I've heard something about  a new library - what is going on?

The Board of Trustees recognizes that our current facility does not meet Illinois State Standards for a library.  The Board has been through a multi-year process planning for building a new library that better meets the needs of our community. 

On April 9th, 2013, there will be a question on the ballot, worded like this: 

Shall the limiting rate under the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law for the Shorewood‑Troy Public Library District, Will County, Illinois, be increased by an additional amount equal to 0.4164% above the limiting rate for any purpose of said Library District for levy year 2011 and be equal to 0.56% of the equalized assessed value of the taxable property therein for levy year 2013?

(1)  The approximate amount of taxes extendable at the most recently extended limiting rate is $858,516, and the approximate amount of taxes extendable if the proposition is approved is $3,347,974.

(2)  For the 2013 levy year, the approximate amount of the additional tax extendable against property containing a single family residence and having a fair market value at the time of the referendum of $100,000 is estimated to be $138.80.

(3)  If the proposition is approved, the aggregate extension for 2013 will be determined by the limiting rate set forth in the proposition, rather than the otherwise applicable limiting rate calculated under the provisions of the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (commonly known as the Property Tax Cap Law).

The increase in the tax levy is intended to provide the funding for a newer, modern building along with the appropriate funding levels to staff and operate the new facility. 

The Board has been conservative with its spending.  There has not been a tax increase for the library since 1976.  However, the Board recognizes that our current building is not meeting the community's needs for 1) adequate book space, 2) space for technology, 3) a bright and cheerful Children's area, and 4) parking.

Cost of the proposed new facility.
The cost estimates for the new facility have been completed.  We estimate that construction and all related costs will be about $21 million dollars (spread out in bond payments over 20 years).  What will the $21 million pay for:

  • A larger, more modern facility, better able to meet the needs of the future.
  • Construction materials costs
  • Construction labor costs (we estimate that  there will be about 100 construction jobs during the construction period).
  • New furniture for the building
  • New and updated technology for patrons
  • Fees for architects

Why do we need a new building?

  • The library is out of space!  There isn't enough room for books or other materials.
  • The parking is inadequate.
  • We are not able to provide enough room for comfortable seating and technology for patrons.
  • The proposed building will have better, more accessible children's areas and a dedicated space for our community's teens.

What will it cost me?
If your home is valued at $250,000, the additional cost for the building would be $26.83 per month.  This is the cost of a new hardcover book or a new DVD.  It's less than the cost of video game or the cost to have high-speed internet in your home!

                                                                        *Statistical average for seniors
  • The library has not asked for a tax increase since 1976.
  • How much value does YOUR family get from the library?  Check out our Library Value calculator now!

How much is our library used now?
Here are some quick statistics for you:

  • The Library checked out 175,000 items last year
  • We answered 17,000 questions last year
  • We held 409 library programs last year (more than one a day!)
  • 9,000 people attended those programs
  • 11,000 people used our computers to do homework, search for a job, or make use of the internet
  • 76,000 people visited the library

Shorewood is a community that values education, learning, and reading.  Our statistics bear that out. Plus, build it and they will come!  New libraries typically see usage increase by 40% after they are built.