Adult Services began collecting for a digitization project
--a local history archive for the
library. We've spent many hours
gathering local history documents, photographs and other materials for
digitization. Seeking copyright permissions, meticulously organizing, and
scanning our material has been a priority. And, we have only just begun!
Please check back for
updates. Our Local History Project is an ongoing
adventure and we hope to have a searchable database for you very
Lisle Library History:
Back in 1963, some Lisle women, members of the Lisle Woman's Club, had a dream: to see a full-service public library in the Village. On April 12, 1964, they accomplished their first step with the opening of a children's library in the basement of 4742 Main Street with the help of community and businesses. Later, adult books were added to the Volunteer Public Library.
In September, 1964, the Friends of the Lisle Library group was formed to work for the passage of a referendum to create a tax-supported library.
The Lisle Library was founded as a tax supported library district by referendum in 1965. In 1967, when tax monies began to be received, the library was established in a store front, and a professional librarian, Jane Belon Shaw, was hired to begin work in September, 1967.
In those ensuing 42 years, the library has grown and flourished beyond its founders’ wildest dreams. Beginning with a collection of a few hundred donated books, the library now boasts a book stock over 126,000 titles. In addition, there are numerous magazines, newspapers, pamphlets; audio tapes (including books on tape), video tapes, CDs, and DVDs
All these resources just don’t sit on the shelves; out of a service area population of 29,568, there are 13,102 active registered borrowers. With a total circulation in F09 of over 428,000 items, this works out to a per capita circulation of 15 items. (In 1967, we had 1,630 card holders, who borrowed 20,492 items).
Our original store front had 1,250 square feet of space. In 1981, a 12,500 square foot building was constructed, and a 13,500 square foot addition was dedicated in 1989. This construction was financed by a bond issue in 1979, and a tax-rate increase which was passed by the voters in 1987. The library is open 7 days and 66 hours a week, and approximately 10,000 people enter the building each month.
Other services available to the public are typewriters in the Adult Services departments; public use computers, with appropriate software, also in both Adult and Youth Services departments; a fully automated circulation system, including an online catalog; a grand piano in the public meeting room which is available free of charge to community groups and special programs; and a year-round variety of programs and special events which are also free to the public.
The library blazed new trails through its long-standing commitment to cooperate with the public schools, local area colleges, and other non-public libraries. Such cooperation not only makes more resources available to Lisle residents - it also saves the tax payers’ money by reducing duplication of materials and services.
A suggestion that the Library Director made to the County Board of Elections in 1978 resulted in libraries becoming agencies to register voters - an extremely helpful service to our working residents who find it difficult to register at the Village Hall during regular business hours. We also serve as a distribution center for Federal and State tax forms. In addition, we collect and make available all Village ordinances, budgets, and minutes of Village, Fire and School Board meetings.
We applied for, and received, a federal grant in F91 to start a Literacy program, in conjunction with the Literacy Volunteers of America and 5 other area libraries. Although the grant has run out, we are still supporting the program, which is heavily used and valued by area residents.
Jane Belon Shaw retired in 1995 after serving the residents of Lisle for 28 years. Dennis M. Huslig took over the direction of the library and moved it into the next millennium with public accessible electronic databases, a circulating CD ROM collection and public access to the Internet. This has all been made possible with a Library Board that looks to the future with promise and a dedicated staff that makes it happen. The Library advertised for another Director after the sudden and untimely death of Dennis Huslig in January 2001. After many interviews, we welcomed William Strecker to our staff in July 2001.
In the spring of 2007 contracts were awarded for an complete interior renovation of the library. Over a million dollars was expended to reconfigure the building to be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. New restrooms, new furniture, new carpeting, a new floorplan, new landscaping , and a bright new atrium window combined to give the library a fresh look. The renovation was completed in the spring of 2008. See photos of the renovation as it progressed at LLDRenovationArchive.htm .
Thus, in the last 42 years, we have grown from a small, store front library with very limited resources, to a full-service 7-day a week organization. A measure of our effectiveness may be seen in a survey conducted in 1999 that showed 91% of the community thought the library staff is helpful. Our main reason for existing is service to our public, and we feel rewarded by their approval of our efforts and their constantly increasing use of our resources.
Reminder: we will continually update
our Lisle Area History collection to best reflect our
community's rich history. Questions/comments regarding the
digitized collection should be directed to Tatiana
Weinstein, Director of Adult Services, Lisle Library District.