Morton Grove Library Foundation raises renovation funds

Renovation would include wheelchair lift, new seating

By Tracy Gruen | For The Bugle

The Morton Grove Library Foundation recently raised $2,000 during a raffle and proceeds will help to renovate the library’s auditorium.

The non-profit volunteer organization sold raffle tickets at the library and during the Morton Grove Days celebration.

“We are looking for new members,” said Brenda Ross, Foundation Development Manager. “Our goal is to raise funds for the library beyond what we get from the taxpayers.”

Ross said they are looking for people to join their board and attend monthly meetings as well as those who would like to volunteer for various events.

The foundation provides funds for additional services, books, facility upgrades, public awareness of library services and more.

Ross said they aimed to match a grant for $50,000 that will go toward making updates to the auditorium, such as making it ADA compliant. This project, which starts in August, will include adding a wheelchair lift and new seating.

“It was definitely outdated and not meeting ADA requirements,” said Debra Stombres, director of the Morton Grove Library, who said the auditorium is a popular meeting spot for many library programs.

Stombres’ previous job was at the Aurora Public Library, where they had a very active foundation, she said.

“There has been a Friends of the Library group in the past, but we decided to try something different this time, needing some extra funds for the library,” said Stombres.

“We purchased the building across the street, and down the road, we will want to open that up for the public,” said Stombres, about what other projects the foundation may help to fund in the future.

Ross said the foundation also aims to let people know about what is taking place at the library, such as its recent renovations, which includes adding a new teen section that has been attracting more teens to the library and a digital media lab.

“We renovated the main floor and got rid of all the asbestos and did major roof repairs,” said Stombres, about the library’s recent renovations. Patrons can convert VHS tapes into DVDs and edit photos and videos.

“It’s a small group, but they are enthusiastic,” said Stombres, about the foundation. She hopes that more community members join the group.

The next event the foundation will be participating in will be the How-To Fest at the Morton Grove Public Library on Sept. 12. At this fest, the foundation will be sharing ways to support and donate to the foundation to support the library. At this event, guests can get a quick tutorial about a large variety of topics, such as bike maintenance, how to hula dance and much more.


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