons in the same area. The public computers will remain in this area.
The Teen section is located on the second floor in the corner, but currently has limited offerings for this age group. The new Teen section will be have a glassed enclosed area to offer gaming, study rooms, crafting area, lounge seating and programs for grades 6-12. The Young Adult collection will remain outside the Teen room for easy access.
Also on the second floor, the Quiet Study Room will be converted to a multi-purpose room for book discussions, outside community group meetings, and other library programs. Reallocating this space also allows the library to add two more study rooms for adults.
These are just a few of the improvements which will be made in the upcoming renovation project. Look to this web page for more information on the wonderful changes to provide new services to all of our patrons.
The Design Team