Lisle Area History
Adult Services has started collecting materials for a local history project archive for the Library. We've spent many hours gathering local history documents, photographs and other materials for digitization. Seeking copyright permissions, meticulously organizing, and scanning our material has been a priority -- and, we have only just begun. Please check back for updates. Our local history project is an ongoing venture and we hope to have more to share very soon!
Lisle Library District History
In 1963, members of the Lisle Woman's Club had a dream: to see a full-service public library in the Village. On April 12, 1964 with the help of community and businesses, they accomplished their first step with the opening of a children's library in the basement of 4742 Main Street. Later, adult books were added to the Volunteer Public Library.
In September, 1964, the Friends of the Lisle Library group was formed to work for the passage of a referendum to create a permanent library. The Lisle Library was founded as a library district in 1965. The Library was established in 1967 in a Lisle store front, and a professional librarian, Jane Belon Shaw, was hired to begin work in September, 1967. The Library had 1,630 card holders, who borrowed 20,492 items in 1967. The original store front had 1,250 square feet of space.
In 1981, a 12,500 square foot building was constructed at 777 Front Street. A 13,500 square foot addition was dedicated in 1989. The library blazed new trails through its long-standing commitment to cooperate with the public schools, local area colleges, and other non-public libraries. Such cooperation makes more resources available to Lisle residents.
A suggestion that the Library Director made to the County Board of Elections in 1978 resulted in libraries becoming agencies to register voters. Lisle Library also serves as a distribution center for Federal and State tax forms. In addition, the Library collects and makes available all Village ordinances, budgets, and minutes of Village, Park District and School Board meetings.
The Lisle Library District applied for, and received, a federal grant in FY91 to start a Literacy program, in conjunction with the Literacy Volunteers of America and 5 other area libraries. Although the grant has expired, the Library is still supporting the program, which is heavily used and valued by area residents.
Jane Belon Shaw retired in 1995 after serving the residents of Lisle for 28 years. Dennis M. Huslig took over the direction of the library and moved it into the next millennium with public accessible electronic databases, a circulating CD ROM collection and public access to the Internet. The Library advertised for another Director after the sudden and untimely death of Dennis Huslig in January 2001. The Library welcomed William Strecker to our staff in July 2001.
In the spring of 2007 contracts were awarded for a complete interior renovation of the Library to reconfigure the building to be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. New restrooms, new furniture, new carpeting, a new floor plan, new landscaping, and a bright new atrium window combined to give the Library a fresh look. The renovation was completed in the spring of 2008.
In February 2012, Shannon Hailikas became the fourth Director of the Lisle Library District. She has overseen the Library push for greater technology, adding access to circulating e-Readers, redesigning a help desk to be the Connection Desk to assist with the latest tablets and readers, plus access to downloadable digital audio and e-books.
Thus, since 1963, the Library has grown from a small, store front library with very limited resources, to a full-service 7-day a week organization open 66 hours a week, and approximately 15,000 people enter the building each month. In those ensuing years, the library has grown and flourished beyond its founders’ wildest dreams. Beginning with a collection of a few hundred donated books, the library now boasts a collection stock of over 155,000 items. In addition to books, there are numerous magazines, newspapers, audio-books, CDs, and videos. All these resources don’t just sit on the shelves. With a total circulation in FY2012 of over 534,000 items, this works out to a circulation of 18 items per capita. The main reason for existing is service to our public, and we feel rewarded by their constantly increasing use of Library resources.
Through strong strategic planning, the Lisle Library Board of Trustees, Library staff and Library members have guided the Library to provide ever increasing service to the community and continue to impart our vision to - Enrich, Educate, and Empower the residents of the Lisle Library District.
The Lisle Library District maintains its reputation for top-quality public service. It is known in the community as the place to go for knowledgeable and friendly assistance. Whether you want to find local information, explore your cultural heritage, pursue a hobby, stimulate your child's interest in reading, access the Internet, conduct academic research, improve your literacy, find a good book or DVD, or use the many other library resources and services, the Lisle Library District is here for you!
Additional Links About Our History
O'Conner, Sean. (2011, June). "What is the Lisle Library District - Part I." Chicago Libraries Examiner.
O'Conner, Sean. (2011,June). "What is the Lisle Library District - Part II." Chicago Libraires Examiner.