History of the New Lenox Public Library

Local History Collection Videos


Library Timeline


    February 1936, Volunteer Library

    The New Lenox Public Library began as a volunteer project run by members of the New Lenox Woman’s Club. Its first home was a small room in Haven School and housed 385 books.


    1946, Township Library

    A referendum was passed and the tax-supported New Lenox Township Library was created.


    1975, Our Own Building

    The Library had four other locations before it moved into its own building on Cedar Road in 1975. An addition was completed in 1986, increasing the library’s size to 11,500 square feet.


    1987, Public Library District

    The library remained a part of the township government until 1987 when it became New Lenox Public Library District, an independent unit of local government.


    2001, New Lenox Commons

    Our current building in the New Lenox Commons was constructed and opened on December 10, 2001 to support the expanding population. It is approximately 58,000 square feet and has seating for almost 200 people.


    2020, Referendum Passed

    On March 17, 2020, the library passed an operating rate increase referendum with 57% of the votes. The operating rate increase was equal to the decrease in the construction bond levy rate, which was paid in full in December 2019. More information can be found on our Referendum page.



    The library houses more than 115,000 books, 120 magazines, 8,000 DVDs, and 3,000 music CDs, alongside local and national newspapers, access to digital books and magazines for all ages, a circulating Tech2Go collection, and much more.

    The District’s services have expanded to include a digital library card, online programming, free wi-fi, mobile printing, technology assistance, passport applications, voter registration, a free of charge notary service, 3D printing, digitization services, and a Digital Media Lab.

    The library currently provides services to the approximately 600 people that visit the building each day. In addition, the library offers hundreds of programs with an estimated 20,000 attendees each year. Annual events like Maker Day, the Summer Learning Challenge, and Ghouls & Golf provide fun opportunities for learning and connection in New Lenox.