Library History

Fox Lake District Library History

The Fox Lake District Library's long history of serving Fox Lake and Grant Township area communities began in 1939, when the library was established as a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project with the Village of Fox Lake and the Fox Lake Woman's Club as cosponsors. The library's location was in the office of the Nagel Lumber Yard on Grand Avenue in the center of Fox Lake.

Taxpayer support for the library began in 1944, and the library moved to the Krec Building, which is located where the current Dollar General store is, farther east on Grand Avenue from the library's original location. In the 1960s, the library board conducted a door-to-door fundraising campaign and secured a down payment for the original 1800 square foot library building at the library's present site at 255 E. Grand Avenue in Fox Lake.

A milestone in the library's history occurred in 1975, when the library converted by referendum from a village library to a district library, enabling it to serve territory outside the boundaries of the Village of Fox Lake. In 1976, most of the remainder of Grant Township, Illinois, was annexed to the library district following voter approval by referendum.

Another milestone in the library's history occurred in 1976 when Head Librarian Harry J. Bork and the board of library trustees secured a federal building grant of over $745,000.00 to enable the construction of a building addition of approximately 15,000 square feet, with the current library facility being the result. In ensuing years, the library's main entrance was moved and reconstructed in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, again with the assistance of government grant money, and the library facility's parking lot was greatly expanded.

On April 27, 2010, the first phase of a new Fox Lake District Library was opened to the public next to the site of the old library building, with the new facility including expanded adult and youth departments, a large public computer area, quiet study and reading rooms, and a young adult area. The completed 45,000 square foot library opened in December 2010 and includes a large public meeting room, self-serve Internet café, a children’s story garden, and a Friends of the Library book sale room.


About Our Building

The new Fox Lake District Library facility measures 45,000 square feet in area. Construction of the building began in March 2009 and was completed in December 0f 2010. The main floor of the facility includes the circulation desk, a Children's services room, adult audio-visual area and periodical room, a new book section, the Internet cafe, a Friends of the Library book sale room and the main library meeting room. The second floor of the library facility includes the adult book collection, a teen area, adult services desk, public computers, quiet reading room and study rooms.

The Fox Lake District Library (2010) was designed by an architectural team from Dewberry Architects, Elgin, Illinois. Michael Mackey was the lead designer and project manager. Also included on the architectural design team were: Chris Killinger, Totie Leonardo, Tony Chinn, Weena Yan and Jim Enck. Consulting engineers on the Fox Lake District Library project were the following: McClure Engineering (Civil Engineer); Larson Engineering (Structural Engineer) ; Metro Design Associates (Mechanical, Electrical etc. Engineering); and KJWW Engineering (Building Technology). Sara Chrzanowski of Dewberry Architects, Elgin, Illinois, was the interior designer for the project. Norman J. Eallonardo, Independent Construction Services, was the library district's owners representative on the library building project. The A.J. Maggio Company of Mount Prospect, Illinois was the general contractor. Library consultant Richard E. ("Dick") Thompson is the author of the library district's "building program", the planning document that preceded the architectural design of the Fox Lake District Library building. Mr. Thompson is the former director of the Wilmette (Illinois) Public Library and has written over one hundred public library building programs.

The green roof at the Fox Lake District Library is located over the library cafe, Friends book sale room, and the rear entrance lobby. It can be viewed from the windows next to the public rest rooms on the library building's second floor. Learn more about Fox Lake District Library's Green Roof.

A green roof is composed of plants set in special growing medium in trays that are laid out on an existing roof. A green roof absorbs rain water, insulates the building, and gives off oxygen into the atmosphere. The Fox Lake District Library's green roof consists of several varieties of sedum plants that are tolerant of dry conditions and other weather extremes. An information sheet with more information on the green roof is available at the library.