The Virden Library was established on June 23, 1913, in a room in the old Muhlenbeck home, which was located at the northwest corner of the intersection of Springfield and Dean Streets.
The library was originally financed by businessmen and with contributions from organizations. The State then passed a law whereby towns the size of Virden could claim 9/10 mill tax provided the measure was passed by the City Council. This was accomplished by a vote of the people. In April 1931, the Mayor of Virden appointed the first board to serve under the ruling.
In 1915, the library moved south across Dean Street to the Buckles house, then again east across Springfield Street in 1918 to the Shumaker house, and then to space above the Farmers and Merchants State Bank. In 1938, the library moved to the building at 118 West Dean, where it remained until the current facility was constructed.
The library, as it stands today, was built on property donated by Mrs. William McNamar. Bids for construction of the new building were accepted in October 1978, and the new facility was completed and occupied in August 1979.
On April 9, 1990, the Board of Trustees of the Virden Public Library adopted a resolution calling for conversion of the existing public library to a Public Library District and requested the approval of the City of Virden.
The City approved the request on April 16 and the Library Board of Trustees then petitioned the Circuit Court to approve the conversion.
The Honorable Joseph P. Koval, Judge of the Circuit Court for the Seventh Judicial Circuit, Macoupin County, Illinois, entered a Final Order on May 11, 1990. It was decreed that the District would be named the "Grand Prairie of the West Public Library District" and July 1, 1990, was established as the date when the newly formed District would begin rendering library services.
Today, the Grand Prairie of the West Public Library District has a patron database of nearly 1,500 and over 20,000 items in its collection.
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