The Riverside Public Library is becoming more eco-friendly this fall, thanks to a grant allowing them to install energy-saving lighting fixtures.

Library Director Janice Fisher said the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation, a private organization that supports projects dealing with energy efficiency and renewable energy development, gave the library almost $21,000 to update the lighting fixtures on its lower level.

Fisher said the existing lighting fixtures in the library have become antiquated, and installing new ones would save the library a good deal of energy and money.

“The lighting fixtures are so out of date that we’re wasting energy left and right,” she said. “We will be saving so many kilowatts of energy with the new ones.”

New lighting fixtures will eventually be installed throughout the library, Fisher said. The lights have already been replaced in the library’s Great Room and the youth services department.

Fisher said the work being done in the lower level should be completed by the end of September. All library materials will still be available to the public throughout the construction.

Holocaust materials replaced

Following the destruction of Holocaust-related library materials last month, the Riverside Public Library has received an outpouring of support from its patrons.

Five of the library’s videotapes, all dealing with the Holocaust, were damaged in early July, allegedly by well-known white supremacist Richard B. Mayers of Berwyn. Mayers has since reportedly confessed to the crime and has been charged with criminal damage to property.

In response to the incident, Fisher said, the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center of Evanston offered to replace the videotapes that had been damaged. The library immediately accepted the offer.

All in all, the cost of the tapes came to about $140, but Fisher said money was beside the point.

“It’s not the cost as much as the fact that it [the crime] had been done,” she said.

In addition to the museum’s donation, Fisher said, the library has also received donations of other Holocaust-related materials from several other patrons. They’ve even had to turn down other offers to replace the damaged materials, she said.