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.