Glenview Public Library: 90 Years New
December 2020 marks the 90th anniversary for the Glenview Public Library.
While we’re always looking toward the future, we’re taking a look back on how we started.
In 1930, the small Glenview community of about 2,000 voted to transform an empty room in the basement of the Glenview Civic Building into a library. With a special library tax of only .0009%, the first library board, consisting of three men and three women, had to get creative about how exactly they would fill the new library with books.
Less than half an hour down the road, the city of Evanston already had a well-established library in place. The two communities created a contract, allowing Glenview to borrow up to 1,000 books each year from Evanston. When the Glenview Public Library opened to the public on March 2, 1931, only 398 books sat on the shelves. Trained librarian Ruth Hubbell was chosen as Glenview’s first director, and while Ruth’s library education was an important part of her hire, it also helped that she had a car. With up to 90 requests for books each week, Ruth had to drive back and forth between Glenview and Evanston, collecting and returning books to keep up with the interests of the community. The Library went on to grow exponentially in the years to come.
With such an innovative beginning, it’s no surprise that the Library continues to grow in imaginative ways. We’re excited to celebrate 90 years with our community, and we look forward to 90 more.
Then & Now
Take a look at how we’ve grown over the past 90 years. Enjoy these fun facts from the Library’s first year of operation (1931) compared to the most recent full year of operation (2019). We’ve come a long way!
In 1931: 12,443 books circulated
In 2019: 940,000+ print, non-print & digital materials circulated
In 1931: 11 magazines offered
In 2019: 4,000+ print & digital magazines & periodicals offered
In 1931: 15 hours of operation per week
In 2019: 73 hours of operation per week
In 1931: 1,357 Library cardholders
In 2019: 20,020 Library cardholders