The Helen M. Plum Memorial Library is located at 110 W. Maple Street right next to Lilacia Park near downtown Lombard.
Monday, January 8, 2007
William R. Plum was an honorary Colonel of the Civil War who lived on Park Avenue in Lombard IL. When he died he left his house, books, and money for a public library. He did not want the library to be named after him, but after his wife Helen Maria Plum. Before the new two story building was built for the library in 1963, the library was located in his house since in 1928.
Sunday, January 7, 2007
One of the ideas the architects had was to have a warm and welcoming entrance to the library. When you first walk in there are many windows to brighten up the room and a check out desk that is staffed with helpful employees. At the time the library was built, it was very popular for libraries to have all of their collections in one room. The thought was to give the public easy access to all materials. The problem is that different people come to the library for different reasons. For example, children may come to the library for story time while high school and college students may come to have a quiet place to study. In order to help this problem, the library put the adult section in between the children's section and the quiet study area. This reduces the amount of noise and distractions in the quiet study area. They also have part time monitors and a list of library rules to help keep the library under control. Because the building is so old, the architects did not take wireless internet into consideration. The library was built with a lot of concrete which makes is difficult to have wireless internet in the library. Fortunately, the Helen Plum Memorial Library is expecting wireless internet this coming spring.
Saturday, January 6, 2007
The adult section of the library is located in the middle of the library. Just to the left of the computers is the adult reference desk. The adult section offers computers and the choice of tables and chairs for group seating or individual cubicals. By doing this, the library is able to satisfy more people. If this area is not private enough, individuals are welcome to go to the quiet study area which offers even more privacy and less noise.
Friday, January 5, 2007
The library does not have seperate rooms for their collections but they do have many people that come into the library in order to do homework or to read quietly. For this reason, they have designated the farthest corner of the library to a quiet study area. They make sure that anyone who is looking for a quiet area has a place to sit that is private. The adult collection is in between the quiet study area and the children's section. This gives the corner even less noise.
Thursday, January 4, 2007
The children's section is an area designated specifically for children. There are tables and chairs small enough for children and computers just for them to play on. The children's reference desk is located to the right of the computers. There are a few major problems that the library faces reguarding the children's section. Due to the lack of space the library has, there are bookshelves that reach eight feet tall. This is obviously a major problem for children who can't reach the books, but it is also a problem for the librarians who need to get something to stand on in order to help the children find what they are looking for. Another problem the library faces is the amount of noise in the library. Because of the way the library was built, the children, adults, and quiet study area are all located in the same room which can cause problems if young children are yelling on one end of the library.
Wednesday, January 3, 2007
This dollhouse was built and donated to the library. It resembles the house of Harold Gray which is located at 119 Main Street in Lombard. The house was built in 1881 for a man named Dr. William Leroy who made artificial limbs for the soldiers in the Civil War. It was then bought by Harold Gray in 1890. Harold Gray is the man who invented Little Orphan Annie in 1924. For those of you that don't know, Little Orphan Annie is the young girl who represents Ovaltine. This is one thing that connects Lombard to Villa Park. The town of Lombard is home to the house of Harold Gray, and Villa Park houses the Ovaltine factory. Along the wall next to the dollhouse is information for the public on Harold Gray, his house, and this dollhouse.
Tuesday, January 2, 2007
Monday, January 1, 2007
Recently there have been many changes to the Helen M. Plum Memorial Library to provide better service to the public. They have added the email reference, the Library Elf, E-audio download, and the reserve a librarian service. The Library Elf is a way that people can manage their items online. They can request a due date reminders that will be emailed to them daily or weekly. The reserve a librarian service allows the public to make an appointment with a librarian for a specific amount of time. During this time the librarian can teach them how to use the computers or answer any other library questions they may have. Another great collection they now have is the foreign language learning or English learning language collection. This helps the people who come to Lombard and want to learn English and the people who are curious to learn other languages. Like "One Book One Chicago" the library also offers a "One Glenbard One Book" where teens can all read the same book and then get the opportunity to meet the author.