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A referendum was passed in 1957 that provided a new library building at Graceland and Thacker. Many residents still remember the Boy Scouts using shopping carts to move books from the old building to the new one. The new library opened its doors in 1958.
In 1969, bookmobile service began and a small addition was built, which included the bookmobile garage and additional office space. An addition completed in 1974 expanded the building to nearly 40,000 square feet.
On April 27, 1998, the City Council approved a downtown redevelopment project which included a new 80,000 square-foot library as its centerpiece. The new building is located at 1501 Ellinwood, between Pearson and Lee Streets. The doors of the new library opened on August 14, 2000.
On October 7, 2007, the Des Plaines Public Library celebrated 100 wonderful years of serving the community. The centennial milestone was marked with a year's worth of events and programming which commemorated the library's past while also looking ahead to the future. Capping off the centennial was an exhilarating, once-in-a-lifetime carnival, held in Library Plaza. Hundreds of library fans packed the Plaza to enjoy live entertainment, games, old-time refreshments and a ride on a spectacular carousel.
Watch a short YouTube video about the history of the Des Plaines Public Library:
The library purchased a new bookmobile in 1977 and held a contest to name the new vehicle. Third grader Christy Cook won with "W.O.W.: Words on Wheels." Children gathered in the summer to hear stories, make crafts, or show off their pets. They checked out records, puzzles, and magazines in addition to books. The vehicle was refurbished in 1986.
A new vehicle with a new name—the Mobile Library— began service on October 1, 1996 and carred over 5,000 items for adults and children of all ages. The collection featured current popular materials and includes books, magazines, DVDs, videos, CDs, and audiobooks. The mobile library discontinued service in 2012