Turn off the Oak Park library lights at night

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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The Oak Park Public Library was built for approximately $40,000,000. The referendum for this expenditure was passed by 800 votes (4,300 in favor, 3,500 against). Therefore, of 30,000 registered voters, in Dear Old Oak Park, a mere 27 percent exercised their franchise on this matter.

This monstrosity is an ecological disaster! The vaulted ceilings waste heat and air conditioning. There is too much open space. The temporary space in Forest Park was actually more efficient.

An ongoing waste of taxpayers resources are the library lights. The lights for the entire library are on 24 hours a day. I have discussed with library personnel the need to have the library lights on all night and been told, basically, "That's how the folks on the library board, want it, lights on."

Apparently, many view the library as Oak Park's version of Paris' Eiffel Tower. They do say, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."

Let's go green, turn off the lights, and save some money! (Perhaps the architect forgot to put in light switches.)

Daniel R. Hefner
Oak Park

Editor's note: According to Jim Madigan, assistant director for Administrative Services, the referendum for the new main library was approved for $30 million, of which $465,000 was designated to be used for Maze branch renovations. The new main library came in under budget, and they spent $2.4 million on the Maze project.

Reader Comments

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Dan Hefner from Oak Park  

Posted: April 5th, 2012 8:40 AM

To OP TRez, My point is if you have to "hide" behind a screen name then your comments are worthless. Man up or or woman up and add your name to your comment.

OP Rez  

Posted: April 4th, 2012 7:22 PM

Dan, why does it matter? What if it was a woman? Woman up?

Dan Hefner from Oak Park  

Posted: April 4th, 2012 6:48 PM

Why is that very few posters leave their name? As they say, "man up". Reply to "Anon" 10:00 PM on my way home from work or 6:00 AM on my way to work. All the lights are on contrary to Ms. Grimm's assertion.

Anon from Oak Park  

Posted: April 4th, 2012 4:27 PM

Dan- when are you even out late enough to see if the lights are on or not?

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: April 4th, 2012 12:02 PM

Sharon - Excellent reply - the library, and its lights, are in good hands.

Audrey Primo  

Posted: April 4th, 2012 11:42 AM

Oak Park is full of elitists, how are the disenfranchised people who became addicts due to our society's lack of priorities supposed to have light when they are forced to leave the library?

Sharon Grimm from Oak Park Public Library  

Posted: April 4th, 2012 11:33 AM

We know lots of people are concerned about energy use in Oak Park. After the Main Library on Lake Street closes, less than 20% of the lights in public areas are left on for the cleaning crew which works until 4am. Lights in most staff areas are on motion sensors and turn off shortly after the area is empty. (This also is helpful during the day.) Emergency lights are always on in accordance with fire codes. We know this is not perfect and are working to conserve as much electricity as possible.

Actually goes to the Library unlike you  

Posted: April 4th, 2012 11:17 AM

The library is awesome, the lights make it awesome, quit crying...

To: Dee Brennan  

Posted: April 4th, 2012 10:01 AM

$30,000,000 homeless shelter. Turn off the lights!

Chuck Izzo  

Posted: April 4th, 2012 9:51 AM

Have we all lost our minds? I agree with the writer, growing up in South OP we were always told to turn off the lights when you leave the room. It might be a library but some days it looks like a flop house lobby.


Posted: April 4th, 2012 6:15 AM

See the Energy Dept's guidelines for the cost of turning off the lights. Unless they're LED, the bulb being turned on and off affects the life of the bulb. Which, in turn, affects labor costs to replace them, pollution entering landfills, manufacture of new bulbs, etc.. Sometimes leaving the lights on is better for the environment. http://www.energysavers.gov/your_home/lighting_daylighting/index.cfm/mytopic=12280

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: April 3rd, 2012 11:37 PM

This is the most outrageous of the Green excuses. If you are sincere about fight the issue for the sake of the environment you should start by bugging Chicago. That skyline is an environmental disgrace! If your issue is the waste of money, I am sure that there are many of us that would be willing to put money in a bucket to keep the lights on. In the dark, it is a building. With lights on, the library is a symbol of what can be accomplished when Oak Parkers set their minds to it!

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