Beyond the Books: Indian Trails Public Library District {Wheeling}

A Look inside the Newly Renovated Library

LLC Loves libraries! In celebration of National Library Week we’re giving you a look inside some of our favorite libraries. Going beyond the books to the amenities, programs, and features that make them our favorite places.

Indian Trails Public Library District

I love exploring libraries. In the summer the kids and I make it a point to visit a few new to us  libraries throughout the break as part of our Thinking Thursdays. If you think all libraries are the same, it’s just books and shuuuush… think again. Libraries are changing, rapidly, and becoming community hubs that enhance not only learning but communities.

Indian Trails Public Library

This past week the Indian Trails Library {Wheeling} re-opened after being closed for a year for a $14.4 million renovation and expansion. They added 14,000 square feet and opened up the library creating a bright and beautiful space to serve the community. On opening day 1,700 people came through to see it. On my walk through the new spaces I couldn’t get over how the staff and architects had thought of everything.

Indian Trails piblic library district


As a mom of many small children I am always surprised with some libraries expectations that small children be quiet, walk, and be generally non-disruptive to adult patrons. While I expect and teach my children to be respectful a toddler is still a toddler and they are going to get excited and don’t we want them excited about books and learning?

The flow and design of the Indian Trails Library was created to be vibrant and active on the first floor and quieter and more traditional library as you move upstairs. All of the kids spaces are on the first floor in a gorgeous space that has something for everyone from a KidZone to a maker space to a community lounge and and vending area.

Indian Trails public library

The updated kids zone has a space for every age and stage and every type of person in those ages and stages. When you first enter you will pass by the Launchpad. This is their new maker-space and has everything from 3D printing and etching to sewing, paper-crafts and coding. Coming in the fall there will be a digital studio as well. This space is open to card holders of any library to use (all items stay in the library) it will also host classes and meet-ups.

When you enter the KidZone you will be drawn to the lighting first, it’s amazing. It’s called a racetrack light and it’s the longest continuous one in the world, I want it. The teen zone is located off to your left and it’s a teen moms dream. There is space for them to work, hangout, play games and study. There are even quiet reading pods for those kids that like to work alone. It’s also separate from the kids area so they don’t feel like they are with the little kids but close enough that a mom who has both big and littles would feel like they could peek in and know where they were.

indian trails public library

The children’s area is bright, colorful and full of tactile and hands on learning. All the books are now cover facing out making it more engaging for kids, they are also sorted by theme as opposed to exclusively by author.  There are LEGO tables and a wall, trains, a light table, puppets, kitchen, Velcro and magnet walls. The Makery is a crafting area with daily craft suggestions, supplies and (toddler moms cheer) a sink to wash up at after your child wears the glue instead of using it. There is also an amazing ball machine (see video) that teaches children STEAM principles and gives them a chance to explore action and reaction.

The new children’s programing room will open right up on to the reading garden as well as the newly renovated Horizon Park, making the Indian Trails Library a perfect place for a playdate! You can do library, picnic lunch and a playground all without moving your car or schlepping a stroller!

Horizon Playground wheeling

The upstairs space is just as impressive with meeting rooms, labs, and a quiet reading area set with a fireplaces and full floor to ceiling windows. When the trees are in bloom you will feel like you are in a tree house. The Loft is an area set up for local high school kids that offers collaborative work spaces and the materials they need.

Watch my quick two-minute tour and they add it to your library tour list!



Indian Trails Public Library District
355 Schoenbeck Rd., Wheeling
847-459-4100 | Facebook

About Melissa Haak 626 Articles
Melissa is mom to 4. She used to dream of traveling the world, now she dreams of a clean kitchen. She can be found on most social media sites as @PBinmyHair because with this much hair and four kids, you're bound to find something in it.

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