Toulon Public Library District

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History of Library District, Directors, Steering Committee

The Toulon Public Library dates its beginnings from January 29, 1891, when James H. Miller and B.F. Thompson filed a petition with the village clerk, George S. Walker, asking the town board to levy a tax to support the library.  The petition was signed by 60 voters and was carried by majority vote at the town election on April 21, 1891.  Six directors were elected to the board: B.F. Thompson, Gus Hulsizer, W.W. Wright, U. J. Overman, Martin Shallenberger, and Theodore Bacmeister. Time passed and books were collected and housed in the Caverly Building until 1898 when the library moved to B.F. Thompson’s new brick block on the west side of the public square.  In 1907 the library moved to the Packer building.

Years passed and in the summer of 1914 the library board wrote the Carnegie Corporation explaining that Toulon needed a proper library structure to house its expanding collection. The board was awarded $6,000 to erect the building.  Percy Shallenberger offered to donate the land where the building stands today.  The building at 306 W. Jefferson opened on September 7, 1915.

By the 2000's changing technology lead the library to seek plans for a new building. They began would would end up being a 10 year fundraising process. In early 2010, the board revised the plans to make them even more functional and affordable.  Those plans allowed the library to apply for the State of Illinois Live and Learn Construction Grant. In the first quarter of 2011, Michael Baumann, Wayne McLeod, and the architects successfully defended their Live and Learn 2011 construction grant and were awarded the full $125,000 that they requested.  By receiving this grant, the board of trustees felt confident in moving forward on the project.  Anderson-Bloom, the architectural firm that includes Wayne Nowlan, helped the board devise a bidding process in June, 2011.  Although there were many interested companies, the successful bidder was Bishop Brothers Inc. of Peoria. 

Construction began in October of 2011 and the new building opened on August 18 2012.  The board and staff want to thank everyone who has donated their time and effort and who will donate in the future as we open new worlds for our patrons.

Flash forward nearly 100 years to 2015 and you will find a progressive board and a dynamic library focused on offering information in 21st century formats. 

Current Board members are:

Mark Wilson: President

Judy Beamer: Vice President

Jan Curry: Treasurer

Roberta Cinnamon: Secretary

Melanie Boudreau: Trustee

Jennifer Nutzhorn: Trustee

Patricia Brown: Trustee

Steering Committee Members were:

Lynne K. Roark: Chairperson

Rev. Wayne McLeod

Evelyn Roark

James Nowlan

Robert Mueller

Betty Murray

Donald Schmidt

Mark Wilson

Patricia Trickle

Michael Baumann

Gregg Moutoux

Librarians/Directors:

Gus Hulsizer: 1893-1898

Miss. Pauline Nowlan (Hartley): 1898-1907

Miss Martha Cree: 1907-1911

Miss. Harriet Byatt: 1911-1920

Miss. Elizabeth Lyon: 1920-1933

Mrs. Florence Kinney: 1933-1946

Mrs. Ralph (Harriet) Nicholson: 1946-1960

Mrs. Ella Silliman: 1960-1974

Mrs. Betty Cinnamon: 1974-1990

Mrs. LaVon Franklin: 1990-1993

Mrs. Ann Turnbull: 1993-2008

Mrs. Laura Frisby: 2008-2011

 Mr. Michael Baumann: 2011-