Current Service Update

Face masks are strongly recommended for everyone in the Library ages two and older, regardless of vaccination status.

We are open: Mon–Fri: 9am–9pm, Sat: 9am–5pm; Sun: 1pm–5pm

Click here for more information on all of our currently available services.

Click here for Plum Pickup Service.

The New Helen Plum Library

The New Helen Plum Library header showing exterior of new building

The Library Board and staff have been working with architects to bring our new building to life for the Lombard community with additional space for materials, events, and studying. We are excited to move forward with plans for our new building at 411 South Main Street!

Please check this page for updates. Though it is archived now, you can still access our previous referendum information site.

Project Updates

Legal Notice: Request for Bids on Meraki Network Equipment

Posted on:

By authority of the Board of Library Trustees, sealed bids will be received until 2:00 p.m., prevailing time, on August 16, 2022, by the Board of Library Trustees of the Helen Plum Library District for Meraki Network Equipment.  Any bids received after 2:00 p.m. will not be accepted.

Contact Us

Sue Wilsey
Director, Strategic Communications & Marketing

swilsey@helenplum.org

(630) 656-6902

Email Updates

Sign up for the biweekly email newsletter from Helen Plum Library to keep up-to-date on the latest new building information!

Frequently Asked Questions

Planning and Construction

The current schematic plans have the building at approximately 50,000 square feet. The current library building is 34,300 square feet.

The Library Board determined that relocating to the 411 South Main Street site would best suit the needs of the community, and this approach allows for the construction to be undertaken in a single phase without interruption to day-to-day operations.

A single standalone library building is being constructed on the premises. Our plans provide similar programs, functions, and resources as the previous concept plans that were publicly shared after the referendum was passed in 2016. The site will also be improved with a new parking lot and a drive-up window and book drop.

  • Summer 2021: Groundbreaking and start of construction.
  • Spring/Summer 2022: Construction underway.
  • Winter 2022: Anticipated building completion.
  • Early 2023: Open to public.

All dates are estimates, and all images are in-progress renderings. All are subject to change.

The architects are using both Illinois Department of Transportation criteria and the Village’s clear line of sight requirements to assure safety for drivers and pedestrians.

Sign up for the Helen Plum Library email newsletter, which will link to any new project developments, by visiting helenplum.org/newsletters.

The Library has begun receiving inquiries from vendors about bidding for work related to the new building. Thanks for your interest! Please use the contact information below for more information on the public bidding process

Furniture Bid Inquiries can be directed to:
Sarah Ponto
Engberg Anderson
sarahp@engberganderson.com

Moving Bid Inquiries can be directed to:
Shaun Kelly
Engberg Anderson
shaunk@engberganderson.com

Miscellaneous Questions

We plan to have a furniture sale of items not being used in the new Helen Plum building. This sale would likely be held once the staff has moved into the new facility.

We have been contacted by patrons hoping to purchase old card catalog furniture. The Library switched to a digital online catalog in June of 1984 and any remaining card catalog furniture was dealt with at that time.

New Building Features

The new site will have 105 parking spaces, including 5 accessible spaces, along with the convenience of a drive-up window.

Our collections develop and change in response to community interests and needs all the time. For example, during the pandemic, we reallocated material budgets to support online lending, like Hoopla, and greatly increased the hotspot lending. As we look forward to the new building, we will continue to access usage patterns.

Note: The new building will provide more accessible spaces for materials, however, we cannot run a direct square footage comparison due to the inaccessible height of shelving at the current building.

The landscape architect will accommodate appropriate and enhanced plant materials, including the inclusion of lilac plants and native plants.

 

Particularly with the proximity to the Illinois Prairie Path, bike racks will be placed near both the front and rear entrances.

We have discussed all aspects of sustainability for the project with the architects and are taking a larger review of possibilities for green technology or other enhancements to improve building efficiency. This includes potential for future solar panels, a selection of enhanced roofing materials, two electric vehicle charging stations(available at minimal cost), and addressing natural lighting and sunlight/heat absorption.

In addition to sustainable energy considerations, the plan provides an asphalt parking lot with concrete walkways. Some permeable pavers are being incorporated into the project.

Like many area libraries, we are incorporating a high-end vending café that includes fresh bean-to-cup coffee options and a wide range of beverage and snack items. We determined, based on the feedback from nearby libraries below, that a vending cafe would be the best way forward for our patrons:

Prior to planning the interior for the new Helen Plum Library building, we reached out to our contacts in the vast public library community. We wanted to know who had added a coffee shop to their spaces, and the pros and cons of their arrangement and effectiveness. From the responses that we received, although some have had success with a coffee shop inside a library, the majority have not considered it, closed it, or regret adding it to their building for various reasons:

  • The library does not open early enough to serve the majority of coffee drinkers who want their early morning fix.
  • Adding a fully functional coffee shop would require additional liability insurance due to increased risks of fire and flooding, zoning approvals, additional plumbing, and health department monitoring.
  • There are concerns about locating a for-profit business inside a public institution.
  • The library and its taxpayers essentially become “landlords," which presents additional concerns. Do they evict an outside vendor whose customer service is not up to their standards?

With a café leased to a private operator, the Library would have limited control over available products, customer service standards, and the space could remain vacant for extended periods of time between tenants. Area libraries have had problems with all of these over the years.

If a café were owned and operated by Helen Plum Library, the Library needs to deal with staffing and managing a food service business, which is far outside the typical core function and training of public library staff. Our organization would prefer to support local businesses in the community rather than create competition.

Architects are employing a number of methods to deal with temperature including glazing, a shade system, and shading of building overhang.

Budget

Please click here to find the Draft Master Budget, presented to the Library Board on January 20, 2021

Building cost increases usually occur as a result of market forces and reflect increases in the cost of labor and materials. Some owner-incurred costs do include the extended design process and the purchase of property.

 

For detailed information on revenue from the 2016 referendum, click here.

Once new operating costs are established (2024 or later), the Board can determine plans for future programs, construction options, early bond payoff, and/or tax levy relief.

For detailed information on tax levy relief, click here.

Key Documents