The idea of a town library for Schiller Park began as a WPA (Works Progress Administration) public work project in 1936. In April of that year, one of the rooms in Village Hall was stocked with 128 books. Several women were appointed to the board and several others volunteered their services as library workers over the next several years, but the first library closed in 1944.
In 1960, another attempt was made by several members of the community to start a free public library. A committee consisting of Mr. Brewick, Mrs. Hyacinth Doyle, Mrs. Eyers, Mrs. Hagle, Mrs. Nannen, Mrs. June Oulund, Mrs. Price, Mr. George Sieracki, Mrs. Skelley, Mrs. Traska, Mrs. VonWachenfeldt and Ms. Bonnie VonWachenfeldt. The committee launched a book drive and searched for a place to house the donated volumes. Mrs. Doyle received permission to use the “old” St. Beatrice Church.
On March 4, 1961, a painting party was held where dozens of volunteers prepared the new space designated for the library. Mr. Herman Pearson donated shelving and Mr. Silvert VonWachenfeldt built shelves. The boy scouts and other area nonprofit groups assisted by picking up donated books. One month later, a 67 car motorcade wove through town announcing the opening of the new library at 4160 Wagner Ave. The library’s doors opened with books donated by local residents and 1,000 books loaned out by the Illinois State Library. Mrs. Sweeney was the first “Librarian” and Mrs. Porfirio acted as the story lady. When Mrs. Sweeney left, Mrs. June Oulund was the “Acting Librarian”.
In March 1962, the library was asked to vacate the church because the space was needed for classrooms
On April 1962, a referendum was passed by the voters of the village that the library become a tax-supported body.
In July of 1962, the library moved to a storefront location at 9649 W. Irving Park Rd. The first library board consisted of Mr. George Sieracki, Chairman, Mr. Robert Barnard, Mrs. Hyacinth Doyle, Mrs. June Oulund, Mrs. Traska, and Mr. Harold Zuhl. By November, Mr. Joseph Miszewski was hired as the Library Director.
In 1964, the library moved again to the shopping center and Mr. Phillip Muellner was hired as the Library Director with a staff of three: Carmella Barzano, Mildred Rogge, and Eleanor Sarafin.
In 1974, the library finally constructed a building of its own at 4200 Old River Road.
Ms. Tina J. Setzer has been the Library Director since 1992. The staff of fifteen includes professional librarians: Ms. Ramona Elgin as the Director of Information Services and Mrs. Laura Williams as Interim Director.
© Schiller Park Public Library - The Village of Schiller Park