What better way to celebrate National Friends of Libraries Week than by visiting the library?
Elgin Community Library was started in the mid-1980s and the Friends of Elgin Community Library formed in 2011. ECL won an award in 2017 for being the best "Friends" group in a town of less than 10,000 people. Currently, ECL has 27 individual/family memberships; 22-lifetime members and 36 business members. "Our goals are to share our passion for the ECL, to encourage its support and renew/recruit members," said Jeanne Cook, Planning Chairman for NFLW in Elgin. Diane Lee is the new incoming FECL president. FECL supports the summer reading program, weekly storytimes, Sterling/Fletcher/ Elgin School's outreach (with Dr. Seuss's birthday, every first-grade class is read to and receives free Dr. Seuss book), seasonal events and celebrations, teen library club, community outreach, book and technology purchases/updates and computer access.
FECL fundraisers include the used book sale twice a year and the fundraiser breakfast at the Masonic Lodge in April. The library was first located in the unused City Jail, but due to a leaky roof and mold issues, it was decided to move it to another location. The next stop on its journey was a room in the Municipal Building which also housed the police, fire and ambulance departments. Moving onward, the third location was in a corner of City Hall. It stayed put for several years, but lack of visibility caused many citizens to not realize there was a library. Fall 2011, the library moved to 8171 State Hwy 17. It was in a 1,100 square foot building immediately west of City Hall. After the move, with new signage, large front windows, and an active Facebook page, the library blossomed. Grants brought about an automation system, three patron use computers, and several new children’s books.
During the summer of 2017, the City Council made the comment that the library needed to be larger to better serve the community. The City closed on the sale of a building in January 2018 and volunteers remodeled. The library offers a weekly storytime for birth through pre-k, an afterschool program for elementary-age children, a weekly teen group, a specialized weekly storytime for children with suppressed immune systems, a STEM program for homeschool families, an adult book club, proctors test, copier and fax services, and provides minimal computer assistance on an as needed basis. There is a charging station, a disc clean and repair machine, and six patron use computers.