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Big changes coming to the Downers Grove Library

Downers Grove Public Library patrons can look forward to exciting changes based on ambitious building renovation plans now going forward.

These plans will address three major roles of the contemporary public library: a place to congregate, a place to learn and a place to create.

A place to congregate: Students, business people, and members of community groups will find large meeting rooms and a range of spaces where groups from two to 20 people can gather to meet and work together. A comfortable cafe-style space with drinks and snacks from vending machines will seat about 20 people. An open, welcoming lobby space in the middle of the ground floor will be a natural meeting spot.

A place to learn: The library will continue its long tradition as provider of a variety of books in a great many subject areas. Fiction and nonfiction books, video materials and recordings, well-organized and well-displayed, will open the way to greater knowledge. Well-informed staff members will move through the building to help learners locate books, reserve a computer for online research or conquer the challenges of a new electronic device. Library customers will learn new information, practice for an examination, or share their own expertise in programs organized by the library and others in the community.

A place to create: Library users always have been involved in creative endeavors. Written works such as term papers, book reports, speeches, sermons and personal research products have been the results. Now these creations also may include music recordings, computer games or video productions, as a new well-equipped media laboratory space, supported by skilled library staff and other experts, helps residents make new creative works.

The plans are in the design development phase, with Product Architecture + Design and the library staff collaborating.

The most recent version of the plans, still far from finished, can be seen at

Continued updates will be provided to the community. Construction is scheduled to begin next February, with completion planned in the fall of 2014.  

Stay tuned for more great news from your public library!

Rick Ashton is executive director of the Downers Grove Public Library.

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