County Gov. signed Public Library Act into effect


Gov. John M. Palmer, who lived in Carlinville from 1838-67, signed the Illinois Public Library Act on March 7, 1872, creating 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.

Social libraries in Illinois date to 1818 with the founding of such organizations in Albion and Edwardsville. A subscription library was founded in Belleville in 1821, and by 1872, there were an estimated forty such libraries across the state.

As the decades passed, a movement arose to p...

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