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Lansing Library to debut new youth and teen section during June 4 open house

By Jennifer Yos

LANSING, Ill. (May 25, 2021) – Exciting renovations have been ongoing downstairs in the Youth and Teen section of the Lansing Public Library since late November of 2020. Library Director Debbie Albrecht decided to postpone the library’s annual block party until next summer and turn the reopening of the Youth/Teen section of the library into a family-oriented open house event on Friday evening, June 4, from 6 pm to 7:30 pm. The regular library hours on the day of the event will be shortened from 12 pm to 5 pm.

A Lansing Library open house for all

“We just decided it would probably be better because I don’t want to do the block party halfway,” Albrecht explained. “So what we’re going to do, … we’re going to have a reopening celebration open house. We’ll welcome everyone back to the library, tell them what we did downstairs, and give people an opportunity to look around.”

Families will be invited to complete two scavenger hunts, one downstairs and one upstairs. “We figure families can do it together, and when they’re finished, they can get a prize —they’re going to get a book.” Families can receive two books, one for each completed scavenger hunt.

A vision realized

The entire downstairs Youth/Teen section will be officially reopened for public use the following Monday, June 7.

The renovations are the culmination of Albrecht’s vision for the library when she became library director in 2006. “That was my goal when I took this position — to completely remodel the library — and I will have done it. So I’m really happy about it.”

Albrecht will be retiring this year in October.

The new youth and teen section of the Lansing Library — in photos

Lansing Library
The renovated community room includes an 89” panel TV and a new kitchen (not pictured, right). The room will be used for community events, meetings, and book discussions. Sewing and Cricut crafting machines are going to be added. (Photo: Jennifer Yos)
Lansing Library
An audio room is part of the Library’s new “Idea Lab,” and includes equipment for recording, such as podcasting, singing, or playing an instrument. (Photo: Jennifer Yos)
Lansing Library
Lansing Library Director Debbie Albrecht shows the second half of the “Idea Lab” — a video room that houses camera equipment and a green screen wall for video production. Equipment will also be available for patrons to transfer video from old VHS tapes to their personal electronic devices. (Photo: Jennifer Yos)
LAnsing Library
Modern seating pods include charging stations for electronic devices. (Photo: Jennifer Yos)
LAnsing library
“Genius Bar” style seating is also available. (Photo: Jennifer Yos)
A room has been added for story times and for parents who want to work with their children in a quiet space. (Photo: Jennifer Yos)
A specialized computer offers learning games and activities that are geared for Pre-K through 5th grade. (Photo: Jennifer Yos)
Two computer stations for parents with young children are positioned to face the play area. A playpen for babies and toddlers is positioned between the two stations. (Photo: Jennifer Yos)
The play area has been rearranged with added new carpeting. (Photo: Jennifer Yos)
New sofas have been added for group seating in the parent resource area. (Photo: Jennifer Yos)
The office has been enlarged to accommodate three new desks for library staff. (Photo: Jennifer Yos)
The Teen room is bigger, with gaming in the blue area; computers will be housed at the table on the left wall; and a conversation area with modern seating on the right. (Photo: Jennifer Yos)
The library has also hired new staff members, including Andralia Hardrick, pictured above. (Photo: Jennifer Yos)

The Lansing Public Library is located at 2750 Indiana Avenue, Lansing, IL.


Jennifer Yos
Jennifer Yos
Jennifer Yos grew up on Walter Street in Lansing with nine siblings. She attended St. Ann’s School and T.F. South, and she earned a BA in the Teaching of English from the University of Illinois, Chicago, and a MS in Education: Curriculum and Instruction from the University of St. Francis, Joliet. For 34 years she taught English, as well as Creative Writing and Drama, at Lincoln-Way High School. She dabbled in freelance journalism for the Joliet Herald News Living section. Now retired, Jennifer appreciates the opportunity to write for The Lansing Journal and is uplifted by the variety of positive people she has already met who are making a difference in Lansing.