The silent auction was that of bookmarks autographed by celebrities. Volunteers of The Friends sent out bookmarks with postage-paid envelopes. The return was outstanding. Within the first week, Elizabeth Taylor had signed, sealed, and delivered her bookmark! Other celebrities included art work, caricatures, and mementos. Scotty Pippin even sent an autographed basketball. All proceeds went to the library with a small portion used to create an anniversary booklet. Participating celebrities included Robert Redford, Carlton Fisk, Dean Martin, Carol Burnett, Bozo the Clown, Paula Poundstone, Walter Peyton, Jay Leno, Glenn Close, Bob Hope, and Arnold Palmer. 61
As a tribute to the library, employees and member of The Friends created a muslin quilt “with squares representing each library department and the names of employees signed and then embroidered around the edge.”63
Sue Ernest sewed together an additional quilt created by the library’s younger patrons. Children used fabric paints to draw favorite characters on 9-inch muslin squares.65
The library’s quarters were becoming more and more cramped. An expansion was needed. However, the library trustees voted “to propose a construction referendum” the following spring, “rather than share the November ballot with Libertyville High School.”64
At a public meeting of the library board, residents strongly disagreed with the idea of renovating the existing building and building a new, larger library in Vernon Hills. In an editorial, Bernard Pilchen expressed his opinion:
“On December 9, 150 concerned citizens crowded into the Libertyville Civic Center to hear news about the Cook Memorial Library Board’s plan. It was announced that they want to build a 70,000 square foot main library in Vernon Hills, while simply renovating Cook Library. The cost is estimated at $20 million.
Except for library staff and four board members, not one citizen present spoke favorably about the proposed plans. Member Greg Mayworm expressed agreement with the audience.
While there was no vocal opposition to a larger, more modern library, the audience questions centered around location and fairness. Many people spoke of their concerns that the Cook facility will eventually be closed because operating two libraries is far too costly to endure.
The fairness matter related to the fact that Vernon Hills already has a spacious library at Half Day and Milwaukee. Sure it is a different library district, but does Vernon Hills really need two separate huge facilities only a few miles apart, while Libertyville is left with a very limited branch library?
Libertyville homeowners should be up in arms. We are already paying toward a new high school and upgrading School District 73-½ , to which only a limited number of children will attend. Now, we are being asked to willingly increase our tax burden again, to give Vernon Hills a second library. Any new library belongs in downtown Libertyville.
When the referendum appears on the ballot in March, I hope everyone who feels as I do shows up at the polls to defeat it overwhelmingly. Only then will the Board get the message that their decision is not what’s wanted by the people of Libertyville, Green Oaks, Mundelein, and Mettawa.”66
“The Seventh busiest public library in Illinois has no public access computers for word processing, no meeting rooms, no quiet reading rooms, no facilities for literacy tutoring, only three internet access terminals for the public, adequate parking, and insufficient shelf space to house its collection. Thanks to the hundreds of hours of effort put in by the Trustees of Cook Memorial Library District, a solution to this disgraceful situation is in sight. The members of the Library Board are the people elected by district voters to represent them and to do the work necessary to resolve a complicated and difficult situation. The plan they have arrived at may not be perfect, but it is only one that provides for space needs of the library district for the next 20 years.
It is easy but irresponsible to advocate expanding the library on the present site instead of remodeling the current library and constructing a larger building on Lake Harvey. Defeating the proposed referendum will not increase the size of the plot of land on which Cook Library now rests. It will always be only 1.8 acres, far short of the five acres needed. What defeating the referendum will do is push back, perhaps, by years the date which your constituents will receive the first-rate library service they deserve. We are disappointed and saddened by the village resolution in opposition to the library referendum.”
John and Jane Trump 69
Among those supporting the referendum were the library staff and many members of the Library Board.
The Libertyville Village Board agreed with residents voting nearly unanimously against the proposed plans to spend $16.5 million on a new main Vernon Hills library and only$2.6 on renovations of the existing facility.67