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The Lake Forest Library serves Lake Forest, Illinois, located thirty miles north of Chicago on Lake Michigan. The library was chartered on July 4, 1898 and opened on the second floor of the new city hall on June 24, 1899. It moved to its current location in 1931. The present building, designed by architect Edwin H. Clark, was given to the city by Mrs. Charles H. Schweppe and Mrs. Stanley Keith in memory of Mrs. Keith’s first husband, Kersey Coates Reed. It was dedicated on June 7, 1931. [Lake Forest Library History]


Mission Statement

Lake Forest Library: inspiring life-long learning, promoting the free and respectful exchange of ideas, and building community.



  • Lake Forest Population: 19,375 (2010 census)
  • Registered Borrowers: 15,645 (81% of population)
  • Annual Circulation: 465,927 items (24.1 per capita)
  • Square Footage: 32,800
  • Total Holdings: 145,496 (print and audio visual items)


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