The Athens Library was founded in 1974 by a group of local residents who had a lot of ideas and energy, and a few boxes of donated publications. Today the ideas and energy remain, but the collection has grown.
In addition, the library has become a center for a variety of classes, workshops, and a summer reading program. From the beginning, the library has been maintained with the local community in mind. As a result, there are special items on Athens, genealogy, Abraham Lincoln and local as well as Illinois history.
A heritage committee has worked continuously since 1975 collecting, classifying, mounting and filing items of local interest. Also, local memorabilia and an extensive picture collection can be found at the library.