More Than Books

The Naperville Public Library is about more than just books. Residents can check out movies or music, go to a community education class, or learn about a new culture at a lecture. Every week the three locations offer all kinds of activities, and as the world changes, so do they.

Six-year-old Sydney Mattera goes to the Nichols Library every week with her mom, Margaret. It’s a part of their routine.

“We’re a very busy family and it’s easy for us to just stop in and check out books or for an activity,” said Margaret Mattera.

On her most recent trip, Sydney was able to go on a scavenger hunt and make a star walker as a part of National Library Week.

“National Library Week really is a chance, not only for the community to recognize the library, but more importantly it’s a chance for the library to recognize the community,” said John Spears, Executive Director for the Naperville Public Library.

One of the goals for the three Naperville libraries, Nichols, Naper Boulevard, and 95th Street, is to offer residents new opportunities, from learning how to use computer software, to exploring a different culture.

“Naperville is a very diverse community,” said Spears. “Being able to offer cultural programming is something that I think is beneficial not only to the members of that culture, but also lets the library expose the broader community to that as well.”

One of the goals of the library is to be a part of the community outside of the buildings. That means being available to residents anywhere. They’ve been embracing technology for years with their website, where you can access newspaper archives and search engines. And if you need help, you can dial or text-a-librarian.

“One of the things we use a lot of is dial-a-librarian, especially for homework,” said Cyndee Herzog, Naperville resident. “When the kids have questions, they’re so helpful. You call them and they research it for you.”

The library started offering eMaterials in the early 2000s, but have really seen a spike in the past couple years. Today, almost ten percent of the library’s circulation is digital.

“You can take books out, put on your kindle, or you can borrow books and take them home,” said Cheryl Aichele, a Naperville resident. “It’s a wonderful service and it’s a wonderful space.”

“It’s offering them more ways of accessing the resources,” said Spears. “We don’t want to limit ourselves to just the people who come into the library.”

The library offers thousands of eMaterials, including bestsellers in eBook form and audio books. They say it allows them to reach out in ways they haven’t been able to before. Starting next month, the library will allow patrons to check out a Nook for up to three weeks. They have 36 available.


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