We asked. You answered. We listened.

The feedback that we have received about our 2018 renovation provided valuable and thoughtful comments on our Library environment, which resulted in meaningful and positive changes to our design choices. We appreciate your feedback, thoughts and ideas.


Tell Us What You
Think About Our Plan


The Reading Room Glass Wall

As part of the asbestos abatement process, the current glass wall must be removed. After its removal, it is our intention to create and maintain an open floorplan for greater patron and staff functionality.

Sound Transference

Great consideration has been given to whether sound transference will be an issue in the new design. We understand that this is important to our patrons. Here are a few ways we are working within our remodel to make our spaces comfortable for all types of users:

  • The installation of a new ceiling in the lobby, Lloyd and reading rooms which will now provide for sound absorption.
  • New doors to the entrances to the Lloyd and youth rooms, eliminating design issues which let sound flow freely from the program rooms to the main lobby area.
  • The installation of new acoustic panels in the reading room to aide in sound absorption.
  • The renovation of the quiet room space, with additional seating to provide a comfortable more adult centered space for those who wish to work or study in a traditional quiet room.
  • The addition of small group study rooms will provide designated space to those who are collaborating, while minimizing disruption in the main reading room.
  • The installation of a new self-check station in the youth area will minimize noise in the lobby, while giving parents/caregivers the added convenience of completing their matters in one centralized location.
  • By combining the functions of the circulation and reference desks in the lobby, we will have moved some of the conversation of librarians helping patrons to one location slightly further from the reading room. Our goal is to cause less disruption and continue exceptional customer service.

Evaluation of Success
The Board of Trustees recognizes the need to evaluate the success of the open floorplan model, the sound mitigation work and its auditory impact. In the Fall of 2018 the Board plans to review the auditory impacts. If they find that the auditory impact is unfavorable, the wall can be added at that time. We have been conducting decibel tests in the reading room, mezzanine and adult area to establish a baseline of data. We will continue to evaluate the impact throughout the process.

The cost for the installation of a new glass wall would be $60,000 regardless of the timing of its construction. If the glass wall is not found to be necessary, as expected, we will then have saved a significant amount of money.
The design of the proposed wall if implemented can be seen here.

Frequently Asked Questions

The renovations being undertaken are informed by our strategic plan. Feedback and comments were solicited from the public, through a community survey and through a series of Library open houses. The feedback highlighted the need for new functional work and study spaces, as well as the need for general updates to the conditions of the Winnetka Library.
The estimated budget for the project is $2.1 million. (Board packet that contains renovation bids.)
The project will be paid for using our current budget for capital projects and fund reserved for projects of this nature.
January 29, 2018
Yes. Due to the abatement of asbestos in three major ceiling areas, the Winnetka Library will be closed for the month of February 2018.

The Northfield Branch Library will remain open during that time.

Construction is going to be happening in phases with the first phase being the closure of the Winnetka Library to begin abatement. We expect the duration to be just about four months with the completion expected in June 2018.
Yes, the construction will be done in stages with one bathroom under construction at a time. Additional bathrooms will also be available for public use in the Northfield Community Room, which is located adjacent to the Library.
We strive to make this process as easy for our patrons as possible. Here are 3 easy ways to bridge the gap while we’re closed:
1. The Northfield Branch Library: The Branch will be open and ready for all patrons needs. We will also be extending due dates of all materials during the closure.
2. Digital Library: Patrons have 24/7 access to materials through our Digital Library which contains eBooks, eAudiobooks, Digital Magazines, apps, Digital Movies & Music, etc.
3. Visit a Neighbor Library: The Winnetka-Northfield Public Library District Library Card is also valid at neighboring Libraries. Some nearby options are: Wilmette, Glencoe, Glenview.
Yes, holds may be placed as usual. You can pick them up at the Northfield Branch Library or any one of our neighbor libraries including: Wilmette, Glencoe and Glenview.
Yes, the Library will continue to host a variety of programs for all ages at the Northfield Branch Library (during the Winnetka closure) and at both Libraries following the closure.
No. The proposed design creates new shelving areas that will allow for the same number of new materials to be highlighted right as you enter the lobby.
The rooms would be located on the main level of the Winnetka Library in the Adult Services Area.
In addition to an overall room refresh, we will be adding soft individual chairs for seating and shelving for popular newspapers.
We will retain the same great level of service and staffing that you see in the Library every day. Self-checkout is an option for those who prefer faster service during busy checkout times.
The renovations being undertaken are informed by our strategic plan. Feedback and comments were solicited from the public, through a community survey and through a series of Library open houses. The feedback highlighted the need for new functional work and study spaces, as well as the need for general updates to the conditions of the Winnetka Library.
Yes, we have delayed the start of construction to allow for finals week study sessions.
In addition to the computer stations that will be available in the Reading Room, we will offer laptop checkout on the main floor. We will also offer self-check stations in adult and youth.
At the Nov. 20 board meeting the board of trustees voted to approve the bids. (Board packet that contains renovation bids.) The board will examine further feedback about the mezzanine, quiet room, main level carpeting and the glass wall.
Brian Johnson, President of the Board of Trustees trustees@winnetkalibrary.org
Rebecca Wolf, Library Director rwolf@winnetkalibrary.org

Winnetka Diagram Key

A. Lobby: New circulation desk, carpeting, LED lighting and shelving.
B. Reading Room & Adult Collection: Installation of new ceilings with better sound absorption, new acoustic panels to aide in sound absorption, LED lighting, carpeting and shelving.
C. Study Rooms: Creation of three new small group study/meeting rooms.
D. Lloyd Room: New carpeting, LED lighting, whiteboard, projector, and outward facing doors to patio (coming Fall 2018).
E. Restrooms: Renovation of existing restrooms to make them ADA accessible.
F. Quiet Room: New lighting, paint, carpeting, furniture and blinds.
G. RFID Technology: Installation of self-check kiosks in the lobby and youth service areas, and an automated return system.

Northfield Diagram Key

H. Restrooms: Renovation of the existing restrooms, with new sinks, toilets, hand dryers and changing tables.

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