In March of 1944 a group of people, including representatives from the Women's Club, the Methodist Church, and the Evergreen Park Public School PTA, collaborated with representatives from the Village Board and the School Board to establish a library. The group held a Mardi Gras in the public school gymnasium and raised about $800, which was used for supplies. The Village Board donated a building at the alley behind Village Hall that was built during WPA days. Stocked with donated books, the Library opened its doors on September 7, 1944. The Library was open four afternoons a week. Mrs. Amie Burnham Martin served as the first head librarian. In 1945 a Library Board was elected and a proposition was passed to institute a library tax rate.
The growing library soon ran out of space. In 1954, 14,000 books were moved to a storefront at 95th Street and Homan Avenue. In 1957, a new library facility was built at 94th Street and Troy Avenue, with an addition completed in 1976.
In 2006/07, the Library underwent a 12 month renovation and expansion. The Village of Evergreen Park Board of Trustees and the Evergreen Park Public Library Board of Trustees worked together to accomplish this important public project. Construction was completed on time and on budget, financed through a general obligation bond and repaid through sales tax revenue, not property taxes. Physically and functionally, it's a brand new 23,000 square foot library!
Click here to download a copy of the document Early History of the Evergreen Park Public Library as written by Amie Martin, head librarian from 1944-1977 (excerpt from Cherishing our Past: Evergreen Park's Centennial Celebration, 1993).
For more about the history of the Library and Evergreen Park, visit our Local History page.
Evergreen Park Public Library offers resources that encourage lifelong learning and enrich the quality of life in our community.