The Mokena Book Club organized a library for Mokena in the late 1930’s and ran it until 1966. The Mokena Lions Club paid for the rent and heat for small quarters located on Front Street in downtown Mokena and the Library was open on Wednesdays only from 3:30 p.m. until 5 p.m., and again from 7:30 p.m. until 9:00 p.m., staffed by volunteers. In 1966, the Woman’s Book Club formed a Friends of the Library organization. In an election held August 6, 1966, voters were asked to decide whether or not to have a tax-supported library district.
The special referendum was passed and the Library was officially named the MOKENA COMMUNITY PUBLIC LIBRARY DISTRICT. The Library then moved to a new location, the former Immanuel Lutheran Church, located at Union and Cross Streets in Mokena. This location was dedicated on April 23, 1967 and the owners of the Mokena Pharmacy (the Kurber family) donated shelves and racks. Twelve thousand books were housed in a 1,400 square foot space. Again, volunteers staffed the library with minimal hours. In 1967, the first paid librarian assumed her duties where she remained until 1986.
In August 1972, the Library purchased 2.5 acres of property on 195th Street from the Mokena School District, and on March 18, 1978, a single-structure building designed to accommodate the community for twenty years was opened, housing 26,750 books. The building was officially dedicated on June 4,1978. Eighteen years later in 1995, voters passed a referendum to expand the building to meet the needs of the community. The newly remodeled building was officially dedicated on April 13,1997.
In 2004, the community once again passed a referendum that raised the library’s tax rate revenue, thereby assuring sufficient funds to operate effectively. The Library office is located at 11327 w. 195th St. Mokena, IL 60448.
Today, the Library is situated in a state-of-the-art 25,000 square foot building, located directly next door to Mokena schools, thereby making it easily accessible to students. It houses approximately 125,000 volumes, over 300 periodical and newspaper subscriptions, an extensive collection of audio visual materials, including DVD’s, descriptive videos, Play-A-Ways, Books on CD, emagazines, music and is home to a special Genealogy Center, an Assistive Technology Workstation for the Visually impaired, and three separate Computer Centers (Adult, Young Adult and Children) housing 60 computers, a 3D printer, copy machines, a Local Area Network, printers, fax machines, a Microfiche reader, and wireless technology, available to staff and public.
Technology needs of the Library have increased substantially over the last fifteen years, and over $800,000 in grant funding from the Illinois State Library and Federal government has been obtained by writing grants. The Library hosts its own Web page, updated weekly with events at the Library, and the Library catalog may be accessed, along with reference databases, in-house, and from home or office. The Operating budget for 2017-2018 is $2,000,000. There are approximately 12 full-time and 32 part-time employees. Adult, Young Adult and Children’s programming is an important marketing tool at the Library and brings in thousand of patrons on a yearly basis for all ages. Topics vary and there is no charge to patrons for the programs, some of which are sponsored and funded by the Friends of the Mokena Community Public Library District.
The Library is open for 65 hours a week, six days a week. The Library is an active member of the Mokena Chamber of Commerce, the Mokena Intergovernmental Consortium and participates in many community-based activities throughout the year. Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS) cooperates in an advisory capacity.
Public Act 97-0609 Notice Of Salary Disclosure. Pursuant to the Illinois Open Meetings Act, the “total compensation package” of any employee who receives over &75,000 per year is available for inspection at the Mokena Community Public Library District, 11327 195th Street, Mokena, Illinois, between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.
Truth in Tax. We are required to report and be answerable four our operations to: Illinois State Library, Springfield, IL.