Kirkland Public Library was started by a group of young women who organized the “Lorene Club” shortly before 1920 for the purpose of founding and maintaining a library and helping in community welfare. A house-to-house canvas was made to ask citizens to contribute books.
Two rooms above the grocery store on the corner of Main and Fifth Streets were rented from Walter Garland. For several years members volunteered to serve as librarians. Various means of raising money were used. Probably the most lucrative and long lasting was a cookbook compiled by members around 1934.
On June 1, 1925, the library moved to the corner of Sixth and Main Streets and became tax supported in 1934. On November 1, 1954, it was moved to the Town Hall, which was a large upstairs room over the fire station and jail.
On August 6, 1971, the Kirkland Public Library joined the Northern Illinois Library System.
In 1975 the library moved to its present location. The former State Bank of Kirkland building was donated for the Kirkland Public Library by the State Bank of Kirkland and the Funderberg Family in 1975. It is truly a functional and beautiful structure with the charm of the bank retained.
We have dedicated the front corner of the library to Katie Brennan who served as a member of our Board of Trustees for over twenty years. Katie was an active member of our community who devoted many hours to helping improve the library. Her family generously donated memorials to the library in her name and with these we were able to make many purchases including numerous books, a children’s table with colorful chairs and a comfortable reading chair for adults. Katie will long be remembered in Kirkland as the school librarian and she carried this love for children’s books over to our public library. A large mural painted by former Library Director Judy Nelson depicting a garden with a woman reading a book to a child is featured in this corner. Katie was fond of gardening and raising monarch butterflies. Katie’s Corner is identified by a stitched picture of monarch butterflies.
The dedication of Katie’s Corner was attended by a large number of Katie’s family including her grandchildren, as well as many members of the community. All agreed it was a wonderful day and a well-deserved honor for a woman who served the library and community for many years.