Elmwood Park Public Library: A Brief History

old cars
Looking north from 76th and Grand Avenues is the home of the first library, originally the Mills sales office used during the construction of Westwood. The cars parked in front were used to show prospective buyers around the area.

first library
The third location of the public library – a storefront opened in 1939 - was at 7705 Westwood Drive and would be its home for 36 years. In 1962 an addition was added and it was remodeled, but a need for even more space soon became apparent.

second library
A new library facility became a part of the development of the Circle, along with the Civic Center. The doors opened on the 14,700-square-foot public library at 4 Conti Parkway in October 1975. This building eventually became the Early Childhood Center after the current library was completed on the outside of the circle in 2002.

ground breaking
Groundbreaking for new location at 1 W. Conti Parkway.

current library building
Opened 2002 and still going strong!

2014 is the Village of Elmwood Park’s Centennial year, with the Library celebrating its 78th anniversary.

library staff library board of trustees

For More Photos

Check out A Village Grows: Fifty Years of Life in Elmwood Park on the Illinois Digital Archives provided by the Secretary of State and State Librarian, Jesse White and our Flickr photo stream.


Local History Room

The Library is very thankful that resident, former staff member and volunteer, Russ Parker, continues to manage our Local History Room and archive, which provides us with such rich history. We have yearbooks, photographs, articles, and other artifacts relating to Elmwood Park history. Access to the Local History Room is available to library patrons by appointment. Contact the Adult Services Department at 708-395-1217 to schedule a time.

You can also check out these online sources for historical photographs of Elmwood Park:

Interested in taking some history home with you?  You can also either check out or purchase three books on Elmwood Park History.


Our Thanks

Many thanks to Russ Parker and Bob Wenshutonis who maintain the Library’s Local History Room and compiled Memories of Elmwood Park, and to Kenneth J. Knack who wrote Images of America: Elmwood Park, using many photos from the library’s collection.

Both books are available for purchase at the Library, and Ken Knack’s book is available on Amazon.com or through Arcadia Publishing 843-853-2070.

Peter N. Silvestri Cultural and Learning Center | Serving Elmwood Park Since 1936