Library News

Renovations begins mid-July

Thursday, June 30, 2022

We are excited to announce that the first stage of library renovations will begin very soon. This first stage will be completed in two phases to ensure the library building remains open.

Phase 1 is targeted for completion in September, with Phase 2 beginning immediately after Phase 1 is finished.

We'll let you know exact dates once they are confirmed.

Entrance closure beginning mid-July

  • Our east entrance, connected to our parking lot, will be closed while that side of the building is under construction. A new automatic door system will be installed. No more heavy single doors, hurray!
  • The west entrance, on the side of the Commons, will be the only open entrance during our Phase 1 renovation (expected to last at least 3 months).
  • During Phase 2, the Commons entrance will be closed for renovations while the parking lot entrance reopens.

Lobby narrowing

  • The lobby area will be significantly narrowed while half of it undergoes renovation during Phase 1. The other half of the lobby area will undergo renovation during Phase 2.

New Releases

  • New Releases for adults and teens have been moved upstairs.
  • Our Patron Services checkout desk will be moved temporarily to the New Releases space.

Meeting rooms unavailable

  • The first-floor meeting rooms will be unavailable during this phase of construction. We are already working to make alternative arrangements for all programs and community groups that meet in this area of the library.
  • Due to limited space, those wishing to attend in-person events will be required to register in advance. Please check the events calendar for the most up-to-date program locations and capacity information.

Thank you for your patience and flexibility as we work hard to provide the best possible solutions for our patrons and community.

Bids for Lobby Renovation open; due Tuesday, May 24 (updated)

Friday, April 29, 2022

Sealed bids for the Lobby Renovation will be received by New Lenox Public Library District located at 120 Veterans Parkway, New Lenox, IL 60451 until 2 pm prevailing time on Tuesday, May 24, 2022.

Download the New Lenox Public Library District Lobby Renovation Advertisement for Bids (PDF, 77 KB)

Note on Friday, May 20: The bid due date that was published in above notice in the Daily Herald has been updated to 2 pm on Tuesday, May 24 (not 4 pm on Friday, May 20 as published or Wednesday, May 25 as formerly posted).

Little Free Seed Library

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Little Free Seed Library upstairs in Adult and Teen Services

While supplies last, choose and share seeds at New Lenox Library! Most seeds can be sown directly in the garden. We also will accept donations of open seeds in original packaging.

Currently in stock:

  • Herbs
  • Leafy Greens
  • Flowers
  • Vegetables

The Little Free Seed Library can be found upstairs in Adult and Teen Services, across from the service desk, near the Program display books and the computers. Please take no more than two at a time.

Accessibility improvements in Libby app

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Recent updates make Libby more accessible for all readers, including users with a diverse range of visual, motor, and cognitive needs.

Improvements in 2021

Many Libby updates throughout 2021 have been focused on improving Libby’s screen reader experience. OverDrive is partnering with Fable—an accessibility platform powered by people with disabilities—to interview blind and low vision users directly and hear their feedback on Libby’s user experience. Based on the feedback we’ve received so far and informed by industry standards, Libby has made several improvements, including:

  • Screen reader support: Low-vision and blind users can use screen readers to browse, borrow, read ebooks and magazines, and listen to audiobooks in Libby. Currently, Libby is tested with screen readers on the native mobile apps for iOS and Android, with plans to expand testing to desktop screen readers like NVDA and JAWS in the future.
  • Read From Here: When using a screen reader, low-vision and blind users can enter “Read From Here” mode to have the text of an ebook or magazine read aloud.
  • Navigation Bar labels: There’s an option in the in-app menu to add labels beneath each of the navigation bar icons. Note: This setting is currently only available in the English language.
  • Adjustable text size: Libby uses the text size setting of your device and scales the text in the app accordingly. Users can increase the text size in ebooks manually.
  • Adjustable playback speed for audiobooks: Choose from 48 speed settings to find the speed that best suits your needs.
  • Keyboard shortcuts: Shortcuts in Libby’s ebook reader and audiobook player supplement the keyboard navigation.
  • Lighting options: Libby uses your device’s built-in lighting setting and displays the app in light or dark mode accordingly. Users can also choose a lighting option (light, dark, or sepia) in the ebook reader manually.

Improvements in 2022

Additional accessibility updates in early January 2022:

  • Screen reader and voice control improvements: Refining the labels and descriptions of all interactive elements, making it easier for users of assistive technologies to understand and interact with the app.
  • Keyboard focus indicators: Making improvements to help users navigate Libby with a keyboard or any other assistive technology that does not have a pointing device, like a mouse or touch controls.
  • New accessibility features (under Settings > Accessibility Features):
    • Reduce Color Variation: By default, Libby adapts to the colors of book covers and the user’s active library. A new toggle will allow you to reduce such adaptive changes, favoring neutral colors with good contrast.
    • Reduce Text Variation: The app uses a variety of font styles to convey meaning, such as italics for important actions. You will be able to adjust this setting to simplify text styles.
    • Reduce Motion: This setting will reduce most of the transitional motion in the interface. You can also set this preference in your operating system or browser preferences, and Libby will apply it automatically.
    • Reduce Haptics: On devices that support subtle vibrations (called haptics), Libby uses these to provide feedback on certain touch interactions. You can either turn it off at the operating system level or in the new “Accessibility Features” menu.
    • Orientation Locking: By default, Libby uses a “smart orientation” setting that chooses the device orientation that best suits the content. WCAG guidelines recommend that users should be able to override the default orientation of the app, which will be adjustable in the “Accessibility Features” menu.
  • Full screen menus: The in-app menu will no longer open from the side of the app. Instead, it will open full screen. This makes keyboard and screen reader navigation more consistent and helps all users concentrate on the task they are trying to perform in the menu.
  • Updated menu icon: The in-app menu button (currently the Libby head icon) will be changed to a more familiar three-line menu icon, providing a more intuitive navigation experience for all users.

For more information about accessibility in Libby, visit Libby Help or OverDrive’s accessibility statement.

Libby’s accessibility will continue to improve as web standards and browser support for assistive technologies evolve.

Keeping Referendum promises

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

With everything we have encountered over the past year, March 17, 2020 seems like a lifetime ago—but that day kept many of our staff going throughout the toughest days of the pandemic. Why?

March 17, 2020 was the day the Library’s Referendum passed!

We have been using the past year to reassess and plan our upcoming steps, which all tie back to the promises we made leading up to that fortunate election day.

Our promises were threefold:

Be open Sundays, extend weekday hours

The New Lenox Public Library District Board of Trustees voted to approve Sunday hours at the July Board Meeting. As a result, New Lenox Public Library will be open from 1–5 pm on Sundays starting on Sunday, September 12, 2021.

We are planning to initiate earlier weekday hours in the Spring. Stay tuned!

Expand and improve services

This fiscal year’s budget includes a significant increase to the physical and digital collections to diminish wait times on materials.

We have also streamlined departments, updated job descriptions, and hired a new Outreach Coordinator to sustain and establish good working relationships with our community businesses and organizations. With this, we are planning to conduct more Homebound visits and create a more regular schedule to provide Library services at facilities, such as daycares and assisted living facilities.

A new Digital Media Lab Coordinator was hired to improve our maker services and offerings that were previously limited. We are ecstatic about our increased ability to serve our community where they need us.

Proactively maintain our building

Nobody enjoys sitting in a building when the temperatures rise into the mid 80s or higher! Since we finally have the funding to do so, we are in the process of receiving bids for a replacement of our HVAC units that are beyond their serviceable lifespan. They will be installed and ready to operate for the first warm day of 2022.

In addition to ensuring the building is comfortable for patrons, we are embarking on the first phase of a multiyear building remodel that will include the foyer, lobby, and Patron Services area. We are hoping to upgrade the heavy front entrance doors with automatic ones, replace worn out carpet, potentially add more meeting room space, update the Friends of the Library store space, create a more accessible space for checking out materials and picking up holds, and increase our capacity for collaborative programming.

The meeting rooms have already had their carpeting replaced. Join a program or club to check it out!

Thank you!

We told you what would happen if you voted yes, and we are holding tight to those promises and keeping our word. Thanks to our supportive community, New Lenox’s future is bright!


Michelle Krooswyk
Executive Director
New Lenox Public Library District
815-485-2605 ext. 101