Odell Illinois Public Library

301 East Richard Street
Odell, IL 60460

815-998-2012

History:
On December 19, 1904, the Odell Library Association was founded by a group of public minded citizens. The library began in three rent free rooms in the bank building and continued to use these rooms until 1934. That same year Mr.John McWilliams, Sr. died and bequeathed ten thousand dollars to the library. The library then moved into a room at the Odell Community Hall Building, and remained there until a disastrous fire in 1942 completely destroyed the building. A temporary room was once again made available to the library in the bank building until the new Community Building was completed in 1948.

The library became a member of the former Corn Belt Library System in 1965 and has continued as an active member in the new Alliance Library system. The library board purchased storefront property in 1968 and moved to its new location. In 1988 a successful referendum was held and the library became a district library annexing territory that had the same boundaries as the public grade school. On July 9, 1990 the board purchased for ten dollars the former annex of the Odell High School. The property located at 301 E. Richard Street is adjacent to the present grade school. With very limited funds remodeling began, opening to the public in the fall of 1990.

On July 9, 1998 the Odell Public Library District was awarded a Live and Learn Construction Grant from the Office of the Secretary of State and IL State Librarian George Ryan to complete the needed remodeling and an addition to the childrens area in the library.

Those serving the Odell Public Library as librarians were: Pearl (Puffer) Walker 1904-1914, Lenora Vaughan 1914-1920, Harriet Shively 1920-1922, Elizabeth Bronson 1922-1943, Edward Walker 1943-1953, Lorraine Hare 1953-1979, Kay Kelly 1979-1991, Sharon Stahler 1991-2004, & Eric Colclasure 2004- present.

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