About the Library

Library History

On May 20, 1901, more than 30 Chicago Heights residents signed a petition asking the mayor and board of aldermen to "appoint a board of nine directors, charged with the duty of founding and managing a Free Public Library in the City of Chicago Heights..."

The first Chicago Heights Free Public Library Board was sworn in June 28, 1901. The board members were Sam W. Lea, David Wallace, F.W. Schacht, Joseph Caldwell, W.E. Canady, C.W. Salisbury, James Bowie, A.J. Sorensen, and A.W. McEldowney.

The library was opened in a 22 x 22-foot room in the new city building February 20, l902. During the same month, the library board wrote Andrew Carnegie requesting funds with which to build a library building in Chicago Heights. In July, the board was informed that Mr. Carnegie had allotted $15,000 toward the cost of a library building on the condition that the city furnish a free site for the building and the council furnish at least $1,500 a year for maintenance of a library. Richard E. Schmidt was retained to make sketches and plans for a library building.

The library building at 1627 Halsted Street was formally opened September 11, 1903, with 1,643 volumes and a staff of two.

On August 5, 1972 the present building at 15th Street and Chicago Road was opened to the public. The million-dollar building contained 60,000 books, records, and other materials at that time.

History of Chicago Heights

This is a brief history of Chicago Heights, from 1833 to Present. It also includes some fun facts about the city.

Chicago Heights Flag

The Chicago Heights flag was chosen during a contest to design a city emblem for the U.S. Bicentennial Celebration. The stars represent the eight city neighborhoods--East Side, Beacon Hill, The Hill, West Side, Euclid Area, Bloom High School Area, North End, Country Club Area. The bands of color represent the three segments of the community--commercial, industrial, residential.