Rushville Public Library

104 North Monroe Street
Rushville, IL 62681

The history of the Rushville Public Library is long, rich and full of interesting events. Many important milestones have occurred in the eighty-three years since the RushvillePublic Library was created. There is a strong library in Rushville today, thanks to the longago generosity of Andrew Carnegie and the hard work of the Rushville Federation ofWomen . Over the years the Rushville Public Library has progressed quite nicely. Todayit is expanding with new technology and public support. This library is one of the manytreasures in Rushville. Hopefully, it will be everlasting and provide service for thecommunity of Rushville for another hundred years.

On April 5,1878 the Rushville Public LibraryAssociation was founded. The beginning membership fee was three dollars and there were dues of two dollars annually. A booklet detailing the constitution and regulations of the association was printed in the Rushville Times in 1884 and indicated that the collection had already grown to a 1,000 titles. At this time the Library Association reading room was located in a room above Vedder's Drugstore. Because the association was staffed by volunteers, the responsibility for keeping the reading room open constantly fell to the same few individuals.1 So on December 5, 1904 the city council voted and approved the motion to look into building and maintaining a public library. They appointed the committee of E.S. McIllheney, John Webster, and T.J. Noble.2 Some time later the library committee wrote an undated letter to Andrew Carnegie asking for a library building that would cost about $ 8,000.

Andrew Carnegie was a man who, from 1889 to 1923, donated money to cities and small towns across the United States to build 1,679 libraries. One hundred and six Carnegie libraries were built in Illinois. To receive money from Carnegie to build a library the city had to have a suitable building site provided and be willing to pay taxes to support the library. On February 2, 1906 the mayor of Rushville wrote to Carnegie asking to become one of the funded libraries. On February 13, 1906 James Bertram, Andrew Carnegie's secretary, responded with an offer of $5,000.4 here are many Carnegie libraries in Illinois. The Rushville Public Library happens to be one of them. The library opened on February 12, 1913. There has been a long chain of librarians that gave the library exceptional help. The Women's Federation is one of the  main reasons the library is around today. Over the years the library has become very essential in the community. In 1982 the library board was given the meeting room.

Today he library is catching up with the world in technology. The current system makes it easier and quicker to checkout books and accession them. The Rushville Public Library also offers a variety of programs to encourage adults and their children to read. In the past eighty years this library has made great progress. With continued support the Rushville Public Library will continue to meet the needs of the people of Rushville and the surrounding community .
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