For 125 years, the Downers Grove Public Library has been loaning books and providing knowledge to the residents of the village, and it will be celebrating that long history throughout 2016.
The library is planning a mix of activities for those of all ages, culminating in a special 125th birthday party Oct. 16. Here are some of the offerings during the next few months – and beyond. For more about the celebrations, visit dglibrary.org/125th.
Time and date: 2 to 3:30 p.m. July 31
Details: A presentation on the history of the beauty industry and the cultural meanings of American beauty ideals.
Magic: The Last 125 Years
Time and date: 7 to 8:30 p.m. Sept. 15
Details: Magician Tony Noice presents a history of magic for all to enjoy.
Downers Grove Streets From A-Z
Time and date: 2 to 3:30 p.m. Oct. 9
Details: Find out the history of streets across the village in a presentation from the Downers Grove Historical Society.
125th Birthday Party
Time and date: 1 to 4 p.m. Oct. 16
Details: A celebration of the library’s birthday with games, music, snacks and prizes throughout the building.
Little Schoolhouse on the Prairie, Circa 1912
Time and date: 7 to 8:30 p.m. Nov. 9
Details: An actress brings the experience of school in the early 1900s to attendees.
Historic Fashion 1910 to 1930
Time and date: 11 a.m. to noon Nov. 17
Details: A presentation on fashion styles from the era of the early library.
A brief timeline of the Downers Grove Public Library’s history, provided by the library:
The Ladies Library Association begins a small reading room above the Farmers and Merchants Bank on the northeast corner of Main and Curtiss streets, eventually holding more than 600 volumes.
A small building on Main and Curtiss is constructed following a successful referendum for a tax-supported library.
A new building on the corner of Curtiss Street and Forest Avenue is constructed with financial help from the Carnegie Foundation to the tune of $11,250.
A new expansion is built to accommodate growing usage.
A 1975 referendum leads to the razing of the old library building, with a new 40,000 square foot building taking its place in 1977.
The new, reconstructed and updated library opens in February, 1999 after an $8.2 million 1996 referendum funded work on the structure.
Construction completed on a $2.4 million renovation as a part of the library’s strategic plan complete with improved wi-fi, a cafe space and more.