The Chenoa Public Library in Chenoa, Illinois was made possible by a gift from members of a former Congregational Church. This group being of such small numbers, was unable to maintain a church. In 1912 the church building and grounds were offered to the City of Chenoa to be used as a public library.
The library board was to consist of one member from each of the different churches; three from the former Congregational Church and one to be selected by the library board from citizens at large.
Those on the first board were: Congregational – E.M. Pike S.E. Evans, Dr. Lillian B. Stump; Baptist – Mrs. John Ketchum; Presbyterian – Mrs. H.E. Monroe; Methodist – A.D. Jordan; Lutheran – Anna Klein; Catholic – Rev. Fr. Burk; and E. C. Silliman.
The first officers were: President, Mrs. H.E. Monroe; Vice President, Mr. E.C. Silliman; Secretary, Mrs. John Ketcham; and Treasurer, A.D. Jordan.
The library was first financed from dues of the library association, benefit entertainment by various social and school organizations, popular subscription and tag day. Later, in 1942, a tax levy was voted in by the township.
The library was open to the public in November of 1913, with about 2000 books. The first librarian was Mrs. Ida I. Lord, who filled the position for 16 years. She resigned due to ill health. The library building was built in 1862 by the Presbyterian Church.
The Chenoa Public Library became a District Library on April 1, 2002.
In 2019 and 2020 we built a new library at 230 South Green Street in Chenoa. 0n July 28, 2020 we opened our doors to the public for the first time. Since we were dealing with the COVID epidemic, we opened to limited hours and services.