Library computer lab, remodeling a community effort

By on December 4, 2009

Donations, grants, volunteers helped with remodeling
by Martha Quetsch
MAPLE PARK—With help from a DeKalb County grant, Maple Park Public Library can put the finishing touches on a remodeling project that created a new computer lab for its patrons.

The library received a $1,000 grant from the county’s Community Needs Foundation on Nov. 22. Library Board member Laura McPhee applied for the funding in September.

“With the new monies from this grant, we are looking forward to paying for some of our computer desks as well as putting in a new floor for (the computer lab),” McPhee said.

The library is located in the Community Center in a four-room space in the building’s basement. A remodeling project started in June included opening up a storage area to create a workstation for eight new computers the library purchased with a $10,000 grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

One of the library’s new computers is an HP SmartTouch Touchscreen for patrons with special needs. The computers, all Internet-connected, also include six Dell PC’s and a Macintosh.

Wiring for the computers and new shelving also were installed last summer with help from village residents.

“Thanks to donations from The Friends of Maple Park Public Library and many hours of hard work from community and board members, we were able to complete (the first phase) of our remodeling task,” McPhee said.

The Community Needs Foundation funds will help the library finish the project by early spring, McPhee said. Among future projects the board hopes to accomplish is enhancing the library’s handicap accessibility.

The library was eligible for the Community Needs Foundation grant this fall because a large number of its members reside in DeKalb County, McPhee said. The Foundation provides grants for arts and culture, education, health and human services, and community development and civic affairs.

Photo: The Maple Park Public Library has been improved since Kimberly Martin (pictured) started as library director in May. Those changes, initiated by the Library Board and implemented with Martin’s help, include remodeling of the library and the creation of a computer lab. Photo by Martha Quetsch