Naper Boulevard Library celebrates 30th anniversary

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On December 29, 2022, the Naper Boulevard Library celebrated its 30th anniversary.

“It’s shocking to me because I just retired three years ago and just realized somebody texted me saying we’re celebrating the 30th anniversary. It’s just amazing,” said Olya Tymciurak, who served as manager at Naper Boulevard Library from 1992-2013.

Why the library opened

At first, the only library in Naperville was the old Nichols Library at 110 S. Washington Street, which opened in 1898.

But as the years went by, and the Naperville population grew, space at the library was at a premium. Library officials saw there was a need to expand outward.

“The staff at Nichols was starting to feel overwhelmed with use and activity. So having two and then three facilities was really dictated kind of by the way Naperville grew and the directions it went,” said Tymcirak.

So in 1992, the Naper Boulevard Library opened its doors to the public.

Naper Boulevard Staff standing on the site of the library

Photo courtesy: Sue Karas

Naper Boulevard’s growth

Throughout its first year, the Naper Boulevard facility started to have some of the same issues that Nichols had. The difference was, Naper Boulevard still had some room to grow.

“Children services were exploding; adult services were exploding. There was not enough space on the shelves. So, we had to expand. That’s when we went into the basement and that became the adult services area with children’s remaining upstairs,” said Tymcirak.

Kid playing a game in the kids section of Naper Boulevard Library

Photo courtesy: Sue Karas

“More cozy and more maneuverable”

In 2003, the Naperville Public Library expanded once again, with the opening of the 95th Street Library. But Naper Boulevard still retained many of its loyal readers.

“We found that a lot of parents with kids, maybe with like autism or some other disabilities have found that a smaller environment works better for their kids. So, you know, all of a sudden, we’re finding that having a smaller size that’s more cozy and more maneuverable, worked a lot better for many people,” said Tymcirak.

Naper Boulevard may be the smallest library of the three but to Tymcirak, it holds a special spot in the system.

“Nichols is the flagship and 95th Street is the starship because it’s so modern. But Naper Boulevard is the friendship,” said Tymcirak.

Naperville News 17’s Anthony Yench reports.

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Photo courtesy: Sue Karas