Mount Prospect Public Library

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Mount Prospect Public Library
Established 1930
Location Mount Prospect, Illinois
Other information
Director Marilyn Genther
Staff 171
Website MPPL.org

The Mount Prospect Public Library is a public library located in Mount Prospect, Illinois, USA, a suburb of Chicago.

A staff of 171 full- and part-time employees work at the Library, in more than a dozen areas throughout the 101,000-square-foot facility. Currently more than 61,000 patrons are registered cardholders. The collection has approximately 497,000 items on file, with an annual circulation figure of more than one million.

The Library is governed by a Board of Library Trustees, consisting of seven members, who are elected by the voters of the Village. The Board elects every year from among its members appropriate officers. All members serve without remuneration. Regular meetings of the Board are held in the Library.

History[edit]

1930 – The first Library was established by the Mount Prospect Woman’s Club. Consisting of one tier of shelves holding about 300 books, the collection was located in a one-room schoolhouse on the corner of Main Street and Central Road and was staffed by volunteers from the Woman’s Club. The old schoolhouse, now the property of St. John’s Episcopal Church, is currently located on the corner of Wille and Thayer Streets.

1932 – The Library moved to the old Mount Prospect State Bank building on the northeast corner of Busse and Main Streets. The Mount Prospect Woman’s Club was still in charge but employed Mrs. Irma Schlemmer, who was permitted to keep the Library open eight hours a week.

1943 – A referendum was passed enabling the foundation of a tax supported Village Library. The young Library received much assistance from the Chicago Public Library in the form of professional suggestion, furniture and books. Chicago Public gave the Library 1,000 books for $200 per year.

1944 – The Library moved to a paint store at 115 South Main Street as it was the only store open at night.

1950 – The first Library building was erected at 14 East Busse Avenue on land purchased with money – $25,000 – donated by organizations and from individual gifts. This building was torn down to make way for the Village Hall in 2002.

1961 – In March 1961, a bond issue of $198,000 authorized an addition to the Library. Between 1962 and 1965 two additions were made to the building, tripling the floor space.

1966 – Voters approved a bond issue for further expansion, which increased the size to 12,000 square feet. An adjacent parking lot was purchased by the Library. A campaign was begun by the Library Board of Directors and Library supporters to acquire rights to the Central School property, where the present Library building now stands

1974 – The population had risen to 46,525 when the Village Board of Trustees voted in September to purchase the 2.6 acre Central School property as a site for a new Library building and approved the expenditure of $3.2 million for construction of a new building.

1976 – The new Library opened December 6, 1976.

1987 – The Board of Library Trustees went before the voters in April and November to request additional funding for the operations budget and for funds to remodel the existing building and construct a 50,000 square foot addition. The funding requests were defeated.

1988 – Following the loss of two funding referenda library hours were decreased from 79 to 64 hours per week. With special funds from the Village of Mount Prospect, Sunday hours from 12-5 were restored bringing the total hours open to 69 per week. Reciprocal borrowing restrictions were implemented and charges for certain services and materials were instituted.

1992 – Marilyn Genther was appointed Executive Director of the Library. The number of reference transactions in adult and youth departments increased significantly as did total circulation. Financial and space constraints became critical.

2002 – A $20.5 million referendum was passed on March 19. Plans for the renovated library building were drawn up. The Library moved to temporary quarters at 852 Feehanville Drive in the Kensington Business Center.

2004 – Construction of the library building on Emerson Street was completed. The Library moved back to its permanent home in August. It opened to the public in September.

2010 – The library partners with the Village of Mount Prospect, Northwest Community Hospital, and School Districts 214 and 59 to create the South Branch at Crystal Court Plaza at Busse and Algonquin roads. The Chicago Community Trust awarded these agencies $150,000 in grants to help open the South Branch, which offers books, movies, music, internet-connected computers with Microsoft office, homework and reading help, GED and ELL materials, information, preschool storytimes, teen programs and small business resources. Materials are available in a variety of languages, including English, Spanish, Polish, Russian, Gujarati, and Korean.

Services[edit]

Fiction/AV[edit]

Fiction books, movies, music, audio and e-books. The Fiction/AV department is located on the second floor of the Library.

Teens[edit]

Materials for middle- and high-school students. A Teen Advisory Board plans Library activities and completes volunteer projects.

Reference and Information[edit]

Located on the second floor, research services for patrons include print resources and online databases, government documents, career and job search information, and community resources. The Business Reading Room and Business Reference collection includes journals, newspapers, and newsletters. The Harold Weary Genealogy Room includes books, periodicals, microfilm, microfiche, pamphlets, and online resources covering a variety of genealogical topics. It focuses primarily on the Village of Mount Prospect and the immediate northwest suburban area of Chicago but other parts of Illinois and the United States are also represented.

Kids[edit]

Youth Services features materials for children up to middle school and at all stages of language development. The department includes a Family Place, where early readers can engage in a variety of activities to stimulate literacy; a teachers' collection; computers; games; a puppet theater; and study rooms. Events and programs for kids include storytimes, craft projects, and performances.

Events[edit]

MPPL offers programs and activities for adults, teens and kids.

Circulation[edit]

Library cards are free to anyone who resides within the Village limits of Mount Prospect.

South Branch[edit]

The library partners with the Village of Mount Prospect, Northwest Community Hospital, and School Districts 214 and 59 to create the South Branch at Crystal Court Plaza at Busse and Algonquin roads. The South Branch offers books, movies, music, internet-connected computers with Microsoft office, homework and reading help, GED and ELL materials, information, preschool storytimes, teen programs and small business resources. Materials are available in a variety of languages, including English, Spanish, Polish, Russian, Gujarati, and Korean.

References[edit]