Peru’s first library was started in 1886 and supported entirely by fees paid by library borrowers. The German Association Library also hosted a fee-based library about the same time. In 1910, the two libraries joined to form the Peru Public Library, funded by local property tax dollars. We celebrated our Centennial throughout 2010.
The Peru Public Library requested and was awarded a $15,000 Carnegie Grant to build a library facility in 1910. The Peru Public Library’s facility was built on Putnam Street, opening on 1 December 1911 with a collection of 2,000 books. In 1953, the historical room was open on the second floor and the children’s room moved to the lower level.
After serving the community for 74 years, the Putnam Street building was not adequate for community needs, so plans were made to build a new facility. As before, a matching grant was requested and awarded from the Illinois State Library. The new building, completed in 1986, is located on 11th Street, next to Washington Park.