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library
A record-breaking year of fundraising efforts has given the North Chicago Public Library the money it needs to undergo some much-needed repairs, upgrades and renovations.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the Argonne Drive facility recently unveiled its newest upgrade — a new rental dropbox in the library’s parking lot — at a May 9 ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“So far we’ve received over $10,000 for programming and the enhancement of the library,” library director Joan Battley announced at the event.

Library patrons will be able to return their borrowed books, CDs and DVDs in this new drop box during the library’s off hours. The library decided to add the drop box after customers expressed a desire to return their borrowed media on Sundays, a day when the library is closed. While the library already had an outdoor slot for returns, it would only accept books.

“This helps our library users avoid having to pay fines,” Library Board member Vance Wyatt said.

The media drop box is just one of the several upgrades outlined in its 2013 strategic plan that the library hopes to make with its fundraising money.

In September, the library replaced its 25-year-old heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system that had been malfunctioning — the first step to taking the library “to the next level,” Battley explained.

With the right care and preventive maintenance work, the average HVAC system will last for approximately 12 years, meaning the North Chicago Public Library will be able to keep its 32,500 patrons cool for many summers to come.

The library will also see the construction of a new community room for group meetings and library programming, as well as a new paint job, new carpeting and furniture within the coming months, the Tribune reported.

“This is all a team effort,” said Library Board member Zera Dickerson, who acts a liaison between the board and the Friends of the Library. “Little by little we’re making this a more beautiful space for our children and families to come to.”

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