Since 1902, Chicago Heights Free Public Library has been serving the Chicago Heights community! 


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.

Chicago Heights IL Public Library is a very historic place for Chicago Heights, IL! Thank God it is still functioning today to continue to educate our youth as well as the people! I have good memories about this place! I’m grateful for the people that keep this place going on a daily basis! To God be the glory for the city of Chicago Heights.
— Tyra B.

What the community is saying

Chicago Heights Public Library offers so many resources and activities to engage our youth. Whenever my children have projects we don't go to the Internet, we go to the Chicago Heights Public Library just like I did as a child & checkout books. The staff is friendly and engaging with our youth. In addition, the new addition of the outside play area is absolutely wonderful for the kids. - Peter A.

The summer reading program is always a hit with the children; they have a blast each year. There is also free tutoring for the kids. The Chicago Heights Library is an asset to the community. - Monica B.