Library Closure August 15-31

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.

Borrowed 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.

Library Services During the Closure

Though the building will be closed, you still have access to physical and digital collections.

  • Borrow from other libraries. Your Wilmette library card allows you to borrow books, DVDs, and more from our neighboring libraries.
  • Check out our digital collections. You can access thousands of streaming and downloadable books, audiobooks, movies, and more from our digital collections. They are available 24/7, and library staff will be available by email and chat M-F 9-5 to help you access these 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:

  • Apply for a library card 
  • Request custom reading lists for adults, teens, and children 
  • Attend our regularly scheduled virtual programs 
  • View our library of pre-recorded storytimes and STEAM activities 
  • Access online resources for genealogy, business help, tutoring, and much more 
  • Receive help from our librarians
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Library Holds

While the library is closed, you have two options for your holds. Holds pickup will resume at Wilmette Public Library on September 3.

  1. Change your hold pickup location. In order to receive your holds August 4–September 3, you must change the pickup location in your account. Local libraries, including Winnetka-Northfield, Glenview, Evanston, and others, are all available options to pick up your holds. Note: If you change your holds pickup location, you will need to change all of your hold pickup locations back to Wilmette beginning September 3. If you need help with this process, call the library at 847.256.5025.
  2. Pause your holds. If you don't change your pickup location, your holds list will be automatically paused and you will maintain your place in line. Held items will continue to circulate at other libraries, and when holds resume at Wilmette on Sept. 3, you will be able to pick up your hold as it becomes available.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is this construction project all about?

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:

  1. Extensive roof repairs,
  2. Complete building envelope masonry maintenance, cleaning, and tuck-pointing,
  3. Exterior sealant replacement,
  4. Parking lot paver repair, replacement, and restriping,
  5. Water infiltration mediation in the lower level,
  6. Update and replacement of electrical mains, feeders, and branch panels,
  7. Update and replacement of the fire alarm system, and
  8. Update and replacement of the access control and security systems.

Learn more about the project and its timeline on the Projects web page.

Why will the Library be closed for two weeks?

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.

Why now?

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).



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