Library celebrates new look

SYCAMORE – When the Sycamore Public Library board began its renovation project on April 16, the board tentatively set a date of Oct. 1 to have everything completed.

“At 8:30 p.m. Sept. 28, we put the last  book on a book shelf,” executive director Sarah Tobias said.

“It was great to be a little ahead of schedule,” assistant director Katherine Keyes said.

With costs estimated at approximately $731,000, Tobias said the renovations included new windows, moving the circulation desk from the top floor to the first floor where visitors enter the building, replacing the old circulation desk with a reference desk, expanding the children’s room and developing a Teen Zone.

The library, which was built in November of 1905, added an extension at the end of 1996. According to a library printout, the renovation essentially completed the extension. Steve Swedberg, owner of Swedberg & Associates, was the construction manager.

“This has been a real learning experience for us,” Keyes said.

During the five months of construction, Keyes said the library closed for only six days, something she attributed to the adaptability of the library staff.

“We’re very proud of that,” she said.

Although the renovations were completed two weeks ago, an open house was held last Sunday to officially celebrate the event, complete with tours, balloon art, face painting, games and refreshments.

“It’s really fun to be here,” Ella Sharp, 9, said of the renovation. “It looks better. Last year, it was smaller.”

“I like coming here because they have really great books,” her twin brother, Matthew, said.

“I think they really did a great job,” Nicky Lovell of Sycamore said.

Her 8-year-old son, Erik, agreed, saying he liked the new teen zone.

Katherine Sharp, 12, of DeKalb had a unique reason for attending the open house. Her mother, Lisa Sharp, owner of Sharp Architects, Inc., was the architect for the project.