HANOVER PARK – Following a $1 million expansion project, the Poplar Creek Public Library District's Sonya Crawshaw branch in Hanover Park now offers its patrons more space and better bathrooms, among other improvements.
The branch, located at 4300 Audrey Lane, first opened more than two decades ago, and was constructed initially as a modular unit containing one room for the library, one room designated as a meeting space for the village of Hanover Park, and a small room to connect the two, library district President Susan Spooner said.
"When we first opened in 1991, there were a lot fewer people in that area than there are now," Spooner said. "The people who were there fit in, it was adequate at the time, but as more and more homes were built, it was less and less efficient."
Discussion about renovating the Sonya Crawshaw branch began about a year after a $24 million expansion of the district's main branch in Streamwood was completed in 2009, said Patricia M. Hogan, the district's library administrator.
"The deal we had with Hanover Park was that they would give us the land for that (Sonya Crawshaw) branch library in exchange for our maintaining a meeting room," Spooner said.
But about four years ago the village altered the agreement to allow the district full use of the space, she said.
After a lengthy planning process, the renovation project – which was funded through reserves and a $50,000 state grant – began in April and was completed in December 2013, Hogan said.
While the library was under construction, staff was moved to the main branch, she said.
The expanded library is about 1,000 square feet larger, totaling about 4,000 square feet, and now includes a "nice general entrance," new handicap-accessible bathrooms and one room designated for youths and another for adults, Spooner said.
The new library also includes a total of eight computers in new workstations – double what was previously provided – for both children and adults to use.
Hogan said area patrons are delighted to have a place with more space, where they won't be scrunched together with everyone else.
"The people who have been there so far seem to appreciate it," Spooner said. "It's easier to find what you need. They seem happy with it."