The first Village Library Board was elected in 1921. The board consisted of Dr. E. H. Smith, Dr. Charles R. Galloway, Mr. Benjamin Miller, Mrs. Augusta Lovell, Mrs. Paul MacGuffin and Mrs. E.W. Colby. In April of that year, Cook Memorial Library was opened to the public. The 1,858 volumes acquired by the Alpha Club (Women’s Club) were donated and housed in the library.13
Bestsellers of 1920 still available at the library:
The Enchanted April by Elizabeth
The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton 14
Meet the Librarians
The first head librarian was Verna E. Jarrett. She only served for one year (June 1921-December 1922) before returning to her home state of Pennsylvania.
In January 1923, Blanche A. Mitchell (right) became the head librarian. “Mrs. Mitchell steadily increased the collection during her 28 year term of service. Her position entitled her to live in the library, and she occupied rooms on the second floor with her husband, John B. Mitchell. Besides managing the library, Mrs. Mitchell served as president of the American Legion auxiliary and as president of the Libertyville Woman’s Club. On October 11, 1951, Blanche died suddenly of a heart attack in her apartment over the library. In lieu of flowers, friends sent books to the library as a lasting memorial to their longtime librarian.15
“By 1924, the demands upon the library by the Township High School became so great it was impossible to supply its needs with the limited tax funds received from the Village tax alone. At a regular election, the Township electors voted for establishment and maintenance of a Township Public Library. Following the election of a Township Library Board, the building and contents were leased to that body by the Village Library Board for a nominal annual fee...if maintained as the Ansel Brainerd and Emily Barrows Cook Memorial Library of Libertyville.”12 The duties of the existing Village Library Board involved custodianship of properties and funds accrued from the sale of those properties. Actual operation of the library became the responsibility of the newly formed Township Library Board.9