About

Facts & Figures

The Downers Grove Public Library serves the information needs of the 47,833 residents of Downers Grove, Illinois. With almost 30,000 residents as library cardholders, our community really uses the library. In fact, last year, Downers Grove residents checked out an average of 20 items per person! Here are some significant numbers from the 2013 fiscal year:

Circulation 969,191
Number of visitors 499,820
Computer user sessions 108,962
Collection size 295,026
Reference questions answered 70,753
New library patrons registered 2,251
Summer Reading Club participants
Children:
Teen:
Adult:

2,279
100
444
Attendance at library programs 31,177
Community meetings 5,019

 

Library History

1891
The Ladies Library Association began a small reading room above the Farmers and Merchants Bank on the northeast corner of Main and Curtiss. In 1895, it held 600-700 volumes.

1911
Following a successful referendum for a tax-supported library, a small frame building on the southwest corner of Main and Curtiss became the library's second home. Circulation in November of 1912 was 1,520.

1915
With financial help from the Carnegie Foundation, a new brick building on the corner of Forest and Curtiss opened its doors. Total cost: $11,250.

1956
To accommodate heavy usage by a booming population, a ‘wrap-around' addition expanded the Carnegie building. Again, usage grew.

1977
Following a 1975 referendum, the old library building was razed and the collection moved to temporary quarters just east of the library. In the fall of 1977, a new 40,000 square foot building opened. In 1983, the second floor was completed, and the Reference Department moved upstairs.

1999
In 1996, residents approved an $8.2 million referendum to build a new 67,738 sq. ft. library by reconstructing and updating the library building and adding an addition. The new building opened in February, 1999.

2014
A Strategic Plan was announced in 2012 that included a building renovation scheduled for 2014. The $2.4 million renovation plans call for more study spaces, upgraded technology, improved WiFi, enhanced display of items, and a cafe space that welcomes food and drink. The six-month construction project is scheduled to begin in the spring.