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Bryan-Bennett Library

315 South Maple Street

Bryan-Bennett Library was established with funds donated by Salem native William Jennings Bryan and his friend Philo Sherman Bennett. The original building (right) was erected on the grounds where Bryan was born. Construction began in 1905, and was completed in 1909.

The first librarian was May Davenport, a cousin of Mr. Bryan. In 1913, the Library was reorganized as a city library according to Illinois Library Statutes. A storm damaged the building in 1938 and it was remodeled and enlarged. Bryan-Bennett Library first became a member of the Cumberland Trail (now Shawnee) Library System in 1968. In 1985, needing more space, the library purchased the old Post Office building, which was built in 1936. After renovations, the Library moved to its present location in 1986.


Jamie Taylor

Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Lots of materials right at your finger tips, cozy book worm friendly atmosphere, children's area, computer access, free coffee to sip during your visit, DVD rental, and electronic downloads available with your free membership offered to "in town" Salem residents

Sara Hoard

Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017
Fantastic library for such a small town. Tons of content!!

Douglas L. Davis

Friday, July 28, 2017
Big & roomy, very quiet !

Cory Hatfield

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Joseph Miraglia

Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017

Bryan-Bennett Library is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media