Library Timeline

From Glencoe Public Library | Centennial Celebration

Below is a timeline of the history of the Library.

1909 Library organized with a nucleus of books from Woman’s Library Club and the Congregational Church. Opened in one room of old Central School.

1912 Library housed on second floor of old Village Hall on Vernon Ave.

1917 Land now used by library and village hall purchased for $54,900 from William H. Johnson based on personal guarantees by 169 residents. Tax subsequently approved by voters to pay back the loan and to provide other library facilities.

1929 Library moved to Hawthorne School at Hazel and Greenleaf Avenues.

1941 Current building was opened on July 13. A typewritten description of the Library, provided by Alfred P. Allen and Maurice Webster (architects) in February of 1940, is available here.

1954 Library gave Glencoe Village two-thirds of its property as a site for current village hall.

1962 Friends of the Glencoe Public Library formed.

1966 Glencoe Public Library is founding member of North Suburban Library System, one of 18 (now 12) regional library systems in Illinois which facilitate coordinated services, continuing education, and daily van delivery of materials.

1975 Glencoe Library is founding member of CCS automation consortium which maintains common bibliographic database with approximately 725,000 titles and 700,000 patrons from 19 libraries.

1989 Library Board began planning to meet facility requirements of Americans with Disabilities Act such as handicapped accessibility for entrance, restrooms, different levels of building.

1993 Construction begins for renovation of entire building which will involve moving all collections and services during 18 month project.

1994 In April the renovation of the interior of the building was completed. Project involved only reconfiguration of space, not expansion of facility.

1995 Friends of the Library suggest that the screened porch area could provide much-needed additional space if it were enclosed for year-round use and offer to donate funds in support of this project. Library Board recognizes the need for additional space and begins three year planning effort which included: consulting with a professional fund-raiser, interviewing a focus group of residents, conducting three space studies, hiring R. Scott Javore and Associates as architects for the project.

1999 Library Board agrees to construct an addition which will add 1,000 square feet to each of three floors (increase of 20% more space) for a cost of approximately $600,000. Funding provided through combination of reserve funds and a 4.70% loan.

2000 Library receives $50,000 from Friends of the Library to help pay for construction. Library receives $25,000 donation from anonymous resident to create Reading Garden and another $25,000 to add landscaping around new addition and a fountain in front. Library receives pledge of $50,000 from residents Ralph and Lois Silver, and dedicates the Silver Business Information Center in recognition of their generous gift. Also names Thomas A. Forte Reference Room, following grand opening of building addition.

2002 Library receives $50,000 from Friends of the Library to complete landscaping around west and south sides of building.

2005 Library undertakes Comprehensive Facilities Report with consultant Neal Vogel of Restoric, Inc. to recommend priorities for replacement and upgrade of facilities and component systems.

2006 Facility improvements include restoration of bay window in Johnson Room; replacement/upgrade of HVAC equipment funded in part by a $46,222 bequest from the Jaye and Pirie Niefeld Trust; successful application for Illinois Clean Energy Foundation grant to upgrade fluorescent lighting, with funding supplemented by the Friends of the Library.

2013 New private study room, named Hamil Study Room in honor of retiring director Margaret Hamil, is created on the lower level where oversized books used to be. Music CDs are moved to the space next to it while the shelving in the Young Adult room (where music CDs had previously been shelved) is expanded. See the library's construction blog for pictures.