Library Renovation

What the heck is an eBar? A sneak peak at DPPL’s new digital help center

First things first.

No, we will not be serving drinks.

But it's still going to be great.

You've got a device. We've got all the cool, free stuff to put on that device. At DPPL's new eBar you'll learn how to put the two together and become a digital rockstar. 

The 3rd floor eBar is another important component of DPPL's Fast Forward project kicking off later this Fall.

Today in Des Plaines, the vast majority of residents, oldest to youngest, have access to a smart phone, tablet, laptop or home computer.



This is a big change from even five years ago when devices seemed only for the young or super-techy and "e" was a confusing concept for many of us.

Today, we all want to go digital, at least to some extent. "Real" books will never go away, and believe me, will ALWAYS be available at the Des Plaines Public Library, but it's nice to have options.

DPPL's new eBar meets the demand from Des Plaines residents to find and use DPPL's vast but largely invisible "e"-collection of e-books, e-music, e-magazines, streaming video and much more. 

You may have heard us throw out names like Hoopla, Freegal, MyMedia Mall, Zinio and more.

At the eBar, we're not TELLING you what these things are (which, let's face it, sound kind of obscure and not that exciting) we are SHOWING you.  Be prepared to be impressed.

The eBar AFTER

The eBar AFTER

The eBar will provide a range of devices out on the floor, loaded with the library's e-books, movies, music and more so that you can explore the digital world in a friendly, low pressure environment. Staff have playfully nicknamed this the technology petting zoo, and that's not far off.

Take a seat in the comfy lounge chairs, play with a device, sample an e-product and explore what you like or don't like.  It's kind of like the Apple store, but with more devices. And free.

Then, sit down with a DPPL technology specialist one-on-one to begin searching for these products and use them on your own personal smartphone, tablet or laptop.

In the eBar spirit of showing, not telling, DPPL is using Augmented Reality (AR), an emerging technology growing in use around the world, to help you envision what this new space will look like.

Using a free AR app, we’ve created a way for you to go to our existing spaces and see what the space will look like after the renovation.  Get started here.

The eBar is part of Phase 1, which also includes the 4th floor Forum and other improvements.  Read more about the entire project here.

Construction on eBar is slated to kick off in October and the space is currently slated to open in late winter 2016. The two-year, two-phase project is being paid for out of DPPL's capital funds budget.

No additional taxes were levied for this project. In fact, DPPL has lowered the library tax levy 1.5% each year for the past four years and will do so again in 2016. 

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