Welcome! The Ela Area Public Library serves more than 35,000 residents of Lake Zurich, Hawthorn Woods, Kildeer, North Barrington, Long Grove, Echo Lake and Forest Lake.
Named for George Ela, the area's first postmaster, the Library collection was first maintained by the Lake Zurich Woman's Club. In 1972, the Library opened its doors in the basement of Lake Zurich's St. Francis Church. The Library occupied 3000 square feet, and the North Suburban Library System provided a field librarian, legal counsel, basic materials and expenses to launch a referendum.
1973: Residents voted in favor of establishing a tax-supported library.
1972-1982: The basement of St. Francis continued to be the Library's home. Referenda to build a new building to house the Library failed in 1977 and 1978. Finally, in 1980 a referendum to build a 10,000 square foot building for $625,000 passed by 419 votes. Construction of the new building on Buesching Road began in February, 1981.
1989: Voters passed a referendum to expand and renovate the Library. The building project added a second floor which became the Children's Department and added more space on the first floor for the reference and nonfiction collections, public computers and staff office space.
1999: Referendum to build a new 70,000 sq. ft. building is approved by the Library district voters.
2002: The Library opens its doors at 275 Mohawk Trail.
2009: The Popular Materials Department was reorganized to create a more usable patron-friendly space, make the department clearer and easier to navigate, improve customer service, provide adequate shelving that can accommodate patron traffic and create more lounging area.
2010: The Library marks a huge milestone by circulating over 1,000,000 items in one year.