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Opinion: First Reactions to Temporary Library Site

The good and the "we will have to deal" at our temporary Deerfield Public Library site.

Change is good is what they say. I'm sure for many people change is good. For me, change is good, but only after I figure it all out and it's really not so new anymore.

Walking into the new Deerfield Library location today in Cadwell's Corners was both exciting and anxiety inducing all at once.

Mid-afternoon on opening day, there was lots going on at the reopened library. Families returning books and movies outside at the drop box as well as inside at the return machine, phones ringing constantly, many patrons asking questions of where items could be located. Quite the happening place.

The temporary library location at Cadwell's Corners is a shopping center I have not even entered since Barnes and Noble moved many years ago. So, with very few shops still surviving in that mall, parking is plentiful and the stoplight to enter and exit the center is also a plus.

But, the 24 hour drop box is not accessible by car. To drop off books or movies, you must exit the car and walk over to the drop box. That will be a bummer over the winter.

Once inside, the librarians are right there as you enter to answer any questions. Strangely though, there were no maps that I could find that we could take with us to figure out where everything was.

But, there were a couple larger maps on the walls—but that really was not helpful. I really wanted a map to have in my hands so I could know where I was going or find something I had not yet looked for.

The facility itself is in the old Barnes and Noble space. There are a lot of windows and it is bright and felt quite spacious considering how much had been moved. As we walked through the facility, we found the kids area, the computers, the check-out stations.

Everything seemed very well laid-out and thoughtfully planned. There are no private conference areas but there are multiple seating areas and arrangements to accommodate most patrons’ needs.

Running into friends and neighbors at the library, everyone's reaction was incredibly positive. All in all, the library staff and transition team did a remarkable job in moving everything so quickly and in such an organized fashion.

And I am certain once I know where everything is, the year will be up and the library will move into its new renovated space in downtown Deerfield and I'll have to go through this all over again!

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John Russillo June 14, 2012 at 11:22 AM
And we'll be $12M lighter in the wallet.
RB June 14, 2012 at 01:19 PM
Deerfield Library has been fairly crummy, but functional. As the economy crapped out, Deerfield voted to build a remodeled library. It was voted upon, so I accept the expenditure. I did not vote for it, but that's Democracy. Woodland Park and the Pedistrian underpass are perfect examples of two expenditures that could have either waited or not even been spent. I guess at some point (sooner rather than later) the Village, Park District and Citizens need to ask " is this really necessary, is it a nice to have or is it absolutely needed?" Many families make that choice everyday.
Ellen Beth Gill June 14, 2012 at 03:09 PM
I think remodeling the library was a terrific idea. Our library was too small and in bad shape compared to other libraries in our area. I used to joke that I started going to Northbrook's library rather than Deerfield's because at Deerfield, I had already read both books. This is not an expenditure, but an investment in our economy, our children and our adults seeing continuing education and greater career choice. I think it would be wise for people to stop denigrating education, and everything related to education such as reading, because we all have to compete in the world. Education is a huge priority in the rest of the world. It's provided free in many places, or strongly subsidized in in others. What do we want to send out into the world from our community, a bunch of illiterate dummies?
John Russillo June 14, 2012 at 03:37 PM
Remodeling is one thing. This goes way beyond that. A new building is designed for what, 50 years? Libraries will be defunct in 20, if not 10. This is not about education. Our children will be reading ebooks and learning just fine, thank you. If you want to spend $12M on a "meeting place" fine, but it won't be used as a library for its entire life.
Joe Nelson June 14, 2012 at 04:26 PM
As John Russillo said, in 10-20 the library won't even be used because everybody will be reading ebooks. Deerfield is just wastefully spending their money (again) and this definitely did not need to be done. While, the old library was kind of small I still never saw a reason of why it needed to be "redone" and this isn't just "redone" this is a new huge place. Maybe I would have supported a minor renovation but not this. Thank God I don't live in Deerfield.
Joe Nelson June 14, 2012 at 04:29 PM
To RB, while I do not support the new library and the pedestrian underpass, but I do support the renovation of Woodland Park (but I do not like how far they went with it.)
RB June 14, 2012 at 05:10 PM
Woodland Park is an extensive project and they probably killed some beautiful old trees. Have you noticed how close they came to the trunks? Forget root zone, they were way past those. The Park District needs to be reeled in. Take a look at their pension expenses sometime. Over $12000 per month to one individual as an example.
jab Zion June 14, 2012 at 11:48 PM
investing in a library is a great idea! agreed that ebooks are the "'happening" thing for the future but they are not for everyone.my kids love spending time in the Northbrook library besides the books, puzzles and the activities they meet and interact with other kids.
RonnieTheLimoDriver June 15, 2012 at 01:24 PM
ebooks are not for everyone (old people) now but they will be in the future. when you make these sorts of capital expenditures you dont plan for 5 years out. if you think new books will be printed on a regular basis even 10 years from now, you are missing the boat. perhaps the existing library needed some updates, but it didn’t need 12 million (or more!) worth of updates. i dont believe in investing in dying businesses. perhaps you should buy some blockbuster stock, borders, etc.

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