Orland Park Public Library displays library founding documents

Aug. 30, 2017
Interested in the history of Orland Park? The library will be commemorating 80 years of service to the Orland Park community, in the month of September, by displaying some of the documents from the library’s origins, including the papers officially creating the institution, as well as some of the earliest issued library cards.
Did you know that library cards have not always been laminated paper? Did you know that the library did not always have a logo? Do you know people who remember the Purple Candle Building?
Orland Park Public Library will be displaying its founding documents in the Center Display Case in the library. Patrons needing directions to the Center Display Case on the first floor of the library should ask at the Welcome Desk on the left as they enter the lobby.
The Orland Park Public Library began in 1937 when the Orland Park Women’s Club decided to make the founding of a public library its major activity for the year. The group of women, led by Margaret Loebe, Leela Pomeroy, Martha Schmaedeke and others, struggled against the harsh limitations of the Great Depression to undertake this project.
By taking on the sponsorship of the library, the Women’s Club obligated itself to find a space, furnish shelves and keep the heat and light on. The library still has some of the old bills and letters from the 1930s.
Things really got going when C. Russell Cox, president of the Andrew Corporation, gifted the library a new home. As the Orland Park Herald reported in January 1975, “In an unprecedented gesture of largesse, (the) Andrew Corporation gave a gift of a new Library Building to the community of Orland Park at the Village Board meeting on January 13.”
Cox’s commitment to the project brought the new building to Orland Park. The mayor at the time, Melvin Doogan participated in discussions and offered Village owned land for the building’s construction. The 7,000 square foot building, the Aileen S. Andrew Memorial Library located on Park Lane, was dedicated on November 14, 1975.
Patrons interested in learning more about library history are encouraged to call the library at 708-428-5100 or visit the library at 14921 Ravinia Avenue in Orland Park, IL 60462. Hours are Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.