AUG. 31, 2011 -- The Belleville Public Library is marking its 175th anniversary with two special events in September.
Children can help the library celebrate during a special birthday party at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 15, featuring storytime and a performance by Babaloo, at the main library, 121 E. Washington St., Belleville, Ill., 62220. Pre-registration is required for this event and can be made by calling 618-234-0441.
On Sunday, Sept. 18, the public is invited to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the founding of the library during an open house at the main library. A short program during the open house will feature a presentation by the library archivist, books brought to life by high school German language students, displays by the St. Clair County Historical Society, and music by the Belleville Philharmonic.
The Belleville Public Library has the distinction of being one of the oldest libraries in Illinois. Founded in 1836 at the home of a German immigrant, the library began when Anton Schott and his fellow scholars met in his parlor and combined their books. Today, that small collection of 93 volumes has grown to more than 150,000 books and other materials and is housed on Washington Street in the heart of Belleville.
Though the library's location and collection has changed throughout the years, the Belleville Public Library's purpose has remained the same - to serve those in search of learning resources, information services, and community spirit, according to the library's news release.
Photo courtesy of Belleville Public Library.