Editorial: Libraries far more than just a place to check out books

By on August 6, 2009

A public goal nearly five years in the making will be officially realized on Saturday, Aug. 8, when the new Sugar Grove Public Library building, opens at 9 a.m.

In November 2004, the community voted in support of an $8 million building bond project for a new library facility, and construction began in May 2008.

Officials representing the library and the village of Sugar Grove have a full morning of events planned, concluding at 1 p.m.

Following the welcome message by the day’s master of ceremonies, Perry Clark, at 9 a.m., the morning will be packed with food, children’s activities ranging from face painting to story time to coloring activities, sit-downs with authors, demonstrations and tours, and more.

Libraries are far more than places to merely check out books, they can serve as a vital community center, strengthening the connections of those who share a hometown. The town came together to support, with their vote and tax dollars, to have a larger building with more potential for materials and programming offerings. Without the passage of the operating funds referendum, much of that potential cannot be realized, but until then, the new library building will still provide a much improved experience and opportunity for those in the Sugar Grove Public Library District.

Just a few things the library offers include:
• Youth Services
There are a variety of collections and offerings for families. Materials specific to parenting, and youth and children’s audio, movies, items for toddlers, picture books, etc. A family room enables patrons to move around and not feel cramped or have to sit in one spot perfectly quiet.

Early education programs feature story times, music programs and other activities for children of all ages.

The TeenZone is a dedicated space that allows for web-surfing, chatting, texting, games and more.

• The Book Nook Cafe
This area offers coffee and other beverages, as well as a variety of food. Another part of the area is dedicated as a gift shop provided by the Library Friends group.

• Reader Services and Ask Me Desk
There are a variety of reader services and offerings available for patrons. There are many areas for study, including a quiet reading room and an all-season porch, outdoor patio and small-group meeting room.

Home delivery is available for cardholders restricted from travel due to health reasons.

Proctor Exams are offered for those involved in long-distance learning programs and professions that provide independent studies relying on proctored and certified exams.

• Volunteerism
Volunteers of age 14 and older can offer their assistance to the library, either as a one-time service or on an ongoing basis. According to the library, the move to the new building will provide the opportunity for volunteer greeters and tour guides. This volunteer service will require keeping a schedule, making a time commitment, and training.

• Technology Center
The library features a computer lab with 17 computers, as well as classes and tutorials provided by staff.

• Community Services
The library has large meeting rooms, study rooms, WiFi access, as well as a variety of other services.

This is just an overview of what the library offers, and it is clear that there is far more to it than just checking out that new novel.

To help visualize this description, we urge you to visit the open house on Saturday; and if you can’t make it then, make sure you see the new library building soon at 125 S. Municipal Drive, Sugar Grove.