Gail Borden hosting birthday party celebrating 150 years in the community

Gail Borden Public Library is hosting a huge birthday party at 4 p.m. Tuesday, March 19, and everyone is invited. The library is celebrating 150 years of service to this community.

The festivities will include a proclamation by Elgin Mayor Kaptain, cupcakes, crafts and a special 150th bursting fireworks bookmark.

There will be musical performances by the Elgin Master Chorale, including a special rendition of 1874's “Song of the Elgin Watch” (words and music by P.P. Bliss) and the Fox Valley Harmonizer Barbershop Quartet. We also look forward to hearing from Kane County Board Chair Corinne Pierog, state Rep. Anna Moeller, and Elgin City Councilman Anthony Ortiz.

Gail Borden, the library's namesake, and Louis Yarwood, the library's first director, will make “special guest” appearances, as well as Katherine Abbott, who led the library for 40 years from 1903-1943, and Edna Holland from 1962-1987. Learn how library services have changed to support the community.

The current library CEO, Carole Medal, also will be there to welcome guests.

It is quite an honor to provide library services for 150 years. The people were so instrumental to bringing library service to this community by being the first in the state to vote to create a library in 1872 after the state legislature passed the Free Library Act. The doors to the library opened in 1874.

New pages had to be created for the giant birthday card as so many people wanted to wish Gail Borden Public Library a happy 150th anniversary. Courtesy of Gail Borden

So many people have signed the library's giant birthday card that new pages have had to be created.

Also, many people have answered the question, “what will library services look like 150 years from now.” One writer thought that, “In 150 years, libraries will have books in the Martian language.” Another wrote that, “There will be a flying bus transporting kids …”

See more about the 150th anniversary celebrations at

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