Library History

The library in 1958October 1958

With assistance from local service organizations, the Wheeling Women’s Club solicits donations of money and books and a library opens to serve the semi-rural communities of Wheeling and Buffalo Grove.

March 1959

Referendum passes to establish the Wheeling Public Library District, covering a 10 square-mile area that included most of Wheeling and Buffalo Grove and was housed in a 20-foot x 30-foot frame building at the rear of the historic Union Hotel on Milwaukee Avenue.

May 1959

First Library Board of Trustees elected.

July 1962

Library business hours increase to 25 per week. The library in 1963

June 1963

The library moves to a double storefront a block north from its original location. New library shelving, tables, and chairs replaces the makeshift furnishings and a separate Children's Room is added.

July 1965

The library is open 47 hours and the collection grows to 12,725.

January 1966

The library board votes unanimously to be the third library to join the North Suburban Library System, then called Illinois Library District 5.

March 1970-June 1971

Having outgrown its space again, voters pass a referendum for the library to purchase a vacant church building at 850 Jenkins Court, Wheeling. The library moves into its new home in May of 1971. The collection grows to 32,446.

The library in 1971

January 1974

Library joins with five other libraries to form a computer cooperative for electronic circulation and bibliographic control.

October 1974

A successful annexation referendum adds Lake County’s Buffalo Grove to the district. The name of the district is officially changed to Indian Trails Public Library District.

The library in 1981

February 1981

In need of more space the library holds a building referendum, which fails to pass. The board decides to fund a new library building by means of a self-directed method of allowable financing. The library moves to new building of 30,900 square feet at 355 Schoenbeck Road.

November 1991

Service population increased to 58,789.

November 1993

Referendum to add a branch library fails.

March 1994

Referendum to fund a library expansion fails.

June 1995

Library offers Internet access to patrons.

November 1995

Referendum passes 3,262 votes to 1,463 votes to add 14,000 square feet to the south side of the building at a cost of $3.8 million in general obligation bonds.

October 1996

Kenneth Swanson, administrative librarian for 25 years, retires. Secretary of State George Ryan provides $250,000 in Live and Learn Grant money.

May 1997

Tamiye Meehan becomes library director.

The library in 1998January 1998

Phase II of construction begins.

November 1998

The library’s new space opens, featuring additional staff office space, shelving, and a computer lab.

January 2003

Library acquires new bookmobile that can carry 4000 items.


Library installs Wi-Fi

February 2005

Front Room lobby area opens


Tamiye Meehan retires after serving 12 years

Thomas Simiele becomes director

Library celebrates 50th anniversary

August 2009

One millionth item is checked out from the library.


Transit van donated by Friends

KidZone opens

Prospect Heights Convenience Center opens at 650B N. Milwaukee Ave.

April 2011

Referendum passes

November 2011

David J. Seleb becomes director

August 2012

Prospect Heights Branch doubles its size when it moves to a new location at 99 E. Palatine Rd.


November 2013

Brian D. Shepard becomes director


April 2016

Temporary Library at 70 W. Dundee Rd., Buffalo Grove opens while main building undergoes construction.


April 2017

Main library opens with an additional 15,000 square feet and new services including The Launch Pad makerspace, study rooms, middle school area and drive-up window.