>mher 31, 1914
Map showing location of traveling libraries.
September 1, 1913, to December 31, 1914.
Schnepp & Barnes, State Printers
September 1, 1913 - December 31, 1914
ILLINOIS STATE LIBRARY
ILLINOIS LIBRARY EXTENSION COMMISSION.
MEMBERS OF COMMISSION.
Hon. Lewis G. Stevenson,
Secretary of State , Chairman, Springfield.
Mrs. Eugenie M. Bacon, Decatur.
Mr. Joseph H. Freeman, Aurora.
Anna May Price, Secretary.
L. Ruth French, Librarian.
Esther Skoog, Stenographer.
Headquarters, State House, Springfield.
LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL.
Springfield, Illinois, December 31, 1914 .
To Honorable Lewis G. Stevenson, Chairman of Commission:
In compliance with the Revised Statutes of Illinois, chapter 128,
section 11, I herewith transmit the report of the Illinois Library
Extension Commission covering the period September 1, 1913, to
December 31, 1914.
Anna May Price,
Secretary and Director of Library Extension.
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ILLINOIS LIBRARY EXTENSION COMMISSION.
The following report of the Illinois Library Extension Commis¬
sion covers the period from September 1, 1913, to December 31,
The headquarters of the commission since its establishment in
January, 1910, had been in the basement of the Public Library at
Decatur. In January, 1914, they were moved to Springfield and now
occupy rooms in the State House.
At the same time the following changes were made in the execu¬
tive staff: Miss Anna May Price was appointed organizer; Miss
Eugenia Allin, librarian, and Miss Esther Skoog, stenographer. The
title of organizer was later changed to that of secretary and director
of library extension.
Miss Allin resigned her position the last of July to accept the
position of librarian with the James Millikin University, Decatur.
The commssion was fortunate in securing as a temporary assistant
Miss Katherine Searcy, formerly reference librarian of the University
of Texas. On account of illness m her family, Miss Searcy was
forced, to resign her position. November 9, Miss Ruth French re¬
ceived an appointment under civil service as permanent assistant, tak¬
ing the place made vacant by Miss Allin.
An increase in the biennial appropriation, small though it was,
and the addition of two members to the staff, have given the oppor¬
tunity to accomplish more efficient work. The commission has
endeavored to enter into all of the library activities of the State and
to‘ally itself with every organization that might cooporate in furthering
the work. Chief among these has been the State Federation of
Women’s Chibs. Items have been published in the Illinois Club Bulle¬
tin offering assistance to individual clubs in making out their programs
and in lending books and reference material for papers. Ninety-five
federated clubs being located in towns without any library facilities,
their cooperation has been solicited in the endeavor to establish public
The library extension committee aided the commission by a gift
o‘f two sets of the Woman Citizen’s Library, a collection of modern
dramas, and $54.00, which was expended for new books of which
the commission stood in great need.
In order to get into closer relations with the public libraries and
to gather the data necessary to enable the commission to answer the
many questions as to what was being done by the libraries in the
State, a questionaire was sent out covering the subjects of appropria¬
tions, expenditures, building, hours, number of volumes, circulation
and staff. This information is now appended to this report.
Daily, monthly and annual statistic blanks have been distributed
to all libraries that the annual report to the commission may be of a
There are now in Illinois two hundred and twenty-two public
libraries. One hundred and sixty-one of which are free tax sup¬
ported city, village or township libraries. Seven of these—Brookfield,
Buda, Carmi, Greenfield, McLean, Mason City, and Wilmington—
have been added during the last year. McLean and Wilmington are
There are eleven endowed libraries. These libraries receive little
or no support from the cities but have, been established through the
philanthrophy of public-spirited citizens. They are nevertheless quite
free to the public and serve their communities in the same way as do
the tax supported libraries.
The Stinson Memorial Library at Anna, opened July, 1914, is
the gift of Captain R. B. Stinson. He made a bequest of $50,000 to
the city for the establishment of a free public library. The money was
allowed to accrue until there was sufficient interest to erect a $25,000
building and open a library of twenty-five hundred well selected
In addition to these there are six communities which have voted
a library tax or appropriation but have not yet opened libraries.
Aledo, Chillicothe, and Wyoming voted a township tax and are wait¬
ing to construct buildings before opening libraries. Abingdon and
Marion voted a city tax and have also their buildings under con¬
The city council at Auburn appropriated $600 for a library, ap¬
pointed a board of trustees and a librarian, but has not yet estab¬
lished a library.
Under the auspices of library associations, parents and teachers
organizations or women’s clubs, libraries have been opened in DePue,
Grant Park, Hinckley, Keithsburg, Kinmundy, Morton, Pecatonica,
Sheldon, Thomson, and Virden. These libraries are supported by sub¬
scriptions and ‘donations, but the books and all library privileges are
quite free. These additions increase the number of association and
subscription libraries to forty-three. Many of these are hoping to
induce their city or township authorities to levy the proper library
tax with the next annual assessment.
Two hundred and twenty-two public libraries would not seem an
unworthy number when it is compared with the reports of neighboring
states: Wisconsin, 167; Indiana, 145; Missouri, 39; Iowa, 152. Yet
it remains an undisputed fact that there are seventeen counties in
the State without any public library, and that fifty-two cities with a
population of 2,000 or more are also without a library of any kind.
. NEW BUILDINGS.
The commission has purchased a number of copies of books of
plans of library buildings. These are loaned to library boards, for
their consideration before drawing up the specifications for their
The secretary has been very pleased to look over plans that have
been submitted and to make such recommendations as seemed ad¬
visable. The advice of the commission has been sought many times
concerning lighting systems and proper library furniture.
Anna.— The building which was erected from the bequest of Cap¬
tain Stinson cost $25,000. The architect, Walter Burley Griffin, has
designed a particularly harmonious and artistic building. It was
opened in July.
Brookfield.- —The Brookfield Public Library was opened July 27.
The building, the gift of the Carnegie Corporation, cost $10,000.
Delavan.— The new building which was dedicated November 7 ,
1914, is the gift of the Carnegie Corporation. $10,000 covers the
cost of the building and the furniture and fixtures. The site was
given by J. W. Crabb. a citizen of Delavan.
Glen Ellyn.— The library was opened the 1st of September,
1914. The cost of the building, $10,000, was donated by the Carnegie
Corporation. The site, valued at $2,000, was purchased by the club
women of the village.
Metropolis.— The Carnegie Corporation gave $ 9,000 for a new
building, which has just been completed.
Morris. —December 5, 1913, the Morris Public Library was dedi¬
cated. The building cost $12,500 and was given by the Carnegie Cor¬
Park Ridge.— Park Ridge has a new Carnegie library which was
opened December 6, 1913. The building cost $7,600.
NEW BUILDINGS UNDER CONSTRUCTION.
Abingdon. —A lot and $10,000 have been given by John Mosser
for a library. The plans have been accepted and the building is under
Aledo.— The Carnegie Corporation has given $10,000 for a building,
the site has been purchased and plans for building are under consid¬
Belleville.— The plans of Otto Rubach for a $ 40,000 library
have been accepted and the builders’ contract let. The building is the
gift of the Carnegie Corporation.
Carmi.— The Carnegie Corporation gave $10,000 for a building.
Clifford Shopbell was chosen architect. The building is almost com¬
Chilli cotite.— A site for a library has just been purchased and
negotiations are being made with the Carnegie Corporation for money
for a building.
Downers Grove.— $8,500 has been given by the Carnegie Corpo¬
ration for a library. The plans for the building have been accepted.
Marion.— The plans for a library by Clifford Shopbell have been
accepted. The Carnegie Corporation has given $18,000 for the
Toulon.— Harry Aldrich has been chosen architect to present
plans for the new $10,000 Carnegie building.
Wyoming.— The new Carnegie Library was planned by Reeves
and Boilie. The building cost $6,000 and is almost ready for occu¬
Carlinville.— Mrs.' Susan Dick has given $8,000 and a site for a
library building to the Carlinville Library Association.
Minonk. —$20,000 and a lot have been left from the estate of
David Filger for the purpose of a public library. The money is
reported as not being available at present.
The secretary has during the year made fifty-one visits to librar¬
ies, meeting with the librarians and the trustees to discuss ways and
means of increasing the efficiency of the libraries. She has made
fifteen public addresses, for the most part in communities wishing to
create an interest in favor of establishing public libraries. She has
conducted five library institutes and with the help of her assistant has
organized six public libraries.
ORGANIZATION OF LIBRARIES.
To all new libraries established during the last year the commis¬
sion has furnished a list of books for first purchase and a list of sup¬
plies needed for organization. In addition it has directed and assisted
in the organization of the following libraries: Anna, Brookfield,
Sheldon, Virden, Waverly, and Wilmington. The organization
includes classifying the books and making the accession record, charg¬
ing system, and shelf list.
Whenever the library is of sufficient size and the librarian is
capable of continuing the work, assistance is given in cataloging.
Four library institutes were held during the last year—at
Kewanee, Gilman, St. Charles, and Jacksonville. Each conference was
well attended by the librarians and library trustees from the surround¬
ing towns. The sessions extending over one or two days were devoted
to papers and general discussions of the following topics: Use and
care of periodicals; children’s books; methods of local library exten¬
sion ; books for the small library—what, where and how to buy;
reference work, and technical processes. The Library Institute has
proved one of the most efficient means of stimulating interest and
furthering the work of the public libraries.
The expense of these institutes to the amount of $42.19 was borne
by the Illinois Library Association.
PUBLICATIONS FOR DISTRIBUTION.
The following publications have been purchased in quantities
for distribution among the libraries in the State.
A. L. A: Book-List.
Baldwin, Library Service.
Brown, Buying List of Books for Small Libraries.
Brown, Directions for the Librarian of a Small Library
Eastman, The Library Building.
Hadley, Why Do We Need a Public Library?
Hall, Vocational Guidance Through the Library.
Hewins, Books for Boys and Girls. 3d ed. rev.
Jones, A Thousand Books for the Hospital Library.
Olcott, Library Work With Children.
Stanley, 550 Children’s Books.
Stearns, Essentials in Library Administration.
Vitz, Loan Work.
Walter, Periodicals for the Small Library.
Wire, How to Start a Public Library.
Report of the Commission, September, 1910-1913.
Leaflet No. 2. How to Establish a Free Public Library in Illi¬
Leaflet No. 3. List of Books to Buy for Children.
When the Library Extension Commission was established in 1909
the Federation of Women’s Clubs turned over to the commission its
entire collection of traveling libraries. They had been circulated a
number of years and the books were necessarily very much worn;
many of them had to be discarded. The commission appropriations
for the first four years were too small to admit of the purchase of
books, so the old ones were mended and circulated as formerly.
This year the commission felt that it must have some new books,
especially those suitable for children and young people. Consequently,
from the still meager appropriations, 2,600 volumes were purchased.
These included on^ hundred books of current interest and late fiction
and twenty-five hundred volumes which were made up into collections
of twenty-five books each to circulate in the rural schools of the State.
Articles were printed in the School News calling the attention of
the teachers to the fact that they could have the loan of one of these
school libraries as well as a general collection of fifty volumes, for
the payment of transportation charges only. The idea was not only
to provide books for the children, but for the grown people also and
thus help to make the school house a social center. The result has
been that there have been many more requests than it has been able to
Many demands have come from libraries, women’s clubs, debating
societeis and individuals for special material. These have all been
filled as far as possible, borrowing from the other libraries in the
city when the commission collection did not contain books on the
subject. When the material could' not be furnished, reference lists
have been sent with directions where the books or magazines might be
The women’s clubs of the State have availed themselves of the
offer of the commission to assist them in arranging their programs
for the year. Copies of these programs are kept on file in the office
to be loaned to other clubs.
SUMMARY OP TRAVELING LIBRARY LOANS, SEPTEMBER 1, 1913—
DECEMBER 31, 1914.
Institutions . ...
STATE FAIR EXHIBIT.
Through the courtesy of the Department of Public Instruction,
space was granted the Library Extension Commission for an exhibit,
at the State Fair.
Samples of the traveling libraries, rural school collections and
children’s books were placed on exhibition. Copies of all the com¬
mission publications were distributed.
The twenty-one charitable institutions of Illinois are under the
supervision of a State Board of Administration. Each of the three
penal institutions is governed by its own board of commissioners.
Some of the institutions have large libraries, which are classified
and catalogued and are administered by librarians who give their
entire time. Institutional librarians are civil service appointees.
Most of them, however, have collections of books arranged in no
particular order and looked after by some member of the staff.
The Board of Administration has empowered the Library Exten¬
sion Commission to select lists of books for purchase for the various
institutions. The commission has further cooperated by loaning trav¬
eling libraries to the Kankakee State Hospital.
The Illinois Library Association met in Springfield, October
21-23, 1914. It was one of the largest meetings that has been held
for some years. An exceedingly good program had been prepared.
Meeting in Springfield, it gave the opportunity for many librarians
to visit the headquarters of the commission.
The University of Illinois conducted its regular six weeks’
course in library training, June 22 to July 31. Twenty-five librarians
from public and college libraries in the State attended.
Illinois has no minimum library tax. The maximum rate is one
and two-tenths mills for a library in a city with population from 1,500
to 100,000 inhabitants. Cities with a population of over 100,000 may
not levy a tax to exceed six cents on the one hundred dollars. A
village or township may levy two mills. It is hoped to pass a bill
increasing the rate to two mills on the dollar for all cities with less
than 100,000 population, during the present Legislature.
Under the present law the largest unit which may levy a library
tax is the township. There are seventeen counties in the State which
do not have township organization. In these counties only city and
village libraries may be established. A one and two-tenths mill tax in
the cities may provide funds sufficient to maintain a small library, but
there are no villages with an assessed valuation large enough to raise
by a two mill levy, money sufficient to create any kind of a library.
Not only these villages but the rural communities surrounding them
must depend upon traveling libraries from the commission. Most of
these counties are in the southern part of the State. The distance is
far from Springfield and the freight is high.
A county library law would provide for an assessment over the
entire county. The rate could be lower by reason of being collected
from a larger territory. A main library should be established in the
largest and most centrally located city with branches or deposit stations
in the smaller towns and villages. ( Small collections of books should
be loaned to all the rural communities and library privileges extended
to every man, woman and child in the county.
Another library law which should be enacted is one analogous to
that under which the township high school operates. Such a law
would allow several adjoining townships to unite in levying a library
tax. There are cases in Illinois where villages are located in parts
of two townships. The village tax would not support a library.
The only feasible thing to do would be for the townships to join
in establishing a library. This they cannot do under the existing law.
It is greatly desired that the coming Legislature will enact laws
providing for an increase in the mill rate for public libraries in cities;
a county library law and one that will allow two or more townships
to unite in levying a library tax.
February 1-December 31, 1914.
Unexpended general expense account. 2,670.90
Receipts for drayage . 50.02
Gift Illinois Federation of Women’s Clubs . 54.00
Donated by Illinois Library Association . 42.19
Freight and drayage (including moving from Decatur).. 90.14
Postage . 135.48
Library institutes. 42.19
Traveling expenses . 340.13
Decorating room. 159.00
Pamphlets for distribution and office supplies.... 98.75
Balance .. 335.01
STATISTICS OF SUBSCRIPTION LIBRARIES, 1914.
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*Interest on $600.00. tPlus $2.50 per month. fFrom township.
ana municipal aclmimstration. A special lecture describing this part
of the work of the survey is sent with this collection.
- 4- 5
Springfield Survey Slides
The Illinois Library Extension Commission has made a
collection of forty slides, illustrating the exhibit of the Spring-
field Survey, which was made under the direction of the Russell Sage
Foundation* The slides selected represent city and county adminis¬
tration) schools, social center, play grounds, city planning, health
department, recreations* juvenile court, etc,, all of which may be
quite as applicable to other communities as to Springfield, A des¬
cription or explanation of the slides accompanies the collection,
A smaller collection has been made containing only 17
of the slides which relate to the public schools, correctional system
and municipal administration, A special lecture describing this part
of the work of the survey is sent with this collection.
Either collection will be loaned for two dollars and