This year marks 150th anniversary of Public Library Act
March 2, 2022
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...