Q. What’s happening with the Library building project?

The Library Board has been seeking a long-term solution to the Library’s facility needs for more than 20 years. The current Library facility is inadequate to provide 21st century public library service.

The November 8, 2016 Advisory Referendum for a new Library did not pass. The certified results from the McHenry County Clerk’s office indicate that the vote was 10,701 “no” to 8,556 “yes.” Without a “yes” majority, the City Council will not issue the bonds for a new Library building.

Many of you have asked us “what now?,” understanding that the problems that led the Library Board to ask the City Council to go to referendum in 2016, still exist. The Library Board is in the process of trying to determine the best way to solve these problems. The Library building still needs $9.1 million in repairs, funding the Library does not have.

A number of studies and expert opinions have informed the Library Board as they consider options. Click here for a list of these documents including a recent Site Comparison Study, FACTS about this project, the Pew Internet American Life Project, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which studies the role of libraries in users’ lives and in their communities and the Aspen Institute Report from the Dialogue on Public Libraries Rising to the Challenge: Re-Envisioning Public Libraries. This link will also provide a list of videos related to the Library building project.

Q. Why does My Account still show that I have an item that was recently returned?

We receive frequent questions about how returns are handled. When items are returned in our book drops they are placed on book trucks dated with the actual date of return and are discharged from patron accounts as of that date.  As long as items with a grace period are returned within that grace period & items with no grace period are returned by the date/hour due, no fines will accrue.  Due to the volume of materials checked out and returned, it can be several days before an item is checked in.  Our current check-in system is manual. Plans for our future Library include space to install an automated check-in and sorting system that will greatly speed up the process.

Q. Why can’t I see when an item is due?

Crystal Lake Public Library is part of a 24-member computer consortium. The decision regarding the display of due dates is made by the consortium; it is not an individual library decision. At this time, the consortium has opted not to display due dates.

Q. Why can’t I see where I am in the holds queue?

Because the Crystal Lake Public library is one of a 24-member consortium, hold queue information would display as your position in the whole queue and not the queue for Crystal Lake only.   Since this inaccurate information causes further confusion for our patrons, we have chosen not to display it. We have asked our software company to address this issue.

Q. Why do I have to pay for a CLPL card if I’m in the unincorporated area, when the people who live in the city get a free card?

Although it may appear as if city residents get “free” Library service, they actually pay for it through their property tax bill.  To make the system equitable to all, those living outside the city limits are charged the same fee as their in-city neighbors.

Q. Why doesn’t CLPL have a book drop in the parking lot?

This is a question the CLPL Board of Trustees has struggled with numerous times over the years.  In exploring options, the Board considered two types of book drops; a type of book drop that would be attached to the building and one that would be free standing.  After much investigation the Board found that due to traffic flow issues, our current site does not allow for either type of book drop.   Adding a book drop to our current site would also compromise our already limited parking and there are additional safety issues related to getting the books from a free standing book drop into the building.

Q. Why doesn’t CLPL have remote book drops in other parts of the city?

This is a question that has also been explored by the CLPL Board of Trustees.  Many of the constraints with this added convenience have to do with the expense.  In addition, a remote book drop would necessitate the Library purchasing a van to transport the books, the expense of additional staff time as well as the cost of the drops themselves.  The Library does not have the funds to execute a remote book drop at this time.

Q. It’s hard to take the stairs into the Library building and most of the parking is on the opposite side of the building from the current ramp.  Why can’t the Library put in a ramp on the parking lot side of the building?

During our 1995 expansion this idea was considered.  The idea of adding a ramp to the front of the building was denied for financial and practical reasons.  Since there is a significant grade change to get up to the entry level of the building, a ramp at this entrance would be long, have landings every thirty feet, allow two-way traffic and therefore be extremely costly.  The distance to travel up the ramp would also put patrons out in the elements on a ramp for a long period of time.   The cost to keep a long ramp structure free of ice and snow in throughout the winter would add significant ongoing expense.

Q. Why doesn’t the Library staff reprimand people who talk on their cell phones?

Cell phone usage is covered in our “Patron Behavior Policy,” which states, “Conversation, music, or other sounds that exceed an acceptable noise level, i.e., can be heard beyond a 6 foot radius, or is disturbing to other patrons or Library staff is prohibited.”   In other words, any talking that is too loud, whether on a cell phone or to another person, is not allowed and needs to be addressed.  If you encounter this problem in the future please inform the Library staff member at the Service Desk so that we can work directly with the patron involved.