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Legislation was proposed to allow Vernon Hills to form their own library district.  The separation would have led to a large decrease in revenue for Cook Memorial Library.77 

Reference librarians Arlene Lane and Sonia Schoenfield were rewarded the Innovation Award for their work on the online local history exhibit, Digital Past.78

Vernon Hills Mayor Roger Byrne promised land to the library if and when a new facility opens in his town.79

With the space crunch, Library Board members suggested renting office space from the Bank One building.  However, as President Aaron Lawlor pointed out, it would have been a short-term solution when long-term options were needed.80

The “One Book, One District” program started.  “The effort, running through April 20, aimed to get people in the Libertyville- based district reading the same book and participating in related activities.”  One of the first books, a fitting selection, was Fahrenheit 451.81

Ask?Away was became available through the library’s website.  Patrons could “have a live on-line dialogue with a librarian 24 hours a day.”82

Children found ease reading to furry friends.  Trained dogs from Rainbow Animal - Assisted Therapy, a volunteer program based in Chicago, visit the library where children read to them. “ The only people in the room at the time the children are reading are the dog's handler, the child and a library representative. No parents, siblings or even grandparents are permitted.”  This allows a calm environment for children to fight their fear of reading aloud.83

In August 2006, State Sen. Terry Link and state Rep. Kathy Ryg, both Democrats, promised to give the library district $500,000 to help construct a new library in Vernon Hills.  84
Fred Byergo Retires

After 38 years as director/head librarian of Cook Memorial, Fred Byergo retired on March 31, 2007.  In 1973, Byergo was asked, “What is a library?”  His response, ““The public library collects, organizes and disseminates human knowledge in order to encourage the self education of its patrons according to their individual interests…It provides authoritative information in depth.  Serving its patrons as individuals, the public library informs and protects their freedom of choice…It provides reading and other related material for diversion and enjoyment…It acts in support of any activity in the community that will increase the general awareness of our own, and others’, heritage and culture.”37  All can agree that under his guidance, Cook Memorial Library was the absolute essence of his definition.  In retirement, Byergo planned to travel the waters of Lake Michigan on his 30-foot sailboat.95
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