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Village Vision News

New-look library getting upgraded furniture, revised floor plan

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Forsyth Public Library is getting a new look, from furniture to floor plan.

A furniture master plan has been in the works for several months as Library Director Rachel Miller, with the Board’s approval, hired Embury, Ltd., a firm based in Wisconsin, to guide the way. Mona Deming, a designer with Embury, has been instrumental in the process, Miller said.

Miller has been pleased with the knowledge and customer service the company and Deming have provided throughout, citing Deming’s many contacts within the library community.

“Mona knows brands, furniture lines and what other libraries are using,” Miller said, noting that the designer had even dropped off chairs for trial usage. “She’s been great.”

In a memo to Mayor Marilyn Johnson, Village Administrator David Strohl and trustees, Miller wrote that, “Significant portions of the library furnishings were purchased when the library opened in 1983,” adding that a majority of remaining furniture was purchased for a 1996 expansion of the library.

With attention to detail, Miller presented floor plans and furniture lists. She also submitted a furniture inventory for trustees at the January 16 meeting. The inventory provided a description of each piece, quantities, condition and recommendation/action to be taken. Conditions ranged from poor to excellent, outdated to good and OK, and recommendations included: for reuse, not to be reused or for disposal.

Miller recommended donating items that will not be used or disposed of to nonprofits like Habitat for Humanity or Central Illinois Christians in Missions.

The biggest change patrons will notice is the open area currently directly in front of the circulation desk, Miller said. A timeline for finishing the project is difficult to predict at this point and will come at a later date, she said.

The FY 17 budgeted amount for the project is $67,000. The cost is just over $64,000, but does not include installation, which will be as much as $5,000. Where possible, Miller recommended that Public Works staff be used for moving, unpacking and some installation, but for the more complicated assembly, she said Embury has professional installers.

Given that the cost will exceed the budgeted amount, Miller offered to postpone for a future date the portion of the plan that called for upgrades to her office, an amount ($4,289.67) that would help offset the overage.

Trustee David Wendt asked about losing discounts if Miller’s office was delayed. Miller said that was likely and that, per Deming, prices would rise.

“Why we wouldn’t we just do that (include Miller’s office) now?” Wendt asked the Board.

Several trustees agreed with Wendt, with Jim Peck telling Miller, “You’ve done a great job with this.”

Trustee Bob Gruenewald made the motion to approve and include installation and furniture in the director’s office, which was seconded by Wendt. All votes were Yea.

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