Monday - Thursday: 9am - 9pm
Friday & Saturday: 9am - 5pm
Sunday: 1pm - 5pm
The Normal Public Library is a valuable educational and recreational resource that enriches the quality of life for community residents.
The Library is a catalyst for literacy, learning, creativity, and innovation. We connect, reflect and engage our community and are strong stewards of our valuable resources.
Our strategic plan was developed with input from the community. These goals and strategies help shape the future of the library.
A Little Bit of History
The Normal Public Library began modestly in 1935 as a Reading Room sponsored by the Community Council and funded by the Works Project Administration (WPA). Miss Margaret Hanna volunteered her services as librarian for the collection of 300 books. The first location was over the old Normal State Bank at 113 W. North Street, followed by a move to 117 W. North Street.
In 1938, citizens voted to support the library by public taxation. The library moved to a large room over Hildebrandt’s Drug Store in Payne’s Community Hall at 118 ½ W. North Street -- where the first Board of Trustees meeting was held on April 27, 1938. The six elected members drew straws to determine the lengths of their terms. Miss Hanna was hired as the first Head Librarian.
The next two locations for the library were 207 North Street; and in August 1964, the former Eisner Grocery, 205 Broadway Street.
In 1971, citizens approved a bond issue to finance a new building. The library moved to its current location at 206 W. College Avenue on May 5, 1973, with the help of staff, volunteers, and the Illinois National Guard.
Circulation, materials, and demand for services continued to grow rapidly. In 1985, a needs assessment by staff and community concluded that the library was in desperate need of additional space. In 1989-1990, the Town of Normal approved a plan to raise the property tax level by $1.4 million over a four-year period for library construction.
Bids for the library addition project went out in November 1991 on a design-build basis. Groundbreaking for the 25,700 sq. ft. addition took place on April 8, 1992, with completion of the addition and remodeling of the old building projected for the fall of 1993.
Normal Public Library has grown from 300 donated books to a diverse collection of nearly 200,000 materials. Traditional printed materials and digital collections are available for public use. The library has changed as the community’s information needs have changed, but one thing is constant: the desire to provide the best possible service to our community.
Freedom of Information Act
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a law that gives you the right to access information from the federal government.