Breaking News Bar
updated: 1/28/2014 1:22 PM

Huntley area library marks 25 years

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • Judy Mulcahy restocks shelves at the Huntley Area Public Library, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.

       Judy Mulcahy restocks shelves at the Huntley Area Public Library, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.
    Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • John Cox of Huntley enjoys a newspaper in front of the signature fireplace at the Huntley Area Public Library, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.

       John Cox of Huntley enjoys a newspaper in front of the signature fireplace at the Huntley Area Public Library, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.
    Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • The Huntley Area Public Library is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

       The Huntley Area Public Library is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.
    Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Nineteen-month-old Zoe Peters of Huntley works to identify animals on a library computer at the Huntley Area Public Library, which this year marks its 25th anniversary.

       Nineteen-month-old Zoe Peters of Huntley works to identify animals on a library computer at the Huntley Area Public Library, which this year marks its 25th anniversary.
    Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • From its modest beginnings in a red brick house in rural Kane County, the Huntley Area Public Library has grown from serving 3,000 patrons to 39,000 area residents in 25 years. The library will mark its silver anniversary with events each month starting with a February fundraiser.

      From its modest beginnings in a red brick house in rural Kane County, the Huntley Area Public Library has grown from serving 3,000 patrons to 39,000 area residents in 25 years. The library will mark its silver anniversary with events each month starting with a February fundraiser.
    Courtesy of Huntley Area Public Library

  • From its modest beginnings in this red brick house in rural Kane County, the Huntley Area Public Library has grown to serving 39,000 people in 25 years.

      From its modest beginnings in this red brick house in rural Kane County, the Huntley Area Public Library has grown to serving 39,000 people in 25 years.
    Courtesy of Huntley Area Public Library

 
 

From its modest beginnings in a red brick house in rural Kane County, the Huntley Area Public Library has grown from serving 3,000 to 39,000 patrons in 25 years.

"Huntley was a much different place than it is today," said Leigh Ann Porsch, the library's head of communications. "That shows you how small Huntley was at the time."

The library will mark its silver anniversary with events each month starting with a fundraiser in February.

The library district was formed on Nov. 7, 1989, after voters approved it 479 to 248.

After fundraising to purchase a building and establish a library board, Huntley's first library opened in 1992 in a small house at the corner of Church Street and Algonquin Road.

"They used that for several years and quickly outgrew that," Porsch said.

In 1997, voters approved borrowing $2.4 million to build the current library at 11000 Ruth Road, north of Main Street. It opened July 27, 1999.

Today, Huntley's population is right around 25,000, but the boundaries of the library district are wider, serving most of Huntley, and also portions of Lake in the Hills and Algonquin.

"We also are out in the more rural areas of Grafton, Coral and Rutland townships," Porsch said. "We cover quite an extensive area -- 55 square miles."

Of the 39,000 residents within the district, 25,470 are library cardholders, she added.

"We've got kind of an interesting split in our demographic ... a lot of younger families with children. We also have Del Webb (Sun City) residents," Porsch said.

The library offers free home delivery service for senior residents who cannot get to the library due to a health condition or lack of transportation. Roughly 20 patrons subscribe to the service.

Porsch said the library board has tried to raise funds to add onto the current 15,000-square-foot building. Two referendum requests in 2005 and 2008 seeking voter approval for borrowing $14.9 million and $10 million, respectively, to expand the library failed.

There is still room for growth on the library's 11.5-acre grounds.

"We do own all the property around us," Porsch said.

The library installed three temporary mobile units attached to the main building in January 2010. They currently house the children's department and program room.

"The mobile units are very well done," Porsch said. "Eventually, we're going to have to replace them. They are only temporary and they are not going last forever."

Next month, the Friends Foundation, which supports the library, will conduct a fundraiser for the children's room. The group will be collecting donations of quarters to purchase a new educational computer.

"We have four right now purchased in 2008 with grant funding. They are getting old," Porsch said.

Events will be held each month emphasizing the 25th anniversary theme.

For this year's summer reading program, the library district will collaborate with Huntley School District 158, the Huntley Park District and the village to host programs and events, Porsch said.

"We're very excited about it," she added.

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.
    help here