Cook Memorial Library Renovates Outdated Windows


Frida Montano

A crane towers over Cook Library, one of the many pieces of equipment used for the renovations.

On Oct. 27, 2022, renovations began on the Fiction Room windows and electrical outlets of Cook Memorial Public Library in downtown Libertyville.

The windows in the Fiction Room were leaving room for chilling winds to get through and send a cold breeze throughout not only the Fiction Room, but the three study rooms as well. Engineers with the Libertyville Board of Trustees found that not only had the windows started to crack, but there was structural damage to the wall of the library from the constant weathering.

Cook Library’s Fiction room is boarded up due to window and frame replacement. The new upgrades will provide more insulation during colder months and continue to illuminate the library. (Frida Montano)

“We are replacing the old windows, especially those that face out to the park,” Cook Library Reference Librarian Glenn Godrich said. “They’re at least 40 years old, so they [aren’t] very weatherproof anymore.” 

The building has remained open while construction was being done, except for the Fiction Room itself. The Fiction Room is a section of the library full of adult fiction novels and has three study rooms many LHS students frequent. However, the library set up temporary study rooms around the building that can be available for reservation as the study rooms are unavailable. Fiction books and audiobooks have also still been available to check out through Cook Library’s website, if people reserve them in advance.

Construction is finished on Dec. 21 2022, with the new windows being more energy efficient. These windows will provide extra insulation against the cold weather and provide a way for the library to spend less money on heating and cooling costs. In addition to replacing the windows, the library also decided to install four new floor outlets to provide an easier access to power for your devices.

This project was funded by the Libertyville Board of Trustees for infrastructure improvements and maintenance. Their reserves are what has helped to keep the library attractive and well-maintained for your comfort, safety, and enjoyment.

“Hopefully [this renovation] means that they can expand not only the books on the shelves that they can offer but also the programs,” social studies teacher Ms. Sarah Greenswag said. “I know that they do storytime and other things like art projects and stuff for kids, but maybe they could host book clubs or do other things for the community with the new space.”

Attendance at Cook Library has been much lower since the pandemic began, so one aim of this construction is to attract more people.

Students at LHS have also found the library to be very helpful to them. In a survey sent out to LHS students, 40% of 27 student responders frequent the library once a week, while 32% said once a month. 

For junior Sophia Macayeal, it’s a quiet place to find a good book to read. For senior Alexandra Harris, it helps with finding a source of entertainment. And for many other students including senior Samuel Hwang, it is a place where you can either find a quiet place to study or communicate with friends when helping with homework or group projects. 

Students are grateful for the added benefits of new windows and electrical outlets underneath the tables.

“The plugs will definitely help everyone just because we use technology so much now that batteries drain easily and plugs aren’t everywhere,” senior Abigail Hayes stated in the survey. “Replacing the windows is also helpful. For me, it feels kind of refreshing”.

Overall, students are excited about the renovations, and the comfort they will bring to the library. The new windows will help with the overall calmness of the room, adding to the peaceful atmosphere. The new plugs will also help them to keep their work going by allowing them to plug in their Chromebook or their phones for work.