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. Today we are visiting the Ela Area Public Library in Lake Zurich.
It is interesting to explore libraries from a mom’s perspective, and I was absolutely blown away by ELA Area Public Library in Lake Zurich! The outside is welcoming and upon entering there are bathrooms immediately available, this is always our first stop at the library! Just to the left is the expansive children’s department, you don’t want to miss this!
For Little Tots and Kids
Set up in a book-fair-esque model, beautiful displays with forward facing books are on racks throughout the entire space. Thematic labeling helped me know exactly where my youngest wanted to head but I also saw labels such as: Comics, Caldecott and Newberry Award. Of most importance to a mom of a beginning reader were the leveled readers selected and displayed in an easy to search fashion. (One of my biggest headaches has been finding the right level of a book for my kids when they were beginning to read, this is amazing!)
The flow of the book displays invite you to stroll throughout the Children’s Department to the many computers set up for easy use and different spaces to sit and read or do an activity. Towards the back right, there is a creative space under construction; I can’t wait to see it when it is done! Straight to the back, is a “life-size,” Lite-Brite board that is clearly a favorite of pint-sized patrons. The pegs are roughly five inches long, and kids can easily plug them in and move them around. Other fun, non-book features include Duplo blocks, a Lego wall (but I didn’t see any real Legos out), a felt board wall with a learning activity and life-size books. And there were even more bathrooms were in the back of the children’s area near some of the programming rooms! I cannot stress how great this was for my family with a young child who may wait until the very last moment before she has to use the bathroom.
Off to the left of the well -it children’s space, families can find a post covered in magnetic material with letters for playing, foam blocks and comfortable seating options. A craft was set up near the reference desk as well. This entire children’s space was impeccably designed for the modern family needing to keep everyone occupied. Children can show off their independence as the space is tucked aside and everything is so accessible to them. I could easily bring my entire family for hours–with half circle booths, plenty of tables and activities, we could all find a way to get work done (or play while mom works!).
For the Tweens and Teens
Separate spaces are set aside for tweens and teens, and signs depict their reserved areas including countertops for working and a small media room. This space is clearly designed for youth to come and hang out. I love seeing spaces dedicated to them! There is even a dedicated outdoor patio area to hang out.
With plenty of programming for all ages, facilities that are easily accessible, and easy-to-understand signage throughout the library, this space is absolutely perfect for a day out.
What is your family’s favorite activity at the Ela Area Public Library?