bounty of books, modern media and historical charm!
mission of the Galena Public Library District is to
provide a variety of resources to meet our diverse
community's need for information and self-directed
personal growth, to provide venues for cultural
enrichment, and to stimulate a life-long love of reading
in citizens of all ages.
History of the Galena Public Library
Galena Public Library and Reading Room
was established by B. F. Felt, a local merchant,
in 1894 and formally opened on January 3, 1895.
It first occupied two rooms on the second floor of
the post office, then known as the Customs House.
The initial collection contained 1,522
volumes, mostly donated by the founder.
providing the funds for the library, Mr. Felt set one
condition: four of the nine members of the Board of
Directors had to be women.
This was an unprecedented move, drawing national
attention. Among the four women was Mr. Feltís daughter, Anna, who
became financial secretary and remained on the board
until her death in 1953.
1906 matching funds from the Carnegie Foundation and the
Felt Estate were given for the construction of a new
success of this venture was due largely to Anna Feltís
generosity and influence.
She stipulated that the library site must be
viewed from the heart of town.Ē
library became a district library, encompassing East and
Townships, in 1989. This voter-approved change
enabled the library to serve
more people and to expand its services.
Today the Galena Library has more
than 22,000 items in its collection, plus access to the
hundreds of other Illinois libraries and beyond.
include a weekly preschool story hour, a Summer Reading
Program, an adult book discussion group, the Civil War
Roundtable and a variety of other events for all ages.
A unique feature of
the Galena Library is the Alfred
Mueller Historical Collections Room. Mr.
Mueller, a former employee of the library, spent
much of his life studying and gathering photographs of
Galenaís history and people.
Dedicated to Mr. Mueller in 1989, the Historical
Collections Room provides area residents and visitors
access to local history and genealogy.