CROWN POINT | Toni Weil just got back from visiting her sister in the St. Louis area, and checking out the library there. To put it simply, she wasn't impressed.
Weil, of Crown Point, who has been coming to the Crown Point Community Library for 27 years, said her hometown library has a better selection of DVDs and magazines that aren't ripped. The one advantage of his sister's library -- it's bigger.
"They need more room," Weil said of the Crown Point library as she browsed the DVD collection at 214 S. Court St. "They're having book sales all the time because there isn't any room."
That may soon change.
Earlier this month, the library unveiled plans for a new, nearly $12 million building on Robinson Court between Main and East streets that would double the size of the existing facility. It's expected to open in January 2013.
The news elicited primarily positive responses from library users Wednesday as they browsed books, used computers and gathered in the library meeting room.
Before she joined a group of knitters in the meeting room, Kristen Allen, a self-described library fanatic, stopped to check out the new book section.
"As long as they keep the staff, (a new building) will be a great thing," the Lakes of the Four Seasons woman said. "There's so much more potential with a larger library."
Over on the computers, Hailey Grcich, 7, looked up pop star Justin Bieber online with the help of family friend Christian McCreight, of Cedar Lake. McCreight said he brings his son and the children of family friends to the library at least twice a week to use the computers. Grchich's brother, Hunter Grcich, 10, used the computer to print pictures of one of his favorite video game characters, Mario. Overall, he's in favor of a new library as well.
"More books and computers and the spaceship," he said, referring to the giant shuttle surrounded by memorabilia of local astronaut Jerry Ross memorabilia.
Sometimes they have to wait for machines, especially right after school lets out for the day, McCreight said.
Officials designing the new library said they hope to have at least 40 computer stations in the new building, a thought that both pleased McCreight and sent up a red flag that the computers would be expensive for taxpayers.
The new library would affect homeowners in the library district, which has the same boundaries as Crown Point Community Schools Corp. Over two decades of bond financing, a homeowner in Center or Winfield townships who owns a $100,000 home would pay an additional $12.67 annually, and a homeowner with a $200,000 home would pay an additional $37.83.
Shane Cade, 13, of Crown Point, also supports a new library. He said he comes about once a week to play on the computer.
Officials working on the design for the building hope teens, such as Cade, will help tell them what they'd like to have in areas for young adults to keep them coming to the library throughout their teen years. Cade wants someplace comfortable where he can sit and read.
"I've never really been an avid reader," he said. "But now, I'm starting to be."