Changes at Fremont library designed to improve patron experience
Fremont Public Library patrons have seen a bevy of changes at the Mundelein facility in recent weeks.
Responding to patron surveys, officials have created a new circulation desk, expanded the young adult section, moved periodicals to the second floor and made other changes in the 10-year-old building at 1170 N. Midlothian Road.
The work began in January and essentially wrapped up late last month, although some minor adjustments still are being made, library Director Scott Davis said. The project has cost an estimated $220,000 and is funded with library savings.
One of the most noticeable changes is the new circulation desk, where staffers can handle any patron account needs, including checking out books, card applications and paying fines.
"We used to have three separate desks that handled these transactions," Davis said.
The work included some layout changes, too. The adult fiction department on the first floor is larger, and shelves have been added to the new fiction and nonfiction area.
The audiovisual section moved, too. Formerly in the center of the library near the young-adult department, it's now on the west side of the building near the entrance.
That department features new shelves that allow people to see the faces and spines of DVDs, CDs and other materials.
As he searched for DVDs on Thursday, patron Tom Campbell said he liked the new shelving system.
"It makes it easier (to browse)," said Campbell, of Mundelein.
And with the audiovisual section elsewhere, the young-adult department was able to expand.
"It seems like they have (a bigger) selection," said 16-year-old Hannah Smith, of Mundelein. "It's more organized."
The young-adult section also has two tables that eventually will hold four computers reserved for teens.
Elsewhere in the building, a reader-advisory desk has opened near the adult fiction department, which will allow patrons to more easily seek assistance from librarians.
And the library's collection of magazines and newspapers has moved upstairs to space once occupied by the Lake County Genealogical Society, which relocated this year to Vernon Hills' village hall.
The various layout changes have resulted in a new view for patrons. For the first time, they can see the pond behind the library upon entering the building.
"It pulls you and your vision right through," Davis said of the view, which is possible because the south facade of the building features a large array of windows.