Building A Better GEPL

Youth Department Remodel

What Is New  |  What Is Better  |  FAQs  |  Second Floor Remodel

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Youth Department Before
Societal and technological shifts are changing the way members of the Glen Ellyn community use the library. Here at the library, we designed new spaces to accommodate the Glen Ellyn community’s evolving needs.We renovated the second floor to give our adult members a space to meet, create, collaborate, and learn. We’re excited to now give our youngest members a space better suited to their evolving needs.


What Is New:

Expanded Youth Program Room: The program room was enlarged to accommodate more people for youth programs.

A New Middle School Room: A space dedicated just to Middle Schoolers was created toward the front of the department. Middle Schoolers no longer have to walk through the children’s play area to search the shelves for books and entertainment.

Children’s Interactive Play Area: The area features interactive play panels for children of all ages, a pinwheel shaped discovery activity table, a walk-up LEGO wall, interactive magnet board, and custom puppet theater for imaginative play.

Early Reader Nook: The nook has oversized seating that fits both an adult and child comfortably.

Improved Furniture: Additional appropriate seating for all ages – youth to adult – was added throughout the department.


What Become Even Better:

Books: The majority of our materials budget was spent purchasing and housing books both physically and electronically.

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

Digital Collections: Our digital collections 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 under the Digital Library section of the website.

Programs: Our library continues creating great family-oriented programs.


Frequently Asked Questions:

What did the redesign entail?
The library’s Youth Department was redesigned. The remodel created a flexible, accessible, and user-friendly space for kids and parents. The new space is an interactive and imaginative area in which children can learn and play.

Where did the funding coming from?
Funding for the project will come from the Glen Ellyn Public Library’s Building, Equipment, and Maintenance Fund.

Was the project on budget?
Yes. The Youth remodel project stayed on budget and on time. The library hired Shales-McNutt Construction Management Firm to ensure the redesign project stayed on budget once more. 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.

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.

What happened to the existing library furniture?
Library furniture that was not repurposed in the remodeled space was recycled. Many local area libraries and schools picked up the furniture and were able to reuse it for their facilities.

Why is there film on the windows?
This was added to the East windows to help with early morning glare.

Why is the play area in the back?
With the play area in the back, there are fewer kids wondering outside the youth area and into the lobby and circulation areas; the majority of the noise is confined to the back of the department, so there is less disruption for older members; and, Middle Schoolers will no longer have to walk through the children’s play area to search the shelves for books and entertainment.

Why did you reorganize the picture book collection?
We found that members generally ask for picture books by topic and kids will enjoy finding new books on the topics they love.

What educational trends are affecting the GEPL?
There are a lot of educational trends that affect youth today, such as STEAM, Common Core State Standards, and American Association of School Librarian’s Standards for the 21st Century Learner. Technology is also a huge trend in education, and not only various technologies as tools within the classroom, but learning about technology and the increase of various e-formats now available for students.

What new technologies are you offering in this remodeled area?
Several new computers, charging stations and outlets, were added. iPad stations — similar to the setup in the Adult Department — are available for members to use to search for books. There are two MacBook Airs for middle school students to check out at the desk and use in-house. We will also be able to add a second 3D printer in January, 2016.

When will the lobby and the circulation area be renovated?
The current long range capital plan has the circulation and meeting rooms renovation planned for 2017.