History of the Lisle Library District
Revised December 2009
In the Beginning...
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
In September, 1964, the Friends of the Lisle Library
group was formed to work for the passage of a referendum to create a
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 dont
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
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.
Copyright © 1997, 2010 Lisle Library District, Lisle, Illinois. All Rights Reserved.