Repairs Update: Project Continues at Steady Pace

Projected Reopening Date: June 21, 2021



Coming to CLPL!

  • New Drive-Up Service Window and Return Drop
  • New Automated Materials Handling System
  • New Self-Checkout Machines
  • New Program Room in Youth Services
  • New DIY/Multipurpose Area in Adult Services
  • Improved Air Circulation/Filtration to Meet COVID Standards
  • Improved Interior Lighting and Improved Lighting in the Parking Lot
  • New Passport Application Service Desk
  • Lower, Easy-to-Reach Shelving in Youth Services
  • Easy-to-Reach Displays in Adult Services
  • Roof and Window Leaks – Repaired


New Drive-Up Service Lane, Paving Completed – June 2021
Waiting for delivery of window, drawer and railing for retaining wall.

Pictured above: A new drive-up service window and return drop will allow patrons to conveniently return materials and pick up hold materials.



New Automated Materials Handling System Installed! – April 2021

Pictured Above: The new automated materials handling system has been installed. The return drops pictured above are located in the main lobby. Patrons will insert their materials into the slot, and the AMH will automatically record the items as returned. The materials will travel along the conveyor belts, and the machine will sort the items by department.


Construction Workers Hit Brick Wall Buried Beneath Library Parking Lot – April 2021

Pictured Above: Construction literally hit a brick wall in early April when workers attempted to install steel piers intended to support the new retaining wall and drive-up service lane. Engineers studied the problem and found a way to work around the obstacle. The wall – possibly a foundation for an old farm structure – delayed completion of the drive-up lane by one to two weeks.


New Self-Checkout Machines – April 2021

Pictured above: Penny Ramirez (left), head of technical and automation services at CLPL, shows Library Board trustees how the new self-check out machines operate. The machines replaced outdated checkouts that could no longer be serviced. The new self-checkout machines can scan a pile of books all at once.


New Exterior Materials Return Drop – April 2021

Pictured Above: The new materials return drop has been installed near the parking lot entrance to the building. The drop coordinates with the new automated materials handling system, which will record returned items as “checked in” and remove the materials from patrons’ accounts must faster.


Lobby: Return Drops – April 2021

Pictured above: A glass wall and new materials return drops have been installed in the lobby along with windows that will allow patrons to watch their materials travel along the conveyor belts of the new automated materials handling system.


Circulation Department: New Automated Materials Handling System – April 2021

Pictured above: Pieces of the new automated materials handling system are assembled in the Circulation Department. The new system will shorten the return/check-in/reshelving process a the Library. As a result, patrons will notice returned items will be removed from their accounts much faster.


Building the Retaining Wall for the New Drive-Up Service Window/Materials Drop – April 2021

Pictured above: construction workers install steel piers 25 feet into the ground. The piers will support the new retaining wall near the future drive-up service window and materials drop.


Youth Services – April 2021

Pictured above: Youth Services staffer Ms. Susan stocks the picture books into the shelves. The shelves are lower and foward-facing, making it easier for our younger patrons to search for books.


Lobby – March 2021

Pictured above: The former Circulation Desk and self-checkout machines have been removed. A new nook has been built to accommodate passport application processing, which will have seating and privacy for patrons.  


Future Drive-Up Service Window and Materials Return Drop – February 2021

Pictured above: A portion of the wall on the east side of the building has been knocked out. A new drive-up service window and return drop will be built in that portion of the wall. 


Future Location for Automated Materials Handling System and Lobby Return Drops – February 2021

Pictured above: The new automated materials handling system will be installed in this area (the Circulation Desk is located to the right of the opening). A glass wall will be installed and two new return drops will be located in wall. Patrons will be able to watch their materials travel along the conveyor belt of the new automated materials handling system. The return drop on the far wall in this photo is the drop that faces the parking lot. This drop will remain, but the return drop facing Paddock Street will be removed permanently (replaced by the drive-up service window on the east side of the building).


New Program Room in Youth Services – February 2021

Pictured above: Youth Services, view of the new program room that will be used for storytimes, programs and meetings. For perspective, the space in the foreground of the photo is where the Youth Service desk was located.


Entryway to Youth Services – February 2021

Pictured above: The walkway into Youth Services has been widened to meet social distancing standards.


Stairwell Leading to the Lower Level – February 2021

Pictured above: Repairs to the building’s HVAC system are conducted in the stairwell leading to the lower level. Lighting above the stairs is also being improved.


Adult Services – January 2021

Pictured above: Materials near the Beacon in the Adult Services department are covered with plastic to protect them from construction work.


Lobby – January 2021

Pictured above: The circulation desk, floors and walls surrounding the lobby have been removed.


Storage Containers Hold Contents of Library While Building is Closed for Repairs – January 2021

Pictured above: Three storage containers in the parking lot currently hold most of the Library’s contents while construction is taking place. Some book shelves remain inside the building and are covered with plastic for protection.


Crystal Lake Public Library Building Update

The Crystal Lake Public Library is offering all-virtual services as repairs and renovation work expand to the interior portion of the building. Since the State of Illinois implemented stricter guidelines due to the rise in COVID-19 cases in the community, the Library took advantage of this time to close the building and proceed with the improvements, which will take several months to complete. Closing the building and having staff work remotely enables contractors to finish the work in a much shorter time period. While the building is closed, CLPL will continue to offer its eLibrary collection, virtual services and virtual programs.

Repairs Project

Critical repairs are scheduled for Fall 2020/Winter 2021. An updated assessment of the condition of the Library building identified critical areas of repair to address, which include:

o Leaking – Resealing of the building including tuckpointing, replacing failed windows, resealing perimeter, repairing the roof
o Safety –Tripping hazards in parking lot, walkways and stairways; insufficient exterior/interior lighting
o HVAC (Heating, ventilation, air-conditioning) – Repair/replace components of the Library’s three HVAC systems that are at, or past, end-of-useful life

New Service Amenities

  • A drive-up materials return drop and drive-up service window will be added to the east side of the building, two amenities that have long been requested by the community
  • An automated materials handling system will be installed, which will shorten the amount of time materials are listed on a patron’s account
  • New self-checkout stations will be installed
  • Public and staff space within in the building will be reconfigured to meet social distancing requirements for COVID-19


The Library’s Aging HVAC System – Need for Ventilation

o Ventilation standards under COVID-19 require more fresh air brought into the building and upgraded filter systems
o Evaluation of Crystal Lake Public Library’s fragile, aging HVAC system by professionals revealed areas of great concern that impact the number of people who can safely be in tight spaces under COVID conditions

The Importance of Efficient HVAC Systems in Public Buildings

The “missing link” in the transmission of the (Corona) virus is related to HVAC systems in public buildings such as schools and libraries, according to Stephen Ashkin, president of The Ashkin Group,  an international consulting firm working in the professional cleaning industry.

“Good ventilation is crucial to reducing the transmission of the (Corona) virus,” Ashkin said in an article on “Scientific studies have found [that] people are over 18 times more likely to contract the virus indoors than outdoors, illustrating the importance of ventilation.”

Click here to read the full article, “HVAC – the Missing Link in Preventing COVID-19 Transmission.”