Brief Overview of Library Services
Lansing Public Library owns over 100,000 books, and subscribes to over 250 magazines and newspapers.
We loan a variety of DVDs for all interests.
We loan a variety of CDs for all musical tastes.
We provide access to online databases for research.
We provide free access to Internet service (60 minutes per day, with extensions when demand is low) and offer low cost printing solutions: 15¢ per page for black & white, 15¢ per page for color printouts.
Our library has trained reference staff to help you with your research needs, whether for homework assignments, high school research assignments, college term papers, personal interest, or any other informational need.
InterLibrary Loan Service provides access to materials from other libraries. The library can borrow, on your behalf, material from other libraries in Illinois and out of state. Material is delivered to Lansing Public Library for you to check out. You may request your own items from SWAN libraries!
Our Readers' Advisory Service has trained staff to help you with your recreational reading needs. They can recommend a good book, provide you with a reading list, or just help you find a book on the shelf.
Adult Information staff provide a full range of programming and events for adult readers including speakers, book discussion groups, reading clubs and more.
Youth Services staff provide a full range of services for children from birth through grade 5, including story times, special events and Events, reading clubs and research assistance.
Teen Services staff are devoted to teens in grades 6-12, and provide special events and Events, reading clubs, research assistance, and can recommend a good book!
Lansing Public Library card holders enjoy reciprocal borrowing privileges at all SWAN & RAILS System libraries.
Lansing Public Library History
Lansing Public Library was begun in 1936 when it was housed in an office provided by the telephone company in the old Lansing Bank Building with books furnished by the Works Project Administration (W.P.A.). Mrs. Chapman was the first librarian. The library was soon moved to the old Star Store where the rent was $8.00 per month. The library board frequently had to hold a fund-raiser to get enough money to pay the rent. In 1938 the library was moved to the old pump house on Chicago Avenue which was remodeled and furnished by the Village.
In May 1941, the people of Lansing decided to make their library a tax supported institution, as it still is. Mrs. Frieda Brandon was appointed librarian. One of her duties was to see that the new oil stove was filled on weekends so the fire would not go out.
In early 1946, Mrs. Winifred Edwards was appointed librarian. The building was cold and dark or hot and dark depending on the season, because there were no storm windows, and only brick walls. The two light fixtures were so inadequate that one needed a flashlight to find most of the books. In 1950 the building was refurbished, automatic oil heat and new windows, which opened top and bottom, were installed.
In 1954, land at the corner of Ridge Road and Chicago Avenue was purchased from the Methodist Church. A referendum was held in 1956 in which the Citizens of Lansing voted to build a new building, which is now the Village Hall. When Mrs. Edwards retired in June 1966, Mrs. Joanne C. Jensen was appointed librarian.
In 1967 Lansing Library joined the newly organized Suburban Library System.
In 1970 it became evident that the Village needed a larger library building to house the growing collection which now numbered 25,000 volumes. When the Indiana Avenue School was torn down, the ideal piece of land became available. The present 30,000 square foot library building, named for Lewis O. Flom, the long-time Board President, was completed, and dedicated in 1976, an exciting added event in the bicentennial year. The library began circulating its books on SWAN, the library system's computer consortium.
Mrs. Jensen retired in 1990, and Janice C. Bojda was hired to be Library Director. During her time at the library, the collections continued to grow, and a much-needed new roof was put on the building.
When Ms. Bojda resigned in 1995, the Board of Trustees hired Mr. William D. Babcock. Early in his tenure the library was recarpeted, the Reference Department was moved to the north side of the building, the computerized catalog was added, and the new awnings were installed. Filtered Internet access was made available to the public in the spring of 2000.
Director William D. Babcock resigned in 2006.
The Board of Trustees promoted Mrs. Deborah Albrecht the Head of the Youth Department to the Director position. Mrs. Albrecht worked in Youth Services for 8 years. During this time she oversaw the remodeling of the Youth and Teen sections of the library. The first year as Director she received grant funds and with financial assistance from the Friends of the Library installed automatic door openers at both entrances and ADA-compliant circulation and reference desks on the library’s upper level.
The library continues to evolve to meet the ever-changing needs of our patrons. We received a grant to add much-needed ESL (English as a second language) materials to our collection. We now have 52 public access computers for our patrons. We host an annual Block Party to kick off our summer reading program. We have hosted a Winter Concert Series for many years with our Friends of the Library as co-sponsors. We love to work with our community partners and have sponsored Friday evening music at Lansing Autumn Fest since it began. We have also worked to co-sponsor an event with the Village each season at Fox Pointe, our Woodstock 50th Anniversary Celebration and Back to the 80s Fest were big successes. We strive to make the library a community center for everyone in our village.
During Mrs. Albrecht’s tenure, the library was completely transformed. In 2011, the outside of the building was completely remodeled to take care of years of water issues. The Friends of the Library generously donated the money so we were finally able to landscape the building. Ambrose Landscaping did the work, they were the only company to do any kind of landscaping for the library. The landscaping has evolved over the years to encompass the entire building and Ambrose did it all. We are grateful to Greg Ambrose for his care of our landscaping.
During this remodel the glass ceiling over our atrium was replaced. The area now looks like a conservatory, it is beautiful. We were concerned that because the glass was no longer clear our beloved fichus tree might suffer. We were wrong, it has thrived in the new diffused light, as have all the plants in the atrium. Now, this is a cozy comfortable spot even when it is hot outside.
We had to borrow money by selling a bond for this work. We had a ten-year term and are making the last payment in March 2022. The library will then be debt-free.
In 2016-17 we did an upper-level remodel and added new signage and furniture throughout the building. We were able to add three (3) study rooms in the back of the atrium, this was the number one request from our patrons. We moved things around, created new spaces for materials and service, and replaced the carpet. We were able to add a Quiet Room for that old-school library feeling of silence. We added off desk staff workspace, this has been invaluable so that staff can be dedicated to patrons while on the floor and have a comfortable space off the desk to work on projects and tasks. We added a lot of furniture that is lightweight and many items on wheels, this enables us to be flexible with our spaces. The Friends of the Library, L.A.C.E., and Huette Kaplan bought us a wonderful portable stage for our winter concert series and other programs.
In 2020-21 we were able to replace the HVAC system on the lower level that did not service the area properly and remodel downstairs. We added a story room/family study room, an expanded Youth office space to accommodate the staff with an attached closet. New lighting, carpet and expanded Teen space. The Teen space includes a gaming area, computer space, gathering space, and an entire maker space. We also added an Idea Lab, which includes an audio and visual lab. Our Community Room now houses a small kitchen area and sewing machine stations.
In between all these big projects we also; redesigned our front entry by cutting down on the concrete and adding more plantings. We added benches and chaise lounges and made sure the WIFI works outside. We redesigned the parking lot for better flow and we added a drive-up book drop and we amped up the green space by our lower level entry. We resurfaced all the parking areas on School Street and Indiana Avenue. Inside we created the Brick Room out of the entry space to Lansing Historical Society. This is a multi-purpose area is used for book discussion, programs, meetings, and an after-school homework area. We have worked hard to be good stewards of the taxpayers’ money, all the work except the exterior was done with funds saved.
We have continued to expand our Outreach programs over the years with our many schools and other community partners. We have added full-time employees to handle this important work. We continue to improve our service to our Teens, by providing them with great spaces, increased staff, and events geared specifically to them. We have just begun to expand services to our Seniors. There are always things to do and improve on at the library.
Mrs. Albrecht retired in October 2021, after 22 years of service to our community, 15 years as our director. We are pleased to welcome Lisa Korajczyk to our team at the library. She comes to us with many years of library experience in several places in the South Suburbs. We look ahead with great excitement to see what she brings to our patrons.