2020-2021 Year in Review Scroll to begin

Time seems to have blurred: there's time before COVID, and time with it. In this review, we're focusing on our 2020-21 fiscal year - that's July 2020 through June 2021. A full year of masks, hand sanitizer and social distancing. But also a year of innovation and forward progress at our Library.

Child browses books in our Youth area.

Throughout this past year, we gradually increased the hours our buildings are open, capacity limits and the services we have available for you - always with an eye on keeping you and our community safe. Now, nearly all our services are restored to pre-pandemic levels and processes.

Teen working at a laptop in Teen Place.

In September 2020, we completed the renovation on our first floor! If you haven't seen it yet, and you feel comfortable coming inside, please stop by and see it - it's beautiful and fuctional.

Patrons check out items in our newly renovated checkout area.

The last year hasn't been easy: we've been challenged to think in new ways, try new things and really listen to the needs of our community. It's been a time of progress and we hope to hold onto that spirit as we work to continue to serve you in the best ways we can.

We're so proud of all we've accomplished this year with your support. Let's look back to see just how far we've come!

Using technology to keep you safe

We extended our free WiFi signal to the parking lots at all our locations. And, thanks to a partnership with the Village of Schaumburg, the signal extends throughout Town Square, too. Sit outside or in your car and join our WiFi from your own device to get some work (or online shopping) done!

Our Pick-Up Lockers are an easy, contactless way to pick up items you place on hold. Plus, they're open 24/7! See how simple they are to use:

We updated our phone system to create a special Dial-a-Story line. Call anytime to hear a picture book read aloud by our youth librarians. These updates also allow us to offer large group conference calls for seniors and others who don't have or aren't comfortable using computers.

You can now renew your Library card online! One simple form gets it done. You can also reset your Library card PIN yourself online.

Our new self-checks are a great, contactless way to check out your own items. These are also a breeze to use! Take a look:

Tackling tough, timely themes

Through Emma Donoghue's Room, our One Book, One Community focused on themes on family, community, isolation and resilience.

Titles for kids and teens focused on these same themes to create intergenerational conversations on the topics.

Author Emma Donoghue kicked off the initiative with this wonderful video message.

More than 200 readers were in attendance for a special online event with Ms. Donoghue (available to view on-demand at SchaumburgLibrary.tv) and shared comments like, "The author visit really changed my mind about the book to a more positive view. It also made me think about how children think. I tend to look at kids as young adults but they really are much different. The talk made me realize this.”

More than 2,500 community members read a One Book, One Community title this year, and/or attended a related book discussion or program.

Four local artists each created an original work of art based on our One Book, One Community themes. We turned their beautiful works into postcards. More than 800 cards were sent to friends, family members and area seniors with uplifting messages to help those struggling with isolation due to the pandemic.

Phil Seifritz's work based on the theme of family.

Appreciating our community

For this year's Summer Challenge, we focused on finding new ways to engage with our community during the pandemic. The theme of Reading Colors Your World helped us get creative and explore what we have in common with our neighbors, while also celebrating what makes each person unique.

Preventing summer slide and keeping kids reading and learning throughout the summer is an important part of our Challenge. This summer, our teen and adult readers logged more than 2,100 books and our youth readers logged more than 182,000 minutes of reading.

Youth activity themes of Connect, Design and Inspire helped kids appreciate their unique selves and our diverse community.

Young patron joins in our Sidewalk Chalk Art activity.

This year’s Challenge offered participants lots of ways to join the fun at home and around the community. We asked them to send us photos as they completed various activities, and they delivered. We had more than 150 participants send us photos of their summer activities.

This summer, we supported our Challenge with the Smithsonian traveling exhibit The Bias Inside Us. This wonderfully informative exhibit was hard to miss for the month it was here - it was on the first and second floors at our Central Library. More than 24,500 people came to our Library during that month, and the exhibit left an impression on many. Beth Tikvah Congregation's social justice group toured the exhibit and one member shared this:

“After the death of George Floyd our group decided that it was incredibly important to get together to start talking about the idea of bias, and these biases that we all have. We started a monthly lecture series about bias, and each month we’ve had a speaker come in that represents a different marginalized group. When we saw that the Library had this exhibit, we knew that it was the perfect tie in to the work that the group was already doing. I’d already spent a lot of time here looking at the exhibit, but knew that I needed to come back with the entire group because it was so impressive.”

Patrons read the self-audit questions about how to begin to retrain your brain and recognize your own biases.

Also new with our Summer Challenge this year, when completing the Challenge, teens and adults selected from a list of pre-approved local charities and the Library made a donation on their behalf, with the help of our partner Phin. With more than $800 donated, those dollars made a real impact to the work of those local charities.

Thank you!

We would not be the amazing Library we are without your support. Thank you for visiting, for checking out books and for joining our programs. Thank you for trusting us as a safe place to learn, create, discover and grow.

Board of Trustees

  • Jillian Bernas, President
  • Julie Wroblewski Bosshart, Vice President/Secretary
  • Theresa Seyring, Treasurer
  • Anita Forte-Scott
  • Emily Gilbert
  • Amy Mueller
  • Carole Pye

Leadership Team

  • Annie Miskewitch, Executive Director
  • Jennifer Hunt, Deputy Director
  • Amber Creger
  • John Ericson
  • Blake Kindl
  • Kathy Morgan
  • Kate Niehoff
  • Jason Santos
  • Hollis Sienkiewicz
  • Sarah Strzalka
  • Magan Szwarek
  • Lori Teipel
  • Gail Tobin
  • Beth Valenziano