The Des Plaines Public Library (DPPL) is a municipal library that serves residents of the City of Des Plaines, Illinois. Library service dates back to the early 1900s when steel magnate turned philanthropist Andrew Carnegie helped fund construction of the first library building. As the community grew, so did the need for more library space. The library moved to a new building in 1957 and to its current location in 2000. This beautiful 4-story building is conveniently located in the heart of downtown Des Plaines, across from the Metra station and a Pace bus stop, in a pedestrian-friendly area filled with shops, restaurants, and other businesses.
The library offers 82,000 square feet of space, with a striking central staircase, multiple study and meeting rooms, and well-designed areas for children, teens, and adults. An outside terrace on the 4th floor is a great place to enjoy a program, study with friends or just get a breath of fresh air while admiring the city skyline.
Currently, more than 58,000 residents live within the city limits of this diverse and thriving community. Nearly half of the city's residents have library cards, with about 300 more cardholders added monthly. DPPL estimates that there is at least one library cardholder in 85% of the city's households. To accommodate the abundance of different languages (60+) spoken in the households of Des Plaines residents, the library offers resources in several languages and a staff that is also highly multi-lingual.
DPPL operates with an annual budget of nearly $6.5 million and a staff of 103 total employees (66.9 FTE). Programming is strong at this library: in 2018, DPPL hosted 2,324 programs and events that were attended by more than 58,000 people. The collection consists of 321,295 physical holdings and 74,417 e-holdings, and circulation for 2018 was 1,164,209 items.
ork is an important element that adds character and elegance to the library and is a significant source of pride. Permanent installations of sculptures and murals enhance each floor of the building, and rotating displays of works by local artists are also often exhibited. Artwork is also available for checkout.
The Board of Trustees, which governs the library, consists of nine members appointed by the Mayor to serve three-year terms. The Friends of the Library provides additional support for the library’s operations through book sales and a membership drive. Donations to the Des Plaines Public Library Fund provide funding for some of the public artwork and other special features found throughout the library.
Des Plaines Public Library is a member of Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS), one of two multi-type regional library systems in Illinois. RAILS serves approximately 1,300 public, private, university, and school libraries throughout northern and west central Illinois.
Photos courtesy of Des Plaines Public Library