Plainfield Public Library District

History of the Library District’s Expansion

 

1925 A bequest from the Nimmons family for $25,000 was given to establish a tax-supported village library, which opens in 1926 in a 750 square foot building on Lockport Street

1941 The Village Library opens a 2700 square foot building on Illinois Street with a bequest from the McNester family and the remainder of the original bequest

1977 Plainfield Township creates a tax-supported library to serve residents outside of the Village of Plainfield boundaries and contracts with area libraries for service

1981 Plainfield Township Library opens a 900 square foot branch inside Grand Prairie Elementary School

1988 Voters approve merger of the Village Library and Township Library to form Plainfield Public Library District

1989 Referendum for remodel and addition to Illinois Street building, totaling 30,000 square feet is unsuccessful

1990 Branch location in Grand Prairie Elementary is damaged by tornado; school district does not renew the lease as they need the space to expand

1990 $3.5M referendum for a building bond is passed to build out 13,500 of the 27,000 square feet remodel/addition

1993 Tax rate increase referendum to operate the larger building is unsuccessful

1994 Hours cut, staff cut, budget frozen

1997 Lower level completed and hours are restored, using proceeds of sale of farm property donated to the Library in 1954

2003 Joint-use facility with Park District explored but stalled due to developer project not coming to fruition

2004 Interior remodel paid for with developers’ fees

2009 $30M referendum to expand to 72,000 square feet and add a 30,000 square foot branch is unsuccessful

2010 Building bonds from 1990 referendum were paid off

2011 Library embarks on “Design on a Dime” interior re-design in order to gain more space for public needs

2012 After community feedback, the Board chose to not place a referendum question on the fall ballot

2012 An assessment was done of the aging facility; capital reserve fund used to address the immediate and short-term identified needs

2016 $39M referendum for a 72,000 square foot new building and small operating rate increase was unsuccessful; operating budget cut, Sunday hours cut, hiring freeze