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Libraries

Cook Memorial Public Library District

The Cook Memorial Public Library District provides two full-service libraries for 60,000 patrons in the GLMV and surrounding areas. The libraries are Cook Park Library, 413 N. Milwaukee Ave., in downtown Libertyville, and Aspen Drive Library, 701 Aspen Dr., Vernon Hills.

“Both are highly trafficked and offer study rooms, meeting rooms, large collections and programming for all ages,” explained Rebecca Ferguson, communications coordinator. “Residents of the district are welcome to use either library. District neighborhoods, day care centers and senior centers are also served by a Bookmobile which makes regular stops each week.”

The Cook Memorial Public Library District began in 1909 as a couple of book shelves in the Decker and Bond Pharmacy in Libertyville, maintained by the predecessor of today’s Libertyville Woman’s Club. Borrowing books became so popular that the library expanded to the Village Hall in 1914 and then, in 1920, the Ansel B. Cook home and grounds were donated for use as a library, so the collection was moved there the following year.

In 1968, a separate building to house the library was constructed and the Libertyville-Mundelein Historical Society took over the Cook house as a museum.

In the 1990s, demand for library services grew exponentially as the communities grew, so an auxiliary, interim library was opened in the basement of the Vernon Hills Village Hall for residents at the south end of the district.

A second library, Aspen Drive Library, was constructed after the library’s board of directors approved a plan for expansion in 2007. An addition was also made to the Cook Park location. Aspen Drive opened in July 2010 and the addition to Cook Park was unveiled the following January, Ferguson said.

Today, both libraries offer large collections, both traditional and electronic as well as hundred of classes and events each year. For instance, they are in the sixth year of their wildly popular “Authors Out Loud” series which has attracted such well-known writers as Jodi Picoult, Chris Bohjalian and Louise Penny.

Computer and technology classes on topics ranging from Windows 10, to how to use social media, to how to create a webpage, are also favorites. In fact, they are only open to district cardholders, due to the high demand.

Not all events and classes require a reservation, however. Drop-ins are encouraged for guided meditation for adults, movie matinees, and many story times for children and families.

Adults can even drop in for one-on-one technology help from a knowledgeable teenager on Saturdays. The teens are willing to troubleshoot any electronic device and answer questions, according to Ferguson. “The patron gets their questions answered; intergenerational rapport is created; and the digital literacy of the District increases,” she explained. “The teens are available every Saturday from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Cook and from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Aspen.”

Similar one-on-one assistance is available from librarians on an appointment basis. They will spend an hour with any patron who needs assistance on how to use and download from the eLibrary collection.

“We don’t believe we will ever see a library without books because there will always be some people who will want to hold a book in their hands. We have also found that it is easier to mark and flip through pages with an actual book while it is easier to search for a particular term and travel using an eBook,” Ferguson explained. “So there will be reasons to have both.”

More than 100 magazines can be viewed in fully rendered form through Zinio, for instance. Similarly, Hoopla offers free music, movies, audiobooks, books, and comic books to library cardholders; Freegal allows library cardholders to access music tracks legally and without cost; and My Media Mall and 3M Cloud have a repertoire of thousands of books for download.

“When you browse our catalog for a particular title, you will immediately be able to see all of the different formats in which we offer it,” Ferguson said.

Cook and Aspen Libraries also host free monthly “Lunch Break” programs on various topics in conjunction with the GLMV Chamber of Commerce. Upcoming programs are listed in the online library calendar and newsletter, and are open to the public and business community.

For more information, visit www.cooklib.org or call (847) 362-2330.

Fremont Public Library District

Fremont Township residents, including parts of Mundelein and surrounding areas, voted to establish a library in 1955.

Today those residents are served by a 78,000-square-foot, full-service library that opened in 2001 and is located at 1170 N. Midlothian Rd. in Mundelein. The most recent renovation was completed three years ago and involved the construction of a new check-out counter and other improvements.

“Despite everyone’s worries about libraries becoming obsolete due to the Internet, we are finding that libraries are becoming more popular. They are evolving into community gathering places for people of all ages,” explained Jan Oblinger, adult program coordinator.

“We have been seeing a steadily increasing demand for ebooks, especially for travelers. So, our entire Adult Services staff has been trained to help patrons with their devices, offering one-on-one instruction on downloading whenever they request it,” she stated.

“The interest in other electronic resources like Freegal for music, Zinio for magazines and My Media Mall for streaming video has also been phenomenal,” she continued.

Use of the library’s online databases to access free resources like Ancestry.com, Consumer Reports, the A-Z Business Database and more has been increasing, too, as patrons realize that they can access some of these sites from home, 24/7, with just the use of their library card, according to Oblinger.

Programming is another huge draw to the Fremont Public Library. Over 35,400 people of all ages attended programs last fiscal year, ranging from music concerts to adult lectures to youth entertainers and drop-in craft workshops to writing and business workshops.

“There is a lot going on here all the time. The Chamber of Commerce holds programs here once a month and we host workshops for entrepreneurs through the U.S. Small Business Association’s SCORE program. We also have regular programs for teens where they try out different crafts or enjoy gaming. Computer classes on everything from general computing to using Facebook are also very popular,” Oblinger said. The library also offers ESL classes, through Mundelein High School, citizenship classes, one-on-one tutoring for ESL students, homework help for schoolchildren and public safety sessions in partnership with Fremont Township CERT.

Starting in 2015, the library began a telescope loaning program initiated by a donation from the Lake County Astronomical Society. That first telescope has led to the purchase of five more to meet patron demand.

Fremont Library also hosts free monthly Business Corner educational programs on various topics in conjunction with the GLMV Chamber of Commerce. Upcoming programs are listed in the online library calendar and newsletter, and are open to all.

For more information, visit www.fremontlibrary.org or call (847) 566-8702.

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