DeKALB – The DeKalb Public Library has asked a Chicagoland-based media company to help craft the reasoning behind its planned expansion.
At the library’s board of trustees meeting Wednesday, library director Dee Coover said she has asked Morning Star Media to craft a case statement that will be necessary for a future fundraising campaign.
Coover said it could cost between $850 and $1,200, the spending of which was authorized at an Aug. 29 meeting. Coover said a final cost has not been given. She asked the company to have it finished in October.
The case statement is supposed to answer a range of questions from why the expansion is needed to the impact it will have on the community.
The library also is working with Nagle Hartray Architecture to develop a visual concept for the expansion. Coover said she has turned over materials to the firm so that a possible artist rendering, model, or 3-D animation is created. However, each of these items are more expensive than the last, Coover said.
In July, the library learned it was not receiving a grant from the Illinois Public Library Construction Act Grant Program that would have funded 65 percent of the construction costs.
The library would have had to pick up the remaining 35 percent, but with the cost of construction estimated to be more than $20 million, raising at least $7 million is a tall order for the library.
But the library board has struggled within the past few weeks to decide what are the necessary steps it has to take to conduct a successful fundraising campaign.
On Oct. 17, the board will have a special meeting to discuss where it goes from here, a meeting that Carol Zar, the former assistant director of the Center for Governmental Studies at Northern Illinois University, will facilitate for free, Coover said.
Coover said she also will talk with her college roommate, Jeanne Robbana, the former library director of Vineland Public Library in Vineland, N.J. Coover said Vineland underwent a similar expansion.
Vineland received one-third of the money from a grant and had to raise the remaining two-thirds. Coover said the library had fundraising advisers for its capital campaign, but a lot of the work fell onto Robbana, as they just told her what to do.
“They did it, but she said it just completely consumed her life,” Coover said.