Warren County Public Library

62 public square
Monmouth, IL 61462

309-734-3166

History

1868 - The Monmouth Reading Room and Library opened, housing only newspapers and magazines.
1870 - Trustee William Pressly provided the funds for books and erected a two-story building on the southwest corner of the Public Square for a permanent library.  A marble plaque on that building reads: "This was the first building in the State of Illinois given for a People's Library."

The original library. W.P.Pressly erected this two-story brick building to be used as a public library in 1870.

Library privileges were extended to residents of Warren County at Mr. Pressly's suggestion.
A charter was issued on March 25, 1870, to the Warren County Library and Reading Room Association.
Patrons paid a nominal annual fee, which financed the library until 1920.
The library was administered by an appointed, 15-member Board of Trustees.

The reading room of the Warren County Library which was a hub of activity in the 1880's.

1904 By this time, five branch libraries had been established throughout the county.
1907 A new main library building was built adjacent to the original library building on a lot donated by Mr. Pressly.
1919 The Illinois Legislature authorized levying a tax to support a county library.
1920 Warren County Library became the first county library under the new state law.
The Warren County Board contracted with Warren County Library and Reading Room Association to provide library services to county residents as permitted in the law.
1921-22 Twelve branch libraries were established.
1962 An addition to the current building expanded facilities from the Public Square to South A Street.
1990 Operation of the library was turned over to the Warren County Public Library District and administered by an elected, 15-member Board of Trustees.
The District covers all of Warren County (approximately 540 square miles).

The tax rate in the general fund went from $.08 for county libraries to $.15 per $100 of assessed valuation for district libraries.

1992 - The children's room was expanded by 589 square feet.
1996 - A major expansion and reconfiguration, made possible by a grant from the Illinois State Library, added more than 3664 square feet, primarily on the first floor all handicapped-accessible.
2002 - Space was expanded again by purchasing a building adjacent on the east, doubling the children's room and expanding the genealogy room.
2004-05 - During late 2004 and early 2005, the upstairs at the east end of the library was remodeled. A new elevator was installed, and rooms redone. This became the new, greatly enlarged, genealogy area as well as a new large meeting room with a seating capacity of 90.
2006 - The downstairs of the east building now hold a large collection of Audio books as well as used books for sale.

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