The Savanna Public Library is located at 326 Third Street and serves the citizens of Savanna Township.The staff has several program for children of all ages as well as programs for adults. The library also offers an on-line service to download e-books and digital audio books as well as a variety of other services. For more information you can call the library during business hours at 815-273-3714 or click here for their website.
The hours for the library are:
Monday —1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Tuesday—1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Wednesday—10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Friday—1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday—10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
During the winter of 1894, the Rev. L.L Cloyd urged the question of a permanent public library to be organized under state law. In 1895 the citizens of Savanna voted 163-73 to form a library district.
In June of 1896, the library was open to the public in a small room at the Pulford Opera House with 367 volumes. At the close of the third year, the library contained 1,712 volumes and had outgrown its quarters.
This promoted board member Alice Bowen to write Andrew Carnegie requesting funds. The city learned that Carnegie didn’t consider a request unless at least $1,000 was raised through annual support taxes. Savanna only levied $700.
The library board then decided to expand to a township library and in April 1903 a referendum passed by a large margin. The new township library district was formed and was comprised of six elected trustees.
On March 21, 1905, the city learned that Carnegie had gifted the city $10,000 for the erection of a library building in Savanna. Needing a place to construct the new library, the old Pulford homestead at 326 Third Street was purchased for $3,000.
L.S. Bowen was awarded the contract for the building at $11,135. The first cornerstone was laid on Aug. 1, 1905, and one year later on Aug. 15 the building was completed and open to the public. Emma Bowen, who had been the librarian for the previous 10 years, remained the librarian and Hattie Grieve was her assistant, taking care of the 3,000 volumes on its shelves.
An old postcard of the library shortly after it was completed with librarian Emma Bowen and her assistant Hattie Grieve sitting in front.