The Riverside Public Library is located on the banks of the Des Plaines River. Since the library opened April 4, 1931, the Library has proudly served the people of the historic community of Riverside Illinois. More importantly, the people of Riverside have supported the Library generously through this time, as evidenced through the beginnings of the Library coinciding with the Great Depression and continuing through today. An addition, completed in 1986,increased the original 7,500 square foot building to the present 17,500 square foot size. The Riverside Public Library has the distinction of being Landmark number One, in a Village which has Landmark Status! We welcome you to the Library and the many resources it offers.
The Riverside Public Library Timeline of Important Dates:

April 21, 1927
Referendum passed establishing a library and levying a tax for this purpose.

April 17, 1928
First Library Board elected.

June 25, 1920
Bond issue referendum to construct a building for $75,000.00 passed 120-70.

February 8, 1930
By election of the people, the Library Act was amended to permit the library to be built in any park in the Village under exclusive control and supervision of library directors.

April 11, 1930
Hired Grace Gilman as librarian prior to opening; signed agreement with architect Connor
and O'Connor.

May 26, 1930
Memorandum of agreement signed between Village and library to permit the library to erect
and maint- ain a library on Village land.

August 6, 1930
Awarded General Contract for construction of library building to Arvid H. Viren for $51,630.

October 4, 1930
Ground breaking and laying of cornerstone.

November 13, 1930
Resolution passed to construct a joint heating plant with the Township for heating both the
Town Hall and the Library.

April 4, 1931
Dedication and opening of the library. Those present included Mr. Connor, Architect of the building and Edgar Cameron, a Chicago artist who painted the mural of Marquette and Joliet. Robert Somerville, first Library Board President, presented the Cameron Mural and decorative map of the region as a personal gift to the Library. Over 1800 people registered for library cards the first week the library was opened.

April 22, 1931
Organizational meeting for Friends of the Library. Mrs. Joseph Jaros was elected President.

December 22, 1931
Cut annual operating budget from $8,99 to $6,500 due to low rate of tax collection during the depression.

September 30, 1936
Board voted to replace library doors with solid oak entrance doors.

February 24, 1937
Riverside Historical Society materials housed in the Library.

February 1, 1940
Village moved out of basement room of the library. Basement remodeled into a children's room.

May 1, 1966
Riverside Public Library becomes one of the first libraries to join the new Suburban Library System (SLS).

April 1975
Riverside Public Library was recipient of the "All-Star Library Award" from the Illinois Library Association. Referendum passed to increase library tax rate from 19 mils to 40 mils.

November 1984
Referendum by voters to fund a $1,500,000 addition to the library passed 5,196 to 4,470. Architect : Frye Gillian Molinaro; Contractor: A.C.M. Associates; Size:12,500 sq. ft. addition to the 5,761 sq. ft. building.

April 14, 1985
Groundbreaking for new addition.

September 7, 1986
Grand re-opening of the library with new addition.

October 1989 and January 1990
Flamingo Film Company spent four days filming an Encyclopedia Britannica Film in the Library.

December 1991
Riverside Public Library pictured on the cover of American Libraries magazine.

April 1997
Riverside Public Library building is used for the taping of the Oprah Winfrey Show book discussion of Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi.

October 1997
The Riverside Public Library joined the World Wide Web: www.sls.lib.il.us/rss/

June 1998
Library awarded grant of $33,306 from the Illinois State Library to renovate Terrace into the Quiet Reading Room. Construction began March 1999.

April 5,1999
The front of the Library was filmed for use in an episode of 'Early Edition'.

November 7, 1999
Dedication of the Quiet Reading Room.

August 2002
Young Adult Area opened on lower level.

April 2004
Lighting fixtures, made to look like those which originally hung in the Library, were installed in the Great Room. The fixtures were purchased with money received from the estate of Grace A. Board, a former staff member and friend of the Library.

April 24, 2005
The Library's 75th Jubilee Year begins with a Commencement Celebration. A whole year of programs, events and celebrations will take place in recognition of the Riverside PublicLibrary's 75th Anniversary. All costs incurred and associated with the Anniversary year werefunded by the Riverside Friends of the Library.

June 2005
Library receives grant of $ 27.000 from the Illinois Clean Energy Foundation to replace lower level lighting.

April 30, 2006
The Riverside Friends of the Library mark their 75th Anniversary. Their many years of support to the Library is celebrated.

June 2006
The Library receives a $17,000 grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Foundation to replace the lighting in the Adult Non-Fiction area.

September 2006
Landscaping project completed. Funded by the Riverside Garden Club and the Frederick Law Olmsted Society.

June 2007
Library receives a $12,000 grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Foundation to complete the replacement of lighting in the Library.

July 2008
Bats at the Library, a children's book by Brian Lies, is published by Houghton-Mifflin Corporation. The "Library" used in the book is the Riverside Public Library.

October 10, 2008
Author Brian Lies comes to Riverside to read from and autograph his book, Bats at the Library. The Library celebrates this event with "Batoberfest", an evening of fun for the entire community. Bat images lit the Library Building and the Village's Water Tower to publicize the event.

October 2009
The Riverside Public Library wins the Illinois Library Association's Highsmith Award for their "Batoberfest" program.

May 2010
The Library is the recipient of Language of Conservation installations of poetry and other related materials throughout the building. The Language of Conservation is an initiative of the Poets House in partnership with the Chicago Zoological Society and a consortium of zoos and libraries nationwide. It is made possible by a National Leadership grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and will continue for three years.

October 2010
The Riverside Public Library celebrates the 80th Anniversary of the laying of the cornerstone and begins its 80th year of service to the people of Riverside.