In the late 1940s a group of citizens organized the first public library service in Flossmoor. The "Bookshelf" opened in June, 1947 in the Field House east of the Flossmoor IC station. Community volunteers staffed the Bookshelf which, by the fall of 1947, was open for four hours on Tuesdays and two hours all other weekdays and Saturdays. By December 1947, the Bookshelf owned 3,000 books collected from local donations and had 800 books on loan from the Illinois State Library. In the fall/winter of 1947-1948, volunteers moved the Bookshelf to the show room window of the Broderick Building on Flossmoor Road and then returned it to the Field House in May 1948. The collection was then moved to the Flossmoor Public School, Leavitt Avenue, where it remained until September 1949.
There was a brief hiatus of library service when Leavitt Avenue school enrollment increased and the library space was needed for school functions. A multiple-community library district of the southern third of Cook County was discussed and voted down in 1952, and in 1953 a proposal for a Rich Township library was defeated. It was apparent that Flossmoor, like other municipalities, wanted its own library. In 1953, a group known as the Friends of the Flossmoor Library organized (1) a slate of six candidates for a library board and (2) a proposal for a maximum library tax of not more than one mill per year, or ten dollars per year on an assessed valuation of $10,000. On June 30, 1953, citizens approved the establishment of the Flossmoor Library by a vote of 203 to 126.
The primary concerns of the new library board were an appropriate building site and adequate library staffing. Some consideration was given to locating the library in the Illinois Central station; however, the Library Board failed to gain approval by the Village Board for a special referendum to get approval of a tax to raise money for its purchase. In April 1954, the Library Board of Trustees met with the chairman of the Homewood Library Board. It was agreed that separate library buildings would be more useful to the two villages than a joint library but that the two villages might consider sharing certain services.
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