Library News

Agendas and Meeting Minutes

Board Meetings 3rd Tuesday of the Month

Our Future Home
(Floor Plan and Information)

Final Floor Plan.JPG

Location:                                               Sq Footage:

420 S. Main Street in Hillsboro                    5,958 Approx.  (11,000 including Basement)

Rooms/Services To Be Included:                 ADA Compliant?

-Welcome Seating Area                             ADA Accessible Bathrooms (Male and Female)

-Adult Collection and Reading Area               Ramp from North Parking Lot to Library

-DVD/Family Movie Section                        Elevator (Basement will be renovated at a later time)

-Children's Area

-Teen Space

-Board/Group Room                                  Architects: Farnsworth Group from Fairview Heights Area

-2 Meeting Rooms                                    Contractor: Hunter Construction from Belleville

-Genealogy Room                                     Project Budget:  1.4 Million Approximately

-Computers (Not in a Room)                      Construction Start:  May 2021

-Director's Office                                      Move In Ready: Estimate between October 2021-Spring 2021

Why We Need a New Library. . .

The Hillsboro Public Library seeks to renovate the old Boatman's Bank on 420 S. Main Street in order to provide better accessibility for patrons with physical disabilities, better access to the collection, and more space to accommodate programs and public or private meetings. Need more reasons?


1) Accessibility and ADA Law

Our current building does not meet ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act).  There is no elevator from the main floor to the children's area and computers. Therefore it is very difficult or even impossible for children or elderly in wheelchairs, power chairs or those with other physical impairments to access the children's department or computers. It can also be difficult for grandparents and elderly to join their grandchildren in programs due to the stairs.

2) High Demand for Private Meeting/Community Space

Currently we do not have such a room, nor do we have the space to add such a room. The demands for this space have been requested by: The Library Board, DCFS Visits, Lawyer-Client Visits, Social Worker-Client Visits, Business Owners, and for the library's own programming needs.

3) Lack of Shelving

Due to outgrowing our library, the staff are at the point where it is difficult to shelve books or have room for new titles and growth. Many of our shelves are end to end, which will make it difficult to keep up with best sellers, popular authors, Amish titles, or Large print titles.

4) No Teen Space

Our current teen area is a hallway and is not very welcoming. The idea is to be a safe place for teens to study, read, or hang out after school. We also have no room to grow our teen collection and so our collection is extremely limited.

For more information about this project, contact Director Kolb at

   Our History

That was Then...1905
This is Now...

The library was built in 1904 and opened in 1905 to the public.

According to a letter from the secretary at Mr. Andrew Carnegie's office dated, Nov. 25th, 1903, to the Mrs. A.M. Howell, President of the Public Library, Mr. Andrew Carnegie agreed to "furnish Ten Thousand Dollars to erect a Free Public Library Building for Hillsboro," given that the city agree by "Resolution of Council to maintain a Free Public Library at cost of not less than One Thousand Dollars a year," to support the library's upkeep and maintenance yearly.

Payments for the new building came in installments of $2,000 or $3,000 from the Home Trust Company in Hoboken New Jersey authorized by Mr. Carneige.


Although the Hillsboro Public Library resembles the Hillsboro Academy (1837-1880), it is not to be mistaken as the same building since the library was not actually built until 1904. In fact, the Hillsboro Public Library was built by architect Paul Moratz to resemble the first intuition of Higher Learning in Hillsboro.

The Library was opened to the public on October 10, 1905, and remained "unchanged" until 1979 when a major remodeling took place. During this time the basement became open to the public housing a large non-fiction collection, an office for the Librarian and the genealogy department. The book lift and interior stairway were also installed at this time.

A Long Line of Service
(Tribute to the Librarians of Hillsboro)

Bertha Welge, 1900-1917 & 1921-1924

Jennie Hayes, 1917-1921

Lois Lyerla, 1924-1939

Earl Rush, 1939 - 1943

Winifred Lemay, 1946-1971

Ann Lyerla, 1971-1982

Emma Cress, 1982-1992

Cheryl Sale, 1992-2017

Shelley (Singler) Kolb  Aug. 2017-Current

Bibliography and References
Bertham. Letter to Hillsboro Public Library. 25, Nov. 1903. Print.
Franks, R.A. Letter to Hillsboro Public Library. 20, Jan. 1904. Print.
Kolb, Shelley. "Hillsboro Public Library." 31, Aug. 2017. Photograph. Digital.
Rappe, Mike. "Looking Back: Hillsboro Academy Sat Where Hardee's Will Return." The Journal-News. 4, Nov. 2013. (Photo and News.) Print
Sale, Cheryl. "Centennial Celebration." Hillsboro Public Library.  26, April, 1998. Print.
Montgomery County Historical Society. "Hillsboro Public Library    Photograph. Digital.