The Villa Park Public Library has encountered various problems throughout the course of its existence. The rise in noise level after school hours poses no real problem, since it subsides within a couple hours, and adults don’t really mind the noise. Main problems that have arisen are issues of high school students loitering and skateboarding on library property. Vandalism has not really been an issue, but teens’ consuming alcoholic beverages in the library or on library property has been an issue, with some incidents involving the police or paramedics. The problem of the homeless sleeping in the library has not really been an issue since a homeless shelter is located downtown.
Other internal problems the library faces are the lack of funds and the lack of space. Space has been an issue for a long time, and as a result, materials have to be constantly shifted to maintain future space needs. The library plans to expand by building sideways or underneath the building. Expansion has to be done in this manner because the building cannot expand upwards, since all the utilities are on the roof of the building.
The library has recently purchased a piece of land from the St. Alexander Church north of the building, and plans to convert it into a staff parking lot to compensate for the rather small parking lot it provides for its patrons. Regarding funds, the library is asking for donations and grants to increase its funds so that it can spend the money the way people want it to be spent. On the library’s website, a forum is being held to ask Villa Park residents for feedback on what improvements should be made to the library. This kind of democracy insures a user-centered library by having patrons themselves contribute to the good of their library.
For more information, check out the library’s website at www.villapark.lib.il.us