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Early History of Sandwich Library (1913 - 1925)

1stlibrary 0001In 1898 the Sandwich Women's Club started a library in their club rooms. The first book owned by the Sandwich Library was "Glimpses of Fifty Years" donated by Anna White. The library had a collection of 150 books. In 1913, the Sandwich Woman's Club rented a one room cement block building for 10 dollars per month.  The library was located on Eddy Street, that is now the location of Art's Food Market parking lot. The library was furnished with four long tables, two reading lamps, a circulation desk, an oil heater, two dozen chairs, and cork carpeting. The library was open three afternoons a week. The library also loaned a full shelf of books to each Sandwich School classroom, first through eighth grade. When the collection grew to 5,000 volumes the library proved to be inadequate and moved to the corner of Green and Center Streets. The new building was owned by the Sandwich Manufacturing Company and was provided rent-free.

History as a Township Library (1925 - 1995)

In 1925, the community passed a petition to create a Township Public Library.exterior 0001 Mrs. Genevieve Long was elected President of the new Library Board of Trustees. Pauline Newton, the first librarian, earned a salary of $50 a month. Her dog, Skipper, was her library assistant. On September 25, 1940, the library and 10,000 volumes were destroyed by fire. In 1941, a new library was built on the corner of Eddy and Center Street, funded by a $25,000 bond. $5,000 was donated for new furniture. The new library was 4,780 sq. ft. and built to hold 15,000 volumes. The lower level was built as a community room that contained a stage, kitchen and fireplace. In 1956, the balcony was added. Pauline Newton retired in 1966 and Alberta Barker was Librarian until 1975. The Children's Library moved to the lower level in 1970 and carpeting was installed in 1971 and 1975.  Joanne Johnson served as Library Director from 1975 to 2000.

The Sandwich Public Library District (1996)

The library converted to a District in 1996 and increased in area.

The Sandwich Public Library District Moving Forward (2014-present)


On November 6, 2012, the library passed a referendum to build a new library and issue general obligation bonds for $3,400,000. The total project cost was estimated to be $4,995,000, of which, $1,595,000 of the project was funded with a State construction grant.  The new library building was built on a site owned by the District at 925 S. Main St., and is approximately 17,000 square feet in size. The building opened in late August 2014. 

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Sandwich Public Library District

925 South Main Street, Sandwich, Illinois 60548
Phone: 815-786-8308  |  Fax: 815-786-9231

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