In the 1800s, the people in the town of Yorkville built a “Reading Room” for $700. “The new hall is 22×40 feet in area, has an eight-foot platform across the back of the building, overlooking the little stream, under the big walnut shade tree, and this is going to be a mighty cozy place to sit on hot summer afternoons and read and think and doze.”
This “Reading Room” was built next to the Yorkville National Bank on Route 47. The “Reading Room” also served for other events: oyster suppers, court cases, debates, Easter socials, and bible studies, to name a few. The Yorkville Women`s Club held their first meeting in the “Reading Room” on October 14, 1911.
The “Reading Room” was “…furnished with piano, tables, chairs, hard-coal burners, clock, pictures, and a variety of papers and magazines.” The people of the town would be able to sit and read and relax. Twenty-two dollars was spent for a year’s supply of reading materials, including one Chicago daily and several periodicals.
On December 4, 1915, the Yorkville Women’s Club opened the Yorkville Public Library in the former “Reading Room.” “The Yorkville Public Library will be formally opened on Saturday, December 4, and will be open afternoon and evening. Thereafter, it will be open to the public every Wednesday and everyone is welcome. Good reading matter will be on tables and anyone will be welcome to read any of the magazines. There are more than 500 volumes in the library at the present…no town the size of Yorkville should be without a good library.”
So began 50 very fruitful and interesting years of library service.
The library and its contents were turned over to the City of Yorkville, thereby assuring future generations adequate service through taxation.
In 1972, the library moved to the Anderson building on the southeast corner of the bridge and Route 47. The “Reading Room” was torn down to make room for the expansion of the National Bank. The Anderson location served as the Library for the next 11 years. Then it was torn down to make room for a four-lane bridge.
In 1983, the Library’s third home was built with funds from the State of Illinois Functional Replacement Program on 2.5 acres of property that had once been part of the Illinois State Game Farm. The loft was added later, with a $35,000 gift, plus countless volunteer hours of painting and staining.
November 2, 2004
Library referendum passed to build an $8,750,000 expansion.
September 12, 2005
Contract awarded to Henry Brothers Company of Hickory Hills to build the library. Groundbreaking ceremony was held on October 18, 2005. The Yorkville Public Library Time Capsule was placed on this site in December 2006, to be opened in December 2056.
January 29, 2007
The Library moved into the new 36,000-square-foot building. Opening Day: February 11, 2007.
There are many people that have worked long and hard over the years for the library, a gift to all who love books and believe in the value of reading. We are grateful for the many gifts, memorials, and business donations we have received. The continuing support of so many will always be remembered as our library expands.