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Skokie Public Library was founded in 1929 with a collection of 1,000 books. It now serves a community of 65,000 with over 167,000 items checked out each year. The library has a permanent art collection, displayed throughout the building, and hosts ongoing cultural exhibits and programs.


  • East Expansion Topping off (6-2-1971)
Skokie Public Library Board Members and Mayor of Skokie, Albert Smith, pose in front of the library during the construction of the second floor. Architect James W. Hammond can be seen on the roof.
  • Blameuser Building in 1907. The Niles Center Public Library was first opened on the second floor of this building.

From its origins as the Niles Center Public Library, which opened on the second floor of the Blameuser Building at the corner of Lincoln Avenue and Oakton Street in 1930 to a larger space shared with the post office in 1942, the Skokie Public Library has been an increasingly important fixture in the community.

On February 11, 1958, the Library Board passed a referendum to fund the construction of a new 34,200 square foot dedicated library building at 5215 Oakton Street, our current location, which opened February 1, 1960. The library building was expanded in 1971 and again in 2001. The building was designed by architect James W. Hammond of Skidmore Owings & Merrill. In 1963 the library building was honored by the American Institute of Architects and the American Library Association.

The library has undergone several renovations since that time, first in 1971 and later in 2001.