As part of our ongoing construction project, the library building will be closed to the public and staff August 15–August 31. During this time, the electrical main will be replaced and all power will be shut off to the building. Repairs will also be made in the library's parking lot. Due to the complete inaccessibility of the building during this time period, there will be a number of changes to our borrowing and holds procedures during August. Please read these details carefully to ensure that you can access your holds during the closure.
Beginning August 4 and going through September 3, holds will not be available for pickup at Wilmette Public Library. You have two options for your holds during this time period:
From August 4–14, you can call the library for staff to pull items that are currently on the shelf for you to pick up. These will be the only holds filled at Wilmette during this time.
Previously filled holds will remain available at Wilmette through August 14. If you miss your pickup, you will need to place another hold on the items.
Please do not return any borrowed items you have checked out from Wilmette Library. No items will be due from August 14 through September 10. As a reminder, Wilmette Public Library no longer charges fines for late items.
All Wilmette book returns will be closed and locked for the duration of the library closure, August 15–August 31. If you have items you would like to return, you may return them to book drops belonging to other area libraries, including Evanston, Glenview, and Winnetka-Northfield.
Though the building will be closed, you still have access to physical and digital collections.
Our staff will also be available for assistance Monday–Friday, 9am–5pm to help with book selection, troubleshooting, and account management. While we’re closed, you will still be able to:
In early 2020, the Library conducted its first major capital needs study in years. The resulting report created a 20 year plan for the ongoing maintenance of the library building and grounds. This report is included in the Library’s budget and planning documents as the 2020 Capital Reserve Study, and comprises the majority of the Library’s Special Reserve Plan (both found on the Library Finances web page).
For 2021, the first year of the maintenance plan, we have scheduled the most critical repairs relating to life safety, occupant health, building/system integrity, and functional obsolescence. This is the most involved and impactful year of the entire 20 year maintenance cycle.
The total scope of work in the 2021 Capital Repair Project includes:
Learn more about the project and its timeline on the Projects web page.
The two week closure (August 15-31) addresses necessary maintenance work that cannot be completed in an occupied building.
The primary reason for the closure is due to the fact that the building will be without electricity. The main electrical service and power distribution throughout the library building is being updated, replaced, and modernized to comply with current standards and to create a safe, single disconnection point. The original electrical switchboard, branch panels, breaker boxes, end devices, and cloth wiring dating back to the 1950s will also be replaced and improved.
Concurrent with this major electrical project, the Library is also performing 10 year maintenance to the permeable paver parking lot to address rutting/brick separation in the drive lane, which would otherwise require closure of the parking lot for two weeks. The masonry and tuck-pointing project (which began in March and reached substantial completion in June), has a remaining portion adjacent to the main electrical service and power lines that could not be completed while the building is powered.
The Library’s construction team developed this plan to consolidate each of these individually impactful projects into a single two week timeframe to reduce the overall impact to service.
Despite our regular/pre-pandemic average of 900 or more visitors each day, the final weeks of August (generally prior to the first days of school), are typically the lowest trafficked and lowest circulation weeks of the year. Officials coordinated this project to coincide with this timeframe to reduce overall impacts to the public and regular library operations.
While the building and book drops will be closed, staff will resume the service model the Library adopted during the pandemic-related closures of the past many months to ensure continuity of programming and services (see above more information on our services).