Building a Better GEPL

Screen Shot 2014-06-18 at 2.06.59 PMSocietal and technological shifts are changing the way members of the Glen Ellyn community use the GEPL.

The way community members consume books, magazines, newspapers, music and movies has changed rapidly over the last few years and the community is now looking to the Glen Ellyn Public Library as a space to meet, create, collaborate and learn.

The GEPL will remain your destination to find physical and digital copies of the latest books, magazines, newspapers, music and movies. But, the community has made it clear they want spaces to meet with coworkers, business partners and friends to work on business proposals, study for tests, host book clubs and practice music inside a soundproof room.

Here at the GEPL, we are designing new spaces to accommodate the Glen Ellyn community’s evolving needs.

What You Will See:

Screen Shot 2014-06-18 at 1.45.21 PMAdditional Study Rooms: The GEPL will add four new study rooms, increasing our total to seven. This will meet the demand for private spaces where small groups can work and study.

A soundproof Media Lab: allowing the community to work on artistic endeavors including: practicing musical instruments, filming a short movie and recording an audio creation.

A Large Study Area: perfect for groups of 8-10 people.

Space to Relax: A new Study Lounge featuring comfortable seating will be a perfect venue to host a book club or relax with a newspaper. Overall Library seating will increase by 21%, creating more comfort options

Improved Furniture: New tables will include power outlets to accommodate laptop, tablet and smartphone charging.

Energy Efficiency: An upgraded electrical system and enhanced lighting system will provide the appropriate amount of light to all library areas. Using longer lasting bulbs and other updates allows GEPL to pursue an energy conservation grant.


What Will Become Even Better:

Screen Shot 2014-06-18 at 1.46.05 PMBooks: The majority of our materials budget will be spent purchasing and housing books both physically and electronically. The redesigned third floor will increase productivity and deliver the most in-demand books faster than ever before!

Music, Movies, Periodicals and Games: These products will continue to be purchased and housed in an updated display area.

Digital Collections: Our digital collections will continue expanding to keep pace with our community’s demands. Currently, the GEPL provides over 41,000 digital eBooks, music, magazines, movies and databases. These materials can be located on our digital resources page and our online research tools page.

Programs: Our library will continue creating great family-oriented programs. The additional second floor spaces will provide a better experience for classes and clubs.

Tentative Project Timeline:

Construction is scheduled to begin July 9, 2014 and conclude November 21, 2014

Projected Project Cost:

The redesign will cost $1.5 million.  Due to careful budgeting over a period of years, no property tax increase is required to fund this project.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What does the redesign entail?
The second and third floors of the library will be redesigned. Both floors will receive new paint, carpeting, lighting and an upgraded electrical system.

Where is the funding coming from?
Funding will come from the Library’s Building Reserve Fund for ongoing maintenance.

What steps has the library taken to ensure construction does not exceed budget?
The Library hired Shales-McNutt Construction Management Firm to ensure the redesign project stays on budget.  Shales-McNutt has a strong history of managing library renovations including the Arlington Heights Memorial Library, Barrington Area Library and Gail Borden Public Library.

Who designed the GEPL’s redesign plans?
Product Architecture + Design who is renowned for their library renovation work, most notably the Arlington Heights Memorial Library, Niles Public Library, Vernon Area Public Library.

Will the Library remain open during construction?
Yes, the library will remain open during construction. Dumpsters and trucks will be visible in the parking lot. Construction employees will park in the commuter lot. The library will take measures to ensure not to take up more parking than necessary.

Sections of the 2nd floor may become temporarily inaccessible to the pubic during the construction process. In that scenario, a staff member will be designated to retrieve a member’s requested materials.

How were redesign plans developed?
The Library conducted a series of open invitation focus groups in 2010. The redesign plans were crafted after careful consideration for the Glen Ellyn Community’s evolving needs.

Will there be changes on the first floor?
After 2nd and 3rd floor construction has completed, we will evaluate the funds and discuss the feasibility of making first floor changes based on community needs and feedback.

Will self-check machines remain accessible?
Yes, while their locations may move, the self-check machines will remain available (first floor self check machines will remain in their current location). An additional self-check machine will be installed in the Youth Department before construction begins.

Will materials be removed?
Normal “weeding” procedures will continue during construction, as “weeding” is a continuous process at the GEPL. We analyze statistics to remove materials that are not being used and purchase items that the community requests.

Will new materials appear at the library during this time?
While new materials will still be processed, the timeframe may be a little slower than usual. We encourage all members to take advantage of the over 41,000 downloadable eBooks, movies and audiobooks at

What will happen to the existing library furniture?
 Any discarded library furniture will be repurposed or recycled.

What job trends are affecting the GEPL?
Many careers require employees to use laptops, tablets and other mobile devices to work remotely. Many GEPL cardholders conduct business and perform work related tasks in the Library. This need is increasing and requires the library to create additional study spaces, a large study area, a study lounge, increased seating and additional access to power outlets.

What educational trends are affecting the GEPL?
District 87 is providing iPads to all freshmen. Students will need to charge these iPads as they work in the library. Our new furniture will include easy to access power outlets, enabling easy charging.

If you have any questions about the Glen Ellyn Public Library redesign, please contact our Library Director, Dawn Bussey at