HISTORY OF THE MOUNT PROSPECT PUBLIC LIBRARY
1930—The first Library was established by the Mount Prospect Woman's Club. Consisting of one tier of shelves holding about 300 books, the collection was located in a one-room schoolhouse on the corner of Main Street and Central Road and was staffed by volunteers from the Woman's Club. The old schoolhouse, now the property of St. John's Episcopal Church, is located on the corner of Wille and Thayer Streets.
1932—The Library moved to the old Mount Prospect State Bank building on the northeast corner of Busse and Main Streets. The Mount Prospect Woman's Club was still in charge but employed Mrs. Irma Schlemmer, who was permitted to keep the Library open eight hours a week.
1943—A referendum was passed enabling the foundation of a tax-supported Village Library. The 1940 population was 1,710—by 1943 it probably was about 3,000. The young Library received much assistance from the Chicago Public Library in the form of professional suggestion, furniture and books. Chicago Public gave the Library 1,000 books for $200.00 per year, which it then returned to us to enable the purchase of children's books. This help continued for twenty years.
1944—The Library moved to a paint store at 115 South Main Street as it was the only store open at night.
1950—The first Library building was erected at 14 East Busse Avenue on land purchased with money—$25,000.00—donated by organizations and from individual gifts. A bond referendum for $35,000.00 was approved. The 2,450 square-foot building served a population of 4,009. Currently this building, much expanded, houses the Senior Citizens Center.
1961—In March of 1961, a bond issue of $198,000 authorized an addition to the Library. Between 1962-1965, two additions were made to the building, tripling the floor space. In 1962, the Library received .00854 cents per $100 assessed valuation to provide for a population that by 1963 had reached 22,945 (1960 population 18,906). The collection consisted of about 20,000 books.
1966—Voters approved a bond issue for further expansion, which increased the size to 12,000 square feet, and revenue was increased to .01150 cents per $100 assessed valuation. An adjacent parking lot was purchased by the Library. A campaign was begun by the Library Board of Directors and Library supporters to acquire rights to the Central School property, where the present Library building now stands. The population was 30,200.
1974—The population had risen to 46,525 when the Village Board of Trustees voted in September to purchase the 2.6 acre Central School property as a site for a new Library Building and approved the expenditure of $3.2 million for construction of a new building.