March 2022 | Volume XL. Issue 1 »

2021 New Library Buildings

March 1, 2022
Illinois Library Association

Seventeen libraries are showcased this year, including one academic library. The public libraries featured here range from those serving populations under 10,000 all the way up to nearly 90,000, in communities across the state. Makerspaces and maker “places” continue to be prominent features in library renovations, as are comfortable, spacious, beautiful spaces in which to spend time, in contemplation or in use of library materials. The quotes from patrons in the “What people are saying” sections in each entry are testaments to the need and hunger people have felt to gather after the past two years in relative isolation. Libraries continue to be vital hubs of connection and connectivity, and the people of Illinois all deserve facilities like the ones below.

Stephanie Battista


Architect: Williams Architects

Type of project: Renovation/expansion

Total cost: $1,400,000

Service population: 75,000

Library director: Mike Driskell

What people are saying:

“At 8,000-square-feet, the Makerplace is really something special.”

“We feel very lucky to have the Makerplace in our area. There are so many really interesting features and different machines that are out of our comfort zone, but we’ll get to try them like the 3D printing or laser cutting, which I don’t think I would try on my own.”

“I really like the Makerplace. I just found out about it a few weeks ago. It’s nice this is so close. There’s a lot of good staff here and you don’t need any previous experience.”

McShane Fleming Studios


Architect: product architecture + design

Type of project: Renovation

Total cost: $1,466,000

Service population: 14,433

Library director: Dana Wishnick

What people are saying:

“Absolutely beautiful. Love the new modern look. Can’t wait to relax in the new chairs.”

“Beautiful job and what a great place for kids and adults.”

“The updates are great and the library looks so much bigger now. Without adding space, you managed to add space!”


Architect: Engberg Anderson Architects

Type of project: Renovation

Total cost: $3,885,000

Service population: 40,269

Library director: Kathryn I. Martens

What people are saying:

“It’s a wonderful design at the library now. I just love my library!”

“I really enjoy coming here, and the staff is always friendly. I really enjoy the new upgrades, especially the drive-up window for holds when I don’t have time to look around inside.”

“One of the best libraries I have stepped in in a very long time. Congratulations. Great job, Crystal Lake!”


Architect: product architecture + design

Type of project: Renovation

Total cost: $1,564,396

Service population: 30,176

Library director: Heidi Smith

What people are saying:

“I’m very impressed with the Youth Services remodel. It was updated beautifully!”

“The Middle School Room is cool!”

“The natural light and comfortable chairs create a warm, inviting space.”


Architect: Farnsworth Group

Type of project: Adaptive re-use of former bank as new library

Total cost: $1,400,000

Service population: 11,000

Library director: Shelby Kolb Singler

What people are saying:

“Keeping the old bank safe and using it as the genealogy room has allowed the building to retain some of its history while also giving a focus to the history of Hillsboro and our original Carnegie Library.”

“One of the teachers from our high school mentioned that it reminded him of a college campus building. He said there are people at the high school who will be very jealous!”

“It looks incredible! I’m excited for the Hillsboro Public Library! More space, and an open atmosphere right in such a historic downtown location in Hillsboro to be accessible to all! Congratulations to all involved in the process!”

“A vision accomplished!”

“I love the lighting. I believe every library should have excellent lighting.”

“The colors used in the building are beautiful, attractive, and soothing. Very appropriate for a library.”


Architect: product archiecure + design

Type of project: Renovation

Total cost: $1,200,000

Service population: 42,529

Library director: Jamie Bukovac

What people are saying:

“I’m thrilled with the renovation & Maker Studio. I belong to a non-profi t and we can use the embroidery machine to make shirts with our logo. The Maker Studio truly makes the library a community center!”

“We can’t wait to come in all the time, as it is a beautiful new library.”

“I love that there is rotating artwork throughout the library.”


Architect: product archiecure + design

Type of project: New Building

Total cost: $11,300,000

Service population: 19,476

Library director: Kimberly Coughran

What people are saying:

“Great place, lots of room, so many things to learn are all here. Love it and can’t wait to come back.”

“Love it! You’ll find me in the maker room.”

“Lovely new space with lots of air!”

“I’ve been coming here since I was little, and I’m blown away!”

“I love the mini study rooms and the big quiet room.”


Architect: The Korte Company

Type of project: Renovation

Total cost: $150,000

Service population: 16,000

Library director: Angela R. Kim

What people are saying:

"‘More than Books’ is our motto, which includes art and architecture making our facility part library, art gallery, and museum.”

“The historic 1929 look of the original library has been preserved, while making classic updates that make it clean, modern and appealing to our community.”


Architect: Eggemeyer Associates Architects

Type of project: Renovation/expansion

Total cost: $765,000

Service population: 70,502

Library director: Kim Wilkerson

What people are saying:

“The renovations and expansions in the Mary and George Slankard Learning Resource Center have greatly increased students’ comfort and ability to collaborate within the library.”

“It’s a project that involves the possibility to impact every student.”

“[The benches] are nice and I like the flowers.”

“I am inside at least once a week, and the furniture is really comfortable.”


Architect: product architecture + design

Type of project: Renovation/expansion

Total cost: $1,570,000

Service population: 23,000

Library director: Pam Leffler

What people are saying:

“The recent renovations make our old building feel like new—calm, open, and welcoming.”

“It’s so amazing! Thank you for building this beautiful space for us."


McShane Fleming Studios

Architect: product architecture + design

Type of project: Renovation/expansion

Total cost: $1,420,000

Service population: 33,170

Library director: Kate Leffler

What people are saying:

“We love all the popular/lucky day books and the self-checkouts too.”

“Kudos on the new, spacious circulation area. I like that you’ve got not only new, but also older popular books for grab and go.”


Architect: Engberg Anderson Architects

Type of project: Renovation/expansion

Total cost: $5,397,103

Service population: 89,000

Library director: Jeannine Dilger

What people are saying:

“What a difference with the new construction! It is gorgeous and so open! Great job. Good to see my tax dollars are at work! LOVE the library!” 

“The library is looking so nice and the back entrance is great. It is nice and easy to get to. Thank you.”

“The new construction is fabulous, especially the maker room. Our family attended a tour of the room and really enjoyed it!”

“I love how you added new carpeting and new other things to the library. It’s great and I’m excited for the new things that are coming to the library.”


Architect: product architecture + design

Type of project: Renovation

Total cost: $5,100,000

Service population: 14,073

Library director: Alex Todd

What people are saying:

“Beautiful teen space. The kids’ space is incredible and spacious. The Lab/Maker Space looks very professional, and the fireplace is very cool.”

“The water fountain feature and planters in the courtyard are so welcoming. It’s so much more spacious inside.”

“Such an attractive and inviting space. The courtyard is beautiful, and I am grateful this is my library.”


Architect: Studio GC

Type of project: Renovation

Total cost: $1,100,000

Service population: 9,298

Library director: Janice A. Foley

What people are saying:

“The lower-level renovation at the Riverside Public Library is a game-changer for the community. The reallocation of  the space gives early learners, kids, and teens their own spaces to learn, play, and grow. The expanded community room accommodates more attendees and multiple programs. Most important, the renovation respects the building’s architecture and integrates the beautiful views of the Des Plaines River and surrounding parkland.”

“Just when I thought the Riverside Public Library couldn’t get any better, it did! A bright yet earthy color palette accompanied by playful fabric patterns sets the tone for any reading adventure. The peaceful, picturesque backdrop of the river is the perfect focal point for the early learning room.”

“Approachable, accessible, and enticing! The decoration is perfect, subdued and natural; the books are the true stars! With our youth area overlooking the river and forest behind the library, the addition of the felt cut-outs on the walls in the shape of trees and river complements the nature outside while simultaneously muting the sound for the adults in the library upstairs.”


Architect: Sheehan Nagle Hartray Architects

Type of project: Renovation/expansion

Total cost: $18,600,000

Service population: 55,092

Library director: Edith Guadiana Craig

What people are saying:

“The way the Carnegie building was incorporated with the new building brings a whole new life to it.”

“The renovated building has something for everyone.”

“The landscaping is gorgeous and fi ts in with our beautiful Fox River area.”

“There is so much light now in the children’s department! It’s so vibrant.”


Architect: Andrew Berman Architect

Type of project: Renovation

Total cost: $17,700,000

Service population: 64,000

Library director: Richard Kong

What people are saying:

“I walked in and stopped in my tracks. The library looks so gorgeous. I am in awe.”

“I just went up to the second floor for the first time and I’m blown away. Every time I come in, I am amazed by something I haven’t seen before. It’s just wonderful.”

“The Kids Room is incredible, the way the items are divided is amazing—best of any library!”


Architect: Engberg Anderson Architects

Type of project: Addition and renovation

Total cost: $2,100,000

Service population: 13,777

Library director: Megan Gove

What people are saying:

“I love how the new addition blends so nicely with the original 1800s building.”

“It looks so much bigger and brighter in here!”

“I’ve never seen a collapsible glass wall like that––such a good idea to expand the space as needed but still look really nice!”

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