I went into the Carol Stream Public Library with very low expectations to be honest. I haven't used my hometown library very often in my lifetime and didn't think much of it, but after my visit, I was pleasantly suprised. It may not be the best library out there, but they do have the resources people need and are extremely friendly.
After being told it was alright that I took pictures, I went around the library, with very few odd looks and took pictures of the different areas and stacks. This didn't take too long because the CSPL is only one story and one giant room. The best part was one old woman kept smiling at me and looking to see where I was going. Well after my photography excursion I went back to the desk where I got picture taking permission to ask a few questions.
The lady at the desk said she would be glad to answer them, so I start asking. Once I get done with my first question she says she doesn't want to give me wrong answers, so she picks up the phone and calls into the offices and out comes the director of the library to talk to me. She did not have to take time out of her day to answer my questions, when I didn't even have an appointment, but she did. It was extremely kind of her, which is something that I think you will find in almost all libraries, but especially smaller branches. Then we start talking about the Carol Stream Library.
In terms of noise, the CSPL isn't a quiet library or a loud library (obviously) it is somewhere in between. Talking is permitted and it can't be controlled being the it is one giant room. However, if there is a group of really noisy kids then they will be told to be quiet.
With the homeless situation, being the suburbs there really isn't one. However there is a Pads shelter nearby so there is the occasional homeless issue. They can recieve a guest card to use the computers because they do not have a permanent residence.
The library also offers different programming options. These winter months aren't as active in that department but they offer both childrens and adults programs such as Chess or Writer's Club.
One program they offer for adults is "One book, One Glenbard" Glebard is the high school district , so adults can read along with the high school students in a specific book each month! We've talked about this program before and now it goes to show it can apply in many different ways!
This library is also looking to pass a referendum. It hasn't passed in the past but they are hoping that it will pass the next time through. If it passes, they already own a piece of land where they will build an entirely new library. For population to building size, the population of Elmhurst is apporximately 42, 762 and the building size is 90,000. In Carol Stream the population is approximately 40,438 with a library building size of 28,000, which is the smalles building out of all neighboring suburbs.
As for archives, Carol Stream is a relatively young town so all the archives related to the town are split among the Carol Stream Park District, Historical Society and the Public Library.
As a library, they have a childrens section and an adult section. In the childrens section everything is miniature and made special for the children to be more comfortable. In the adults section there are more computers and tables for the adults to study and works. There is also a magazine section off to one corner. There are reference books, non-fiction and fiction. They also rent out video, DVD, CD's, cassettes, audio books, film strips, periodicals, puzzels, puppets, college catalogs and multimedia kits. They have access to the internet on their computers as well as having wireless.