History of the Library
Bethalto Public Library was founded in 1946-47. In the beginning, the Library was housed in a tiny building on Mill Street called the "chicken coop." It was operated by volunteer help and open only a short time during the afternoons and early evenings to serve the school children.
After seeing growth, the Library moved into the upstairs floor of the old city hall and police station (currently the Bethalto Museum building). Later it was moved once again into a room in the "new" City Hall building.
In 1980-1981 the old Bell Telephone building on Prairie Street was purchased to house the Library. Many Bethalto citizens used grocery carts from a local store to help move the books three blocks down to their new home. This is where the Library is still located today.
The Library became a Library District in 1988, allowing it to begin serving patrons beyond the Village of Bethalto limits. In 1996 a $250,000 Live and Learn Construction Grant was awarded by the Illinois State Library for the renovation of the existing building and the construction of a large addition. The "new" building reopened in June 1998 and remains our beautiful Library today
In 2001 the property to the north of the Library was purchased and a parking lot was built. In 2005 the property to the south of the Library was purchased and the "Little House on Prairie Street" is still used for Storytimes, programming events and Board of Trustee meetings.