On Nov. 6 voters in Sandwich approved a $3.4 million referendum to build a new library. That’s a big deal. First and foremost the current library which was technologically and accessibly obsolete will be replaced by a totally accessible new structure where people of all ages can study, learn and gather together. Last but by no means least the taxpayers of Sandwich, long known for resisting referendums that increase taxes, supported a solid plan from their library board that will not increase staff sizing needs but will provide the public with more space and more services.
Better news yet for expanded library services in Sandwich is the award of a $1,600,000 Illinois Construction Grant for the Sandwich Library. The Sandwich Library is one of 15 libraries in the state eligible for the grant funds that are needed for the total project cost for the new facility.
Through building reserve funds over many years the library purchased five acres of land on South Main Street for the new facility. The new library will be designed to operate without additional staff & with maximum energy efficiency.
The new library will enhance services to the public with:
- Ample parking
- 24/7 Drive-up Book/AV Return Drop & Holds Pick-up
- A larger selection of books, DVDs & audio items
- More popular books for all ages
- More computers for individual use & instruction with Wi-Fi and Fiber Optic Technology
- A refreshment area for coffee, soda, water
- Additional study areas, seating & work tables
- A large meeting room with access for community groups
- A children’s story & program room
- 2 study rooms
- Youth computer lab area
- Comfortable seating areas for individual/group study
- Quiet reading areas with lounge chairs
- Increased children, teen & adult programs
[success]Library usage statistics
42,588 people used the Sandwich Library and we loaned 47,260 items last year. This does not include items Sandwich patrons checked out at other libraries. We are a member of PrairieCat, an online catalog of 200 libraries and Omni Overdrive, an online catalog for downloadable e books and e audiobooks.[/success]
[success]Current library budget and tax levy
The budget for 2012-2013 is $329,000. The current tax rate is .20 per $100 of equalized assessed valuation.[/success]
[success]Property tax costs for homeowners
The average family owning a $150,000 home would incur an increase of $5.32/month. This is less than the cost of one book or monthly movie rental.[/success]