Glencoe Library Adapts To Digital World


By Julie Ettelson

June 3, 2016

Glencoe, Illinois — Glencoe’s public library remains relevant in the digital age and residents love that the library is so unique. As the world has gone digital, many people have replaced their books for iPads and tablets, causing many bookstores to go out of business and many libraries to cutback on staff and services — but not in Glencoe.

Librarian Maureen Liebenson says, “This is a very special library. Everybody says that. When I worked at another library, the reputation of Glencoe was that Glencoe does everything right.” The librarians in Glencoe are eager to help with just about anything you need. They provide research assistance, book recommendations and even tech support. “We offer many digital products. You can download all kinds of magazines, books, and music through your library card right to your iPad.”

Librarian Nancy Buehler agrees that it is service that makes Glencoe’s library stand out from the rest. “We offer very personalized service. It has a very homey feel. The staff is pretty darn friendly. We try not to say no to a patron.”

As the digital age has grown, many libraries have seen an opportunity to add more to their services such as tech support or digital downloads. Since libraries began adding these types of services, they have seen a rise in usage. Usage in Glencoe, however, has always been high. Almost 90% of the community (population 8,762) owns and uses their library cards. This compares favorably with other towns surrounding Glencoe. The percentage usage for Northbrook is 82%; Wilmette is 76% and Winnetka is 75%.

In March of this year, the Glencoe Library hired Andrew Kim as its new Executive Director. Kim comes to Glencoe after two years as Assistant Director of the Northbrook library. His job is to oversee the library staff of approximately 40 employees. Kim has said that he is not coming to Glencoe with a new agenda. He is determined to keep the Glencoe library distinctive. The library currently offers more than 300 events a year.

Zoe Wolfberg, eight year old Glencoe resident, loves her library and plans to use it “forever.” Zoe says, “It is the best place in the whole world!” Apparently, many other Glencoe residents agree.

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