Multi-million dollar Palatine Public Library revamp: From a doorway of opportunities to a real new doorway

Veda Maturi, Contributing Writer

After 12 months of renovations, the Palatine Public Library is now almost entirely open to the public. The renovated space has new study rooms, organizational systems, decor, and much more. The project has offered numerous opportunities to enhance the library experience.

There are a number of new facilities added to the location. The study rooms were expanded and multiplied in both floors of the library. Different sizes are now offered, ranging from individual study rooms to eight-person meeting rooms. In total, there are about 40 study rooms available to the public. 

The cafe was moved down to the first floor with two new vending machines, as well as a coffee counter and dining area where food is allowed. The carpeting, shelving, light fixtures, and furniture have all been updated to geometric patterns that were chosen to appeal to all age groups. On the first floor, the Maker’s Space was also expanded: sewing machines, embroidery machines, a laser cutter, 3D printers, and more are all accessible to the public.

Additionally, a new entrance was added to the library in the north side of the building where both above-ground parking lots can easily access the library. In order to allow easier handicap access, the entrance was proposed in construction plans to aid the community with mobility issues. Due to the goal of increasing accessibility, the library was able to receive a grant of $1.8 million from the Illinois State Library to fund the entrance renovations. 

Moreover, the teen section has been developed and renovated, creating quite a few new changes. Now separated from the kids section, the teen area has an updated study area surrounded by glass walls instead of white walls to add a sense of openness but still maintain privacy. Furthermore, there is a casual area with a TV. Many of the renovation ideas for the teen section were proposed by the library’s Teen Advisory Board.

The entire project was estimated to last about 16 months from when it first started and is nearing its twelfth month. The original budget had been around $6 million, with about $250,000 for each branch, including the Rand Road location and Willow Creek location, and half a million dollars for the main location. However, due to the grant and efficient budgeting, there was still part of the allocation left that was used towards extra projects like adding the new entrance. 

The general public have been satisfied with the results of the renovations. 

Palatine Public Library Executive Director Jeannie Dilger elaborates on her personal favorite part of the new library experience.

“My favorite part of the renovation has been [how] people walk in and they’re just like, ‘Wow, it just looks so beautiful.”

A survey for the general community published by the Palatine Public Library regarding feedback on the designs also received lots of positive responses. One anonymous submission reads, “It looks great! The library continues to be a place at which I am amazed and it sounds like it will only get better.”

The renovations have not only given the Palatine Public Library a new interior, but also a wide array of opportunities for people of all ages in the community.