Our guest contributor this week is Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian.  This column originally appeared in the February 2012 issue of the Hoffman Estates Citizen, the village’s newsletter.  The column appears here, courtesy of the Village of Hoffman Estates.

During 2012, the Schaumburg Township District Library will be celebrating its 50th anniversary. During the past 50 years, the library has moved from a small house on Roselle Rd (opening on Jan. 3, 1963) to the library building at 32 W. Library Lane that was constructed in 1965 and opened on January 9, 1966.  Now the library is housed in a 166,501 square foot building at 130 S. Roselle Rd., with branches in Hoffman Estates and Hanover Park.  It’s the second largest library in Illinois.

In 1958 a library had been started by the women of Hoffman Estates.  Edna Shore, who was Culture Chair for the Lakeview P.T.A. was encouraged to start a planning committee to establish a Hoffman Estates Library.  Diane Woodhouse served as the first chairman along with committee members Rev. Albert Harkins, Leonard Pecilunas, Bonnie Samuels and Bernice Suttle.  The Hoffman Estates Women’s Club, and other women in the community, went door to door collecting books and money for the proposed library.  They set a goal of $550 for the new library.  Residents donated 4,000 books and space in the basement of the Hammerstein Farm Community Center was donated by Jack Hoffman.  The library was named the Arthur Hammerstein Library.  D.E. Allison & Assoc., Architects & Engineers in Roselle, drew up plans for the new library but fire struck the building and the library had to find a new home.  Mary Zimmerman, principal of Hoffman School, offered a classroom as a temporary home. It opened on April 6, 1961. Book stacks were donated by Pure Oil Co., John Steffen donated time to remodel the library area and F.& S. Construction contributed $500 toward the project. 

In 1959 the Village of Schaumburg started a library committee.  Mrs. Frank Wiley and Mrs. Fred Groen were members.  They, along with the Hoffman Estates library committee, brought the Fox River Valley Regional Library book mobile to the area.  But the bookmobile would soon run out of funds and the Arthur Hammerstein Library would run out of space at the school.  Both committees realized that neither Hoffman Estates nor Schaumburg was large enough to support a library. It was decided to establish a township library and the referendum was held on Sept. 8, 1962. It was successful with a vote of 430 for and 69 against. 

The Arthur Hammerstein Library committee donated its 4,000 books and all its equipment to the new Schaumburg Township Public Library.  An additional 2,000 books would be loaned from the state library. A small house on the west side of Roselle Rd. just north of Schaumburg Rd was rented from Mr. Mraz and the new library opened on January 3, 1963. On that first day, 76 books were checked out and 19 applications for library cards were filled out.  In 2011, during the busiest month of July, the library checked out an average of 7,716 books each day or 723 books per hour.

Looking back, we can thank the early residents of Hoffman Estates for their foresight and efforts to establish a library for their community.  The Schaumburg Township District Library is more than anyone dreamed it would be back in 1958.    It began in a small house, not unlike the ones our early residents purchased for their families. Today it is a 5 star premier library and the heart of our community.

Congratulations to the Schaumburg Township District Library on its 50th Anniversary!

Pat Barch, Hoffman Estates Village Historian


  1. Nessia malek Says:

    Is Edna shore or her family can be reached?

    • jrozek Says:

      I’m sorry, I don’t know if she can be reached or not. You can always try a website like 411.com to see if you can track her down.

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian
      Schaumburg Township District Library

      • Nessia malek Says:

        Thanks very much for your prompt reply. Since I am living in Israel I found several people by this name but I am not sure about their age. I am looking for my Grandfather’s family, and as fa as I remember they used to live in Hoffman astate il, Lakeview lane. I thought that there might be any cotact with Edna Shore and people from the library. Thanks again, Best regards, Nessia Malek

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