Library continuing to change and evolve

In 2021, the team at the Hinsdale Public Library challenged itself to continue delivering excellent content and superior services to our patrons and community.

We continued to find new and creative ways to connect our patrons with the materials, information, programs and diversions that were especially important this past year. Our curbside service, which totaled more than 3,100 pickups in 2021, has been a lifeline for many people, as have our growing digital collections.

Much of our programming has moved (temporarily) online; look for an exciting set of virtual author events in 2022 through our participation in the new Illinois Libraries Present series.

We partnered with the Village of Hinsdale Parks and Recreation for a popular summer story walk, while take-home craft kits for children, teens and adults provided an alternative to in-person programming.

The library serves more than 8,700 registered borrowers with a collection of more than 100,000 items. Although our building was closed to patrons for the first month of the year, our circulation continues to ramp back up, and children’s book circulation in particular is returning to prepandemic numbers.

Like many organizations, we made changes to accommodate how our staff worked — changes that will make work better going forward. For instance, we installed a new telephone system that allows staff members to answer your phone calls wherever they were working, on their HPL laptops.

We took advantage, again, of the fact that our building has not as busy as usual. Within the next few weeks, we’ll unveil a new lower-level bathroom that’s an “everything” facility: It’s 100 percent accessible, gender-neutral and family-friendly, with a changing station and a child-sized toilet. We also installed touchless filling stations for water bottles.

Like all organizations this year, we found some staff members reevaluating career choices and moving on. But we are excited about our new management team members: youth and young adult services manager Lisa Winchell and adult services manager Lizzy Boden, as well as collection services manager Emily Borsa.

We also welcomed four new trustees onto our HPL Board: Kim Kiyosaki, Megan Mikhail, Dick Munson and Denise Wong.

Like you, we don’t know when things will get back to “normal” — or what “normal” will look like going forward. We think it’s great timing that we are ready to start work on a new strategic plan for the library. It will be a perfect opportunity to hear from you about what you want from your public library and how that may have changed (or not changed).

Look for an invitation to be part of our planning process in the next few months.

Wishing you and yours a healthy and happy new year.

— Julie Liesse, president

Hinsdale Public Library Board