About Us

 1937 - 1986

The public library in Seneca first opened its doors in 1937 as a WPA project. It occupied a small room in what was then the Masonic Building, later to become the Community State Bank. A total of 484 books, many of which were “weeds” from the Chicago and Evanston public libraries, circulated to 189 registered borrowers. Miss Lois Zimmerman served the community as its first librarian until 1945. 

In 1945, however, the WPA withdrew and the town created the first library board and its first levy to support the library. Miss Louise Peddicord succeeded Miss Zimmerman to work with first board members F.A. Graves, G.M. Hoben, Mary Comegys, S. Sand, Clara Tendall, and W. E. Coulter. Meanwhile, the Community Bank expanded in Seneca’s post-war resurgence. 
A building that had housed the Bungalow Beauty Shop became the new library. It was moved across Main Street and refurbished in 1950. From 1950 to 1963, the library’s collection grew from approximately 5,000 items to 14,000. In 1962, the donations from the town, the local bank, and the Chicago Bridge and Iron Company made it possible to open an addition that enlarged the library’s space to about 1,100 square feet. 
 
1987- 2000 
 
In 1987, the board was successful in forming the Seneca Public Library District. The town was now planning for the present library: it approved a referendum to annex property; the library began surveys of patrons and reviews of building programs and financing; the board hired architects Frye, Gillan and Molinaro, and in 1989, the town approved another referendum to buy land and finance construction for a 9,450-square-foot library. 
Again, the Seneca library was moved, building and all, to what is now the parking lot of the present library so that the library could provide uninterrupted service. With Vissering as general contactor, the new building opened in 1991. Eight years later, the library board was able to retired the bond issue that had financed the building. 
 
2001--
As the Seneca Public Library District enters the 21st century, its relatively small size is deceptive. Automated in 1991, it now offers public computers, wireless access, an online library catalog with home access, unlimited interlibrary loan through its membership with the Reaching Across Illinois  Library System (RAILS) and from outside the system, and a range of children’s and adult services and programming. The library is open 61 hours a week, owns more than 57,000 items, attracts nearly 1,800 visitors and provides over 4,000 services per month, and spends more than $628,665 to provide modern, friendly service to its almost 3,700 cardholders.  
Despite its small size, the library is a “net lender,” that is, it supplies patrons of other libraries with more materials (900 in a typical month) than it borrows (200 in a typical month) from other libraries. Overall, the library circulates approximately 56,500 items every year. The library Board of Trustees, the Director Margie Nolan and all the staff place high priority on two elements of modern public library service: 1) providing old-fashioned friendly service to every person who walks in the library’s doors and 2) providing modern technology to enhance the lifestyle of this quiet rural community. 
To accomplish this unique blend of the modern and the old-fashioned, library staff members perform a range of tasks to keep the collection updated and accessible on the library’s online catalogs and to offer attractive children’s and adult programs throughout the year.

For announcements and current happenings, see Library News.

Our Services for You

Your Library Card

Library cards are provided free of charge to all residents of our district, as part of your tax-supported library services. Your card gives you borrowing privileges here and at most public libraries in Illinois, access to special online resources, and more. Click here to learn how to get a library card.

 

Interlibrary Loan

If you need a book, DVD, or other item that we don't have, ask us to borrow it from another library for you.  Items requested through interlibrary loan can be picked up and returned at the Seneca Public Library.  Place holds on items by calling the library, using our online link, or directly through the online catalogue.  You will need your library card number and pin number when placing holds.  If you need further assistance or forgot your pin number please contact us.

 

Programs and Events

We have a regular schedule of educational and cultural events for all ages. See our calendar for details.

 

Computers

Everyone who uses a library computer must follow our policy regarding computer and Internet use.

 

Photocopiers and Fax Machine

Photocopy and Fax services are available to everyone. 

Photocopies service is available for the following fees:

Black & white copies - .10 ¢ each

Color copies - .50 ¢ each

We are happy to provide faxing service for the following fees:

Sending a fax - $2.00 for the first page with an additional $1.00 for each page after.

Receiving a fax - .10 ¢ per page

 

Cultural Center/Meeting Room

Our cultural center is available for pre-approved events.  Any group wishing to use the Cultural Center must agree to follow library policies and have prior approval of the Library Director.

Study rooms are available for use at anytime as available.

 

Other Services

We also offer voters registration and notary service free of charge.  Some restrictions may apply.  Please call for more information.

Library Policies

Below are some of the policies about the public's use of the library.

Behavior in the Library

[Insert patron behavior policy here.]

Circulation Policy

[Insert circulation policy here.]

Community Room Use

[Insert community room policy here.]

Computer/Internet Use

Seneca Public Library District

INTERNET AND COMPUTER USE POLICY
 
           
The Internet offers unlimited information of every kind, both educational and recreational. The Seneca Public Library District (SPLD) seeks to provide access to this vast resource in keeping with its mission of making information available to the community. The SPLD, however, does not monitor the Internet and cannot guarantee the validity or accuracy of information found on the Internet. The SPLD urges library patrons to be informed consumers and to carefully evaluate information obtained via the Internet.
 
The library computers are intended for research and word-processing purposes. Chat rooms are not considered acceptable library computer usage. 
 
Due to the location of the computers, privacy of usage is not guaranteed.
 
Users are cautioned against displaying on the screen any material not appropriate in a public environment.
 
Computer time is available in increments of 60 minutes with a maximum of two hours per day. Patrons may use the computers on a first-come, first-serve basis. Computers will not be reserved.
 
No training is provided. Limited assistance is available by the staff. Patrons are expected to know how to use the computer and Windows based programs.
 
Patrons must have a valid SPLD card clear of fines exceeding $1.00 or overdue material and be at least 10 years of age. No children under 10 years of age will be allowed use of the internet access computers unless supervised by a parent or care-giver at all times.
 
The printer will be supplied with paper. Patrons are responsible for the cost of all material printed. Users may provide their own paper if they wish. To cover the cost of printer ink cartridges, all print charges are:
            $ .10 per black text page
            $ .50 per color text page or graphics
Prices subject to change without notice.
 
A current computer use form must be signed and kept on file.
 
Patrons may download directly to their own storage device or print selected information. Files may not be downloaded directly to the SPLD computer hard drive.
 
The library reserves the right to deny computer privileges to anyone who misuses the computer workstation or does not follow computer policy.   Each person is responsible for damages done to computer hardware or software. Patrons damaging the computers, printers, or software will be charged repair or replacement costs.
 
The SPLD assumes no responsibility for any damages, direct or indirect, arising from use of its computer network or from its connection to other Internet services.
 
The Library reserves the right to ask patrons to relinquish the computer for reference purposes at any time.
 
The library is not responsible for damage or loss of data from power interruption, computer viruses, hard disk failure, faulty software, or any other reason. The use of Library computer equipment and the entering of personal information or data are at the patron’s own risk.
  
Prohibited uses of the Seneca Public Library District (SPLD) computers:
 
Intentional disregard, including but not limited to the following user guidelines, may result in loss of computer privileges.
 
  • Accessing any sound or visual or other type file that may disrupt other library patrons.
 
  • Using any SPLD computers to “crack” another individual, commercial or public system.
 
  • Using SPLD computers and Internet for purposes or activities contrary to state and federal laws, including the sending or displaying of material deemed obscene or pornographic by the courts.
 
  • Disruptive or destructive behavior.
 
  • Reading or attempting to read another person’s electronic mail or other protected files without their permission.
 
  • Use of electronic information networks with the intent to harass others.
 
  • The use of internet chat rooms or instant messaging, such as, but not limited to, Yahoo messenger, AIM, and MSN messenger.
 
  • Violating any copyright laws and licensing agreements pertaining to print materials, software, files and other resources obtained via an electronic resource such as the Internet.
Failure to follow Library computer and Internet policies, guidelines, or procedures will result in a loss of the patron’s access privileges. Illegal or disruptive behaviors will result in immediate termination of access and may necessarily involve intervention by law enforcement authorities. The Library reserves the right to terminate any computer session, and users who fail to follow these guidelines may lose their access privilege for up to one year. 
 
The first offense will result in the loss of privileges for the remainder of the day.
 
The second offense will result in the loss of privileges for up to two weeks.
 
The third offense may result in the loss of privileges for up to one year.
 
Any offense which violates state or federal law may result in permanent suspension of privileges.
  
Non-resident computer use:
 
Non-resident computer use will be allowed with a fee of $1.00 per hour. A valid United States Government issued ID and/or a current Illinois state ID or driver’s license must be shown at the circulation desk before using the computers. A current computer use form must be signed and kept on file. Individuals are subject to all other regulations and fees contained within this Internet and Computer Use Policy.

 

CHILDRENS
INTERNET AND COMPUTER USE POLICY
 
The Seneca Public Library District recognizes that the Internet may contain material that is inappropriate for children. Due to numerous work responsibilities, Library staff are limited in their time to monitor children’s use. Additionally, the Seneca Public Library District does not act as a censor or substitute parent. Parents are expected to monitor and supervise their children’s use of the Internet. Parents are encouraged to discuss with their children issues of appropriate use and electronic information network safety. It is the parents’/guardians’ responsibility to ensure that their children’s use of the Internet is appropriate and safe. 
 
Children under 10 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
 
Persons between the ages of 11 and 18 will be allowed computer access only after a parent or guardian and minor have signed a copy of the Permission of Use of Electronic Networks/Internet form and read and understand the Seneca Public Library District Internet and Computer Use Policy.

 

Donations

[Insert donations policy here.]

Unattended Children

[Insert unattended children policy here.]

History of the Library

 

1937 - 1986
The public library in Seneca first opened its doors in 1937 as a WPA project. It occupied a small room in what was then the Masonic Building, later to become the Community State Bank. A total of 484 books, many of which were used books from the Chicago and Evanston public libraries, circulated to 189 registered borrowers. Miss Lois Zimmerman served the community as its first librarian until 1945. 
In 1945, however, the WPA withdrew and the town created the first library board and its first levy to support the library. Miss Louise Peddicord succeeded Miss Zimmerman to work with first board members F.A. Graves, G.M. Hoben, Mary Comegys, S. Sand, Clara Tendall, and W. E. Coulter. Meanwhile, the Community Bank expanded in Seneca’s post-war resurgence. 
A building that had housed the Bungalow Beauty Shop became the new library. It was moved across Main Street and refurbished in 1950. From 1950 to 1963, the library’s collection grew from approximately 5,000 items to 14,000. In 1962, the donations from the town, the local bank, and the Chicago Bridge and Iron Company made it possible to open an addition that enlarged the library’s space to about 1,100 square feet. 
1987- 2000 
In 1987, the board was successful in forming the Seneca Public Library District. The town was now planning for the present library: it approved a referendum to annex property; the library began surveys of patrons and reviews of building programs and financing; the board hired architects Frye, Gillan and Molinaro, and in 1989, the town approved another referendum to buy land and finance construction for a 9,450-square-foot library. 
Again, the Seneca library was moved, building and all, to what is now the parking lot of the present library so that the library could provide uninterrupted service. With Vissering as general contactor, the new building opened in 1991. Eight years later, the library board was able to retired the bond issue that had financed the building. 
2001--
As the Seneca Public Library District enters the 21st century, its relatively small size is deceptive. Automated in 1991, it now offers public computers, wireless access, an online library catalog with home access, unlimited interlibrary loan through its membership with the Prairie Area  Library System (PALS) and from outside the system, and a range of children’s and adult services and programming. The library is open 56 hours a week, owns more than 57,000 items, attracts nearly 1,800 visitors and provides over 4,000 services per month, and spends more than $628,665 to provide modern, friendly service to its almost 3,700 cardholders.  
Despite its small size, the library is a “net lender,” that is, it supplies patrons of other libraries with more materials (900 in a typical month) than it borrows (200 in a typical month) from other libraries. Overall, the library circulates approximately 56,500 items every year. The library Board of Trustees and the Director Margie Nolan place high priority on two elements of modern public library service: 1) providing old-fashioned friendly service to every person who walks in the library’s doors and 2) providing modern technology to enhance the lifestyle of this quiet rural community. 
To accomplish this unique blend of the modern and the old-fashioned, library staff members perform a range of tasks to keep the collection updated and accessible on the library’s online catalogs and to offer attractive children’s and adult programs throughout the year.

 

Illinois State Library Services

The Illinois State Library provides you with services directly, through us, and in cooperation with other agencies.