Staunton Star - Times - Published in the Interest of the Staunton Community for Over 143 Years

This year marks 150th anniversary of Public Library Act


by Tom Emery

This year, Illinois library users will celebrate a milestone, the 150th anniversary of the Public Library Act.

The act, which was signed on March 7, 1872, created the tax-supported, free-usage public libraries that Illinoisans know today. The act revolutionized statewide library usage, and remains a standard by which libraries are governed today.

Gov. John M. Palmer signed the act into law, a move that was likely influenced by his love of reading and education. Accounts of Palmer’s life repeatedly refer to books, and he taught school before entering politics. Palmer is als...

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