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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

The Lake Forest Library is a public library whose mission is to make accessible to all residents of the city, as economically and effectively as possible, books and other information resources and services for the community of Lake Forest. To fulfill this purpose, every reasonable effort will be made to furnish materials and services on a wide range of subjects.

Lake Forest Library will be a repository for free expressions of individuals where residents of the community may examine, study and evaluate all sides of a variety of issues.



  • 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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