Addison Public Library

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Learn more about the new library in Addison, Illinois!

By Sally Schuster, Addison Public Library

Originally appeared in the February 2009 edition of the Illinois Library Association Reporter

A standing-room-only crowd of nearly five hundred people filled the new Addison Public Library September 21, the day of its grand opening — and they haven’t stopped coming in since. Numbers show the library is busier than ever, recording a 40 percent increase in visitors year over-year from the fall of 2007 to fall 2008.

The new 54,600 square-foot-library serves Addison’s 36,000 residents and unites the village’s municipal campus. Its dynamic contemporary design complements architecture of the adjacent village hall, police department, and high school administration office building (the former library). The three-storied steel structure clad with brick, stone, glass, and fiber cement panels blends the old with the new. It reuses pavers and two sculptures from the old library.

The Addison Public Library incorporates environmentally friendly features wherever possible. “The green roof system reduces heating and cooling costs, provides acoustic insulation, and improves air quality, reducing the heat-island effect,” said Greg Werner, vice president of Mortenson Construction. “The roof system modules were pre-planted at a nursery and shipped to the site ready to install.”

The building’s exterior curtain wall features low-emissivity (Low-E) insulated glass throughout while permitting extensive day lighting. Inside, energy-efficient T5 lighting is used while the building’s insulation values exceed energy code requirements.

Interiors also make use of sustainable materials such as bamboo flooring in the Internet café and cork flooring in the quiet reading room and study rooms. Meeting room chairs use material made from recycled seat belts and car batteries.

Coming to this library is an adventure in itself. Books spring to life through a collection of thirty imaginative hanging art sculptures suspended from the ceiling in a two-story, open space visible from the children’s and adult areas. The sculptures depict numerous themes and stories from planets, to music, to sports, to nursery rhymes.

The library’s interior reflects a vibrant display of daylight and rich interior finishes creating comfortable reading niche areas. Suspended wood acoustical ceiling panels create visual interest in the lobby, complementing the terrazzo and carpet flooring patterns that lead to the focal point of the lobby floor — the children’s reading area. High-speed Internet, Wi Fi, public computers, DVDs, and music CDs provide new media offerings, while more than 124,000 books rest comfortably on new library shelves.

“The Village of Addison landscape has been enhanced by a magnificent new library building,” said Addison resident Annette Baldwin. “The light-filled spaces and the lively furnishings welcome community residents into this building.”

The proof is in the numbers. In addition to a year-over-year increase of more than 5,000 visitors per month, the number of new library cards is up. The Addison Library staff issued more than 1,000 new library cards since the new library opened, while Internet registrations increased with 2,400 more in 2008 than in 2007.

In addition to the imaginative green initiatives taken with the construction of this building, the project came in on time and under budget. “I am so proud of the hard work the board, staff, architects, and construction managers did to design and build our new library,” said Library Board President Rob Kepka.

Photos by Joe Kay, Joe Kay Studios.

Fast Facts

Building: 54,600 square feet
Project Costs: $12,843,504
Seating: 390
Collections: 148,412
Computers: 71 public computers
Hours: 69 per week
Staff: 50 full and part-time staff members
Architect: Burnidge Cassell Associates
Construction Manager: Mortenson Construction
Interiors: Burnidge Cassell Associates
Web site:

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