Library History

"Built on a Solid Foundation"

March 6, 1931, the Grayslake Women’s Club held a book shower and collected 100 books with which they began the first Public Library in Grayslake. For the next eleven years, the women of the club ran the library as a volunteer project. They raised the money to buy books and to rent space by holding programs and soliciting donations from local business, especially the Grayslake Gelatin Company.

In 1941, the Women’s Club approached the Village Board and requested the Library become a tax-supported institution. On December 1 of that year, Mr. Warren Chard, Mrs. Bertha Moore, Mrs. Marguerite Morse, Miss Alta Neville, Mr. C. M. Trowbridge and Mr. N. R. Gotthoffer convened the first meeting of the Board of Library Trustees. Mrs. Irene E. Grutzmacher became the first Librarian, a position she held until her death in 1973.

By 1958, the voters agreed that the need for library service extended beyond the village boundaries and they approved a referendum creating the Grayslake-Avon Public Library District. The District encompasses two-thirds of Avon Township and includes parts of Grayslake, Hainesville, Highland Lake, Round Lake, Round Lake Beach, Round Lake Park and Third Lake.

The library continued to grow and eventually expanded into a double storefront on Center Street. By the early 1990’s, the population of the Library District was increasing rapidly and it was obvious the storefront would soon be inadequate.

In a 1993 referendum, Library District residents approved a $4.5 million bond for a new facility. By the next fall, the Library’s new location had been determined. It was to be built on 5.4 acres of land adjacent to Central Park. Earth-moving equipment dug in during October of 1995 and construction was completed in December 1996. The building opened its doors to patrons on January 6, 1997.