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Oglesby Public Library District: Through the Years


  • The library celebrates twenty years in this building with an open house on Tuesday, March 13 and a presentation at 2:00 p.m. to honor those who helped build this building.


  • A library patron donates $200 a month this year for new release DVDs.
  • Eisenhower Public Library in Harwood Heights donates three book carts. OSHA in Arlington Heights donates four sets of shelving.
  • The DVD collection is arranged by category and moved to the new shelves.
  • The Oglesby AARP chapter disbands and donates $188 to be used for pushbutton accessible doors.
  • The Indian Trails Library District donates more items including ten green comfy chairs, six lightweight 6-foot tables, four book carts, a microwave, and a toaster oven.
  • Hope Week volunteers paint the rest of the library interior, move books and furniture, and rearrange several areas of the library.
  • An OmniArts Grant for $400 is awarded in June for a fall art program.
  • The LaSalle Peru chapter of the Kiwanis disbands and presents the library with a check for $775 to purchase award-nominated titles for children.
  • Former Board President and President Emeritus Evelyn Moyle passes away in December.


  • The library is awarded a Books for Children Grant for $1,000 worth of Junior Library Guild books and a 1-year subscription to science nonfiction books for grades 2-6.
  • An OmniArts Grant for $500 is awarded in May for fall musical programs. The Friends of the Library match the grant.
  • Fremont Public Library donates two sets of computer tables and eight task chairs.
  • The Indian Trails Library District donates a coloring table, pyramid display, bookcase, bead manipulation table, study carrels, projector, patron counter, and more.
  • The Friends of the Library donate funds for a larger bulletin board and continue to donate $300 a year for the Summer Reading Program.
  • The new exit door in the Children’s Room is installed in April. Koolmaster uses the window they took out to replace the broken northwest window at no extra charge.
  • A new logo is chosen for the library.
  • During Hope Week in June, volunteers from six area churches come to the library. They paint, clean up landscaping, spread gravel, move shelves and books, and do general cleaning.
  • Geneva Public Library donates ten wooden chairs.
  • The library installs a mailbox in the column at the street entrance to the library.


  • Pamela Delvallee is appointed Acting Director of the library.
  • A “Meet the Candidates” night is held in March.
  • Oglesby Elks Lodge #2360 gives $1,000 from the Elks National Foundation grant for a new exit door in the Children’s Room.
  • Rebekah Clark begins as the new library director on June 29.
  • Baxter & Associates donates a desk with side extension for the director’s office. The roll top desk purchased in 1928 is still in use in the director’s office.
  • In August Koolmaster’s quote is selected to install a new exit door in the Children’s Room.
  • In September Evelyn Moyle resigns from the board. Moyle is designated President Emeritus of the Oglesby Library Board.
  • In November a northwest window is broken due to rapid temperature changes.
  • A gift of $1,500 is given to the Historical Account in memory of Carl and Jeanette Gealow.


  • Oglesby Elks Lodge #2360 gives an Elks National Foundation Gratitude Grant for $850 for a new library computer.
  • Evelyn Moyle resigns as Board President in September.
  • The October Incredible Bats program is a huge success. The Friends of the Library donates $200 to sponsor the program.
  • A new computer for the Children’s Room is purchased with a generous donation in memory of Wanda Entwistle from her family.
  • In honor of their dedicated service to the library and Historical Society, the Local History area is designated the Albert Moyle and Evelyn Moyle Local History Resource Center.


  • Sam Tillmann, President of the Peru Lion’s Club, presents the library with a check for $750.
  • In May the library receives a $2,500 “Back to Books” grant to purchase fiction and non-fiction.
  • On July 1 the non-resident fee increases to $50.00 per year.
  • An Emergency Disaster Plan is completed in September.
  • As of August, Comcast provides internet and phone service.
  • The Friends of the Library raise funds through a holiday “Giving Tree.” The $537 raised goes toward a laser printer.
  • The North rooftop furnace goes out in December. After quotes, the contract is awarded to John’s Service and Sales.


  • As of January, new books are reserved for our patrons for three months before they are available for interlibrary loan.
  • New library cards with a new design and key tags are ordered.
  • Oglesby School History Fair projects begin in September. Classes come to the library during school hours to learn how to use reference materials.


  • Prairie Area Library System merges into Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS).


  • An Illinois Valley Network Users Association (IVNUA) Grant is received to purchase two new computers. The Friends of the Library donate to purchase a third one.
  • The library becomes a part of the PrairieCat Consortium.


  • An Intergovernmental Agreement with the City of Oglesby is formalized in February. The City will “provide electrical utilities, water utilities, janitorial services, the removal of snow from the Library sidewalks and parking lot, and the mowing of the Library’s grass as well as” miscellaneous landscaping until “all TIF districts described herein terminate.”
  • The library receives $5,000 from the Milton Livingston estate.
  • Librarian Irene Claudnic retires as director in December.
  • Board approves Baxter Accounting to do monthly ledger entries in addition to payroll.
  • Megan Baznik-Wilson begins as director. An open house December 4 honors Claudnic and welcomes Baznik-Wilson.


  • Former librarian Marie Bassetti passes away.
  • The library receives a $5,000 bequest from Clara DeFillippi.


  • The Board approves a replacement unit for the Trane rooftop furnace.


  • Over 50 people attend a program on Pre Civil War Quilts at the Dickinson House in September, sponsored by Citizens 1st National Bank and Friends of the Library.


  • The library joins the Prairie Area Library System (PALS) in June.


  • In February two new Gateway computers arrive. Mike Groleau donates his services to install them and the security software.
  • The Lions Club of Peru donates $300 for large print books.


  • A Gates Foundation Grant awards the library with $14,995 for a computer package. Computers were installed in April.
  • The board purchases a 10′ x 25′ utility storage building. The cost of the shed, concrete slab, and sidewalk extension is $2,427.
  • An anonymous donor slips a note and $50 under the door saying, “Great, unselfish people are built from good intentions and good intentions come from good books filled with good thoughts.”
  • The Oglesby Historical Society donates $10,000 to the library from the sale of the Oglesby Our Home Town book. The donation is applied to the mortgage; the remaining mortgage is $3,478.
  • The family of Herb Hames donates $1,300 to the library. Part of the donation is used to purchase a wooden bench for the foyer.


  • The American Girl doll program by Carleen Skerston of the LaSalle County Historical Society was attended by 40 children.


  • The library receives $1,000 from the estate of Mary Sroka.


  • Grace Hunter donates $3,300 toward a landscaping project.
  • The new library project wins second place in the Governors’ Home Town Award.


  • The roll top desk purchased in 1928 and the Historical Society display case are refinished and are in the new library.
  • The new library opens on Friday, March 13 with a dedication at 2:00 p.m., one year from the date the grant was announced.
  • The Hunter family donates $26,000 to brick the library exterior. An anonymous donor donates the remainder of the $54,287 bricking cost in memory of Mr. & Mrs. George A. Hunter.
  • The board begins discussions to annex the Cedar Point School District in May. Sufficient petitions were returned by objectors that the annexation ordinance was vacated in July.
  • We receive a matching Libri grant in September: $1,050 worth of books if we match $350 in donations. The Friends donate $250 and a library supporter donates $100 to match the grant.
  • Michael Beenenga’s mural in the children’s room receives many compliments.
  • A granite bench is installed in memory of Joseph Terrando.


  • Secretary of State George H. Ryan personally presents the first installment check of the Live and Learn Construction Grant to the Board of trustees on March 13. The total grant amount is for $210,649, which is 40% of the total cost of the project.
  • The Phalen Steel Construction Company of Mendota is awarded the contract to build the new library building.
  • The ground-breaking ceremony for the new library is held at noon on July 21. The Friends of the Library host a reception following the ceremony.
  • Construction begins in late July.
  • A fund-raising committee is formed. William Prey is selected as general chair of the group. The drive for donations begins.


  • Joseph McElroy, executive Director of the Heritage Trail Library System, meets with the trustees as the consultant for the proposed new library.
  • Steven Papesh, of Steven M. Papesh and Associates, is hired as the architect.
  • The trustees decide that the new library will be a 7,200 square foot, one-store pre-engineered steel building so that the entire building can be bricked as funds become available.
  • An application for a Live and Learn Construction grant is made to the Illinois State Library on October 15.


  • The application for the Live and Learn Grant is delayed as various other options are considered by the trustees. After much study, the board determines that the original plan is the most feasible.


  • Interested citizens meet in September to discuss ways of financing a new library facility.
  • The board makes plans to apply for a Live and Learn Construction Grant from the Illinois State Library. The remainder of the construction cost will be raised through donations and a mortgage.


  • A referendum proposing the issuance of bonds for the construction of a new library with an increased tax rate is defeated in the April election.
  • As a result of the merger of the Starved Rock and Burr Oak Library Systems, the library becomes a member of the Heritage Trail Library System. The merger provides additional services to library patrons.
  • The Friends of the Oglesby Public Library is chartered on August 24 to promote and support library services and activities.


  • In April, as it looks forward to expansion, the library district acquires the land south of the post office from the City of Oglesby in exchange for the library building, property and other considerations.


  • In April, seven trustees are elected to form the first elected Board of Trustees of the new Oglesby Public Library District.


  • In September, the library becomes a district library. Its boundaries are the same as those of the Oglesby Public School District with some exceptions.


  • The library joins the Starved Rock Library System in February.


  • In April, Max Schmidt is awarded a contract for $4,460 to construct an addition to the north side of the second floor of the library building to provide space for magazine storage.


  • The first floor of the library building is remodeled to be used solely by the City of Oglesby.


  • Harry Harrison, local carpenter, is awarded the contract to build the display case for the historical documents.


  • The Oglesby Jubilee Committee donates $600 to the Oglesby Historical Society for a case to store historical records.


  • The United States Post Office moves to its new building, vacating its quarters on the first floor of the library building. The space becomes known as the library clubrooms and is used for group meetings.


  • Library Board President Bassett is authorized to purchase a roll top desk from the Bent Brothers Store “If, in his opinion, it is a good buy.”


  • The new library, a two-story building, opens in June. The second floor is used by the library and the first floor is used by the City of Oglesby and the United States Post Office.


  • The library purchases the site of the Ross house from the Oglesby Coal Company for $1,800. Preparation begins for the construction of a new library building. The Ross house is moved to a different location. Mr. Hanifer is selected as the architect and the building contractor is Mr. Hosutt.


  • The Oglesby Public Library is organized as a tax-supported facility. The city appropriates $1,000 for library use. The books are moved to the old Ross house on the northeast corner of Walnut St. and Woodland Ave.


  • The Oglesby Library commission is formed by member of the Oglesby Union Church and the Oglesby Woman’s Club. The books are first moved to the basement of the newly constructed Fraternity Building and later are moved to the basement of the Oglesby Union Church. Lucille Elliott, a trained librarian and secretary for H.H. Bent, arranges and catalogs the books and becomes the first librarian.


  • The Oglesby Library Association is established on January 1st. The books are moved to the old Miners Hall.


  • The Bent family furnishes books for community use. The location of the lending facility changes from the Oglesby Union Church Sunday School rooms on the second look of T.T. Bent’s Company Store at the Oglesby Coal Mine to the T.T. Bent & Sons Grocery and Drug Store.
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