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Valmeyer, Illinois


The birth of the Valmeyer Public Library District took place within the walls of the Valmeyer Community School Unit 3. It gained momentum after a roomy new school library had been added to the old school building and completed in 1968.

The seed that started the public library was the Valmeyer Reading Center, established in January of 1971, located in the school library, and sponsored by the Valmeyer’s Women’s Club. It was helped by the Kaskaskia Library System in Smithton.

KLS Director Edgar Chamberlin urged Valmeyer to establish a tax-supported public library to improve service to the unserved Valmeyer area, much of which was rural. The community listened.

It quickly signed petitions, and the library referendum passed in 1983. Its main purpose was to provide library service to the public, and offer more resources to the students and teachers of Valmeyer School. 

The Board of Trustees first met on July 12, 1984, when school librarian Portia Stueve was named Library Director. Seven trustees volunteered to meet monthly.

There were growing pains, but each problem was met, discussed, and solved. Through the years, the library had summer reading programs, held book fairs, sponsored a weekly news column, offered many programs, and entered the computer age. 

The library was a member of KLS until it dissolved in 1993, when it became a member of Lewis & Clark Library System. This was the same year artist Olivia Gude helped paint the historic mural of Valmeyer on the library’s walls. It was a gem that was destined to be destroyed.

The Great Flood of 1993 was a turning point for the library as it evacuated the flooded town of Valmeyer and relocated in the school trailers at the Monroe County Fairgrounds. It was a sad time for all involved, but they survived.

When the town relocated to higher ground, its crowning glory was the new school, which would again be home to the Valmeyer Public Library. It was a new beginning for everyone when the school opened in March of 1996.

The Library Board had its first meeting there in April. Much was accomplished as the library entered the computer age. During the summer of 1998, the complete book collection was logged on to the computer by volunteers.

By 1999, more space was made available for computers and printers. Valmeyer Library had caught up to the new millennium.

The library continues to be the center of the community culture as it serves the public. Since its beginning, the Library Director and trustees have shown that they are willing to devote time and effort to improve the many services of the Valmeyer Public Library. It can only get better.

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