Orland Park Public Library

The Orland Park Women’s Club chose to start a public library in 1937 as their principal project for the year. A WPA library project in Springfield helped fund part of the project. Mr. Roy Loebe donated the Purple Candle Building. Other donors aided the new library.  Orland Park had 631 residents in 1940. The Village Board established a free public library in 1941, staffed by volunteers and supplied by contributions. A referendum enabling library taxes was passed in 1943.  In 1960, the library received a new state library service, a bookmobile. The library joined the Suburban Library System in 1967. In 1970, the Purple Candle Building had a population of 6,391 and records were stored in a bathtub. The library was to be relocated.

Expansion came as a gift. A new library building was gifted to the community of Orland Park on January 13, 1975, according to the Orland Park Herald. The Aileen S. Andrew Memorial, 14760 Park Lane, was dedicated on November 14, 1976.

Orland Park’s population grew to 23,045 in 1980. The Andrew Foundation again gave funds to expand the library to over 18,500 square feet. Aside from the August 1983 addition, the library began contracting with the Frankfort Public Library for summer bookmobile service.  With a population of 35,720 in 1990, the library needed to expand. The Library Board bought a bookmobile and approved a building extension. In the second extension, the Technical Services area and the bookmobile garage were added. The previous Technical Services area was also remodeled to include public shelves. The first offering of municipal bonds was issued.

The Board of Trustees put a referendum on the ballot in 2002 to establish a new facility on 149th and Ravinia Avenue to replace the current one. The referendum passed with two-thirds of the voting in favor. The 93,000 square foot skyscraper was designed by Lohan Anderson architect Michael Barnes and built by W.E. O’Neil. The new facility at 14921 Ravinia Avenue opened on September 12, 2004 and has earned multiple design accolades.  The library had a $3.4 million refurbishment and repurposing in late 2019/early 2020. The front of the Computer Lab now has a glass wall so users can see the library’s technology. Founder of Today’s Business Solutions, Inc., Lou Flavio, has donated to the library’s capital campaign fund. Flavio’s firm called the new Tech Center next to the Computer Lab. The Teen Loft is a terrific place for teens in grades 6-12 to study, socialize, play games, and craft. The In-Between area for children in grades 3-5 was constructed, as were new public service desks for each region. The Aileen S. Andrew Foundation donated funds to establish a nature facility called The Backyard. A Sensory Space was also donated by Darvin Furniture & Mattress of Orland Park.