Wilmington Public Library District Grant-Funded Library Improvements

May 3, 2024

Enhancing the
library experience

Wilmington Public Library District

Amount Awarded: $20,000 | Project Status: Completion June 2024

The ARPA grant from Will County allowed the Wilmington Public Library to safely replace the long inactive water fountain with a touchless bottle filler/fountain, install two new HEPA hand dryers in their bathrooms to help prevent the spread of germs, open their outdoor patio program space (which allowed them to return to in-person programming post pandemic). The library also began home delivery services to those who are unable to leave home and purchased a “Story Walk” that is now being installed in the Children’s Memorial Park.

With the exception of the story walk, all enhancements and improved programming were implemented immediately after receiving funding. The “Story Walk” will officially open on June 1, 2024.

Maintaining Connections After Covid

As a hub for the Wilmington community, safely reopening the library after the worst of the pandemic was a priority for helping patrons return to a sense of normal. ARPA funding was extremely critical to helping library patrons return to normal. This funding helped the Wilmington Public Library District connect residents with public services they did not know existed, reconnect people back into society sooner, and bring a sense of normalcy back into a traumatized community. These changes also enabled them to provide some sense of safety to their workers on the front lines.

“As the person responsible for the safety of both my staff and patrons I will always be grateful that Will County included Libraries as critical services deserving a portion of the ARPA funds. not All Counties did. We provide the people with so much more than books, and by enabling us to return to work sooner you enabled us to help more people. The items we purchased with these funds are still in place and use today, and if we ever face something like this again, we feel were are better prepared to manage it.”

Maria Meachum, Director