Enlightening and Inspiring Generations with Generations of Ideas

When a library opens its doors, it’s opening up opportunity, knowledge and, ultimately empowerment.  One-hundred year ago, the LaSalle Public Library opened its doors, giving people a chance to travel wherever their imaginations could take them.  That’s more than just public service, that’s changing lives.

Stephen J. Cannell
to the LaSalle Public Library on the occasion of the Library's Centennial Celebration, 2007

Celebrating a Century

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In A Few Words...

Of all the millions of trillions of words, sentences, and passages in books, what are your favorites?  The words can be dramatic, uplifting, challenging, inspiring, satirical, humorous, profound, or even silly...most important, thought, they are significant to you!

Be a part of the Library's year long Centennial Literacy Quilt fundraising project, a celebration of books, and a permanent Library display.  You can help the Library grow, and proclaim your love of reading when you donate $25 for each Literacy Quilt Square.  Select your favorite passage; Library staff, partnering with Illinois Valley Quilters, Carol Betts and Shelley Serby, will create an original and imaginative quilted design highlighting your selection.

Individual Literacy Quilt Square will be on display in the Library throughout 2007.  At the year's end, the individual squares will be joined to create a commemorative quilt that will be on permanent display in the Library.

A blend of art, literature and your interests, Literary Quilt Squares are tangible expressions of your commitment to the LaSalle Public Library.  A personal keepsake quilt  square in the same design as your donated square can be ordered for an additional $15.  Samples are available for view at the Adult Circulation Desk on the second floor.

Author Quotes

In the Fall of 2006, board members and staff from the LaSalle Public Library wrote several well-known adult and children's authors and asked them to give us words of inspration for our community.  These quotes are excerpts from the letters written to the LaSalle Public Library on the occasion of our 100th Anniversary.

“Libraries are places that house our dreams, our fantasies, our thirst for adventure.”  Nicholas Sparks

 “The public library building, in my view, is just a little lower than the church, the cathedral, the temple, the synagogue and the mosque.  Within those walls and along those stacks, I have found security and assurance.”  Dr. Maya Angelou

 “The library is a place of mental diversion, learning, and comfort for anyone who has an intellect.  I know of no librarian who when asked for food for the mind will offer a stone.  What more could anyone ask?”  Piers Anthony

 “Because of our library system anyone in America can educate themselves in any field they desire.  If they are confused, librarians (that without exception in my forty-seven years experience with them) actually want to help; they take the time to try and get whatever is needed.  For free.  For anybody.”  Nevada Barr

 ‘When a library opens its doors, it’s opening up opportunity, knowledge and, ultimately empowerment.  One-hundred year ago, the LaSalle Public Library opened its doors, giving people a chance to travel wherever their imaginations could take them.  That’s more than just public service, that’s changing lives.”  Stephen J. Cannell

 “If not for the public library, there is no doubt in my mind, I wouldn’t be writing books today.  When I was a kid, there were no Barnes and Nobles, and, even if there were, my parents didn’t necessarily have the extra cash lying around to buy the latest Nancy Drew or Trixie Beldon mystery.  My sister and I selected our books from the shelves of the Westwood Public Library.”  Mary Jane Clark

 “I would spend my free hours between library visits with my nose buried in a book, and at night, if it was past my bedtime, burrowed under the covers with a flashlight, reading.  It’s no wonder I decided at an early age that I wanted to become a writer.  To me, books were magic, and I wanted to be part o that magic.”  Eileen Goudge

 “I spent the first few years of my life in a smallish community in Queens.  Back in those early days, kids could roam the streets with relatively little supervision and one place I visited frequently was the local library.  This particular branch was little more than a storefront but to me it was an alternative universe where I could explore my interests and receive kind, informative answers to my questions from the wonderful librarians.”  Jonathan Kellerman

 “Support your public library!  It is a treasure and a legacy that will provide entertainment, information, a sense of community, and real continuity from one generation to the next, and the next after that.  So long as we keep reading, and reading to our children, there will be hope for our shared cultural heritage and the future of our world.”  John Lescroart 

“To all librarians everywhere, God bless you.”  David Morrell

 “When I enter a library, when I enter the world of books, I feel the ghosts of the past on my shoulders urging me to speech.  I hear Patrick Henry cry to the Burgsses, ‘Is Life so dear, or Peace so sweet, to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?’  I hear Sojourner Truth tell me that the hand that rocks the cradle can also rock the boat, and William Lloyd Garrison say, ‘I am in earnest, I will not be silenced.’”  Sara Paretsky

 “A good library can provide the furniture of our minds and the threads from which we weave our dreams.”  Anne Perry

 “It was at our library that I found Nancy Drew and fell in love with the genre.  I’ve been grateful ever since for those tolerant, book-loving librarians who allowed a child like me to read what I wanted to read.”  Nancy Pickard

 “It’s because of libraries that books like mine get recommended to book clubs and avid readers, who in turn pass them onto others looking to be whisked away from the world for a little while…and perhaps to learn a bit about themselves in the process.”  Jodi Picoult

 “I’ve often thought that people who love to read are some of the luckiest people in the world.  Books are marvelous friends, endless sources of entertainment and knowledge, and sometimes support in hard times. … Read long and prosper!  Mary Jo Putney

 “The library furnished our dreams, helped us shape our ambitions, made up people of books and ideas and grand designs.”  Anne Rice

 “I can think of few more worthy achievements than keeping a library alive and well for a century.  As far as I am concerned, one of the absolute  backbones of a free society and a democracy is the library offering access to a treasure house of information to all.”  Gillian Roberts

 “It would be hard for me to overestimate the importance of reading.  Nothing can expand the mind and heart like the magic al world of books.   ….  Our libraries are an essential resource for our children, our communities, and our future.”  Danielle Steel

 “No matter how wild the winds or rough the seas of life, libraries stand ready, beaming their reliable lights, guiding us toward knowledge, pleasure, consolation, wisdom, and hope.”  Nancy Thayer

 “A library is a home filled with our stories.  On every shelf, we see ourselves, experience our collective conscious, describe our dreams and our great longing for times that have passed, the sterling moment of the present and the glorious future known only in our imaginations.”  Adriana Trigiani

 “My childhood was spent in my local library in a San Diego suburb.  It’s where I became a writer - by 1st becoming a reader!”  Tess Gerritsen

 “Books are treasures to be shared.  Libraries make that splendor happen.”   Katherine Stone

“Books can take you places.”  Sandra Boynton

 “I’m 83 and I still love writing epigrams for and creating illustrations for the Berenstain Bears Books.  I say – go to the library for inspiration!”  Jan Berenstain

 “I love libraries!”  H.R.H. Mia Thermopolis (A.K.A. Meg Cabot)

 “For me, books are music for my mind and my imagination. When I am stuck in something I’m writing, I simply read my way out of being stuck.  You can never waste time reading.”  Cynthia Kadohata

 “I’m sure it was all those hours in the library that helped me become a better writer.  There is no better place for inspiration.  I’m sure there are future authors sitting in your library right now!”  Doreen Cronin

 “Congratulations on the Centennial Celebration of your library.  …  I go to my library several times a week.  In fact, Cam Jansen was born in a library.  …  Best wishes for a year of great reading and writing.”  David A. Adler

 “I could not write my books without the library’s help.  Even with the ease of Internet research, I find books to be indispensable when I am writing.  …  Books make me laugh, cry, and think.  They give me insight into history, and into the lives of people in other cultures.  They help me make important decisions, and they provide endless entertainment.  Hooray for libraries!”  Peg Kehret

 “Without the library my world would have been a much smaller place.”  Robert Sabuda

 “They say there is no ‘free lunch’ in life.  But there are free books!  I still can’t believe I can go to my local library and get just abut any book in the world – and I don’t have to pay a dime!!  It’s amazing!  The library is truly the greatest invention of our civilization.”  Dan Gutman

 “If I had not spent time in the library discovering the wnder of books, I doubt if I would be a writer and illustrator today.”  Ruth Sanderson

 “Books opened up a whole new world to me.  Through them I discovered new ideas, traveled to new places, and met new people.  Books helped me learn to understand other people and they taught me a lot about myself.  …  Some books you never forget.  Some characters become your friends for life.”  Judy Blume

 “All good wishes to the LaSalle Public Library on the Centennial in January 2007.”  Paul Goble

  “I LOVE LIBRARIES!”  Kevin Henker

 “So three cheers for you and your library.  And for books and reading, too.  I don’t know about you, but I love books that can make me laugh and cry.  I love books that make me think and feel.  I love the simple act of reading a book.  It’s so private and solitary.  But if it’s a good book, it makes me feel less alone in the world.  And golly, that’s an awfully nice way to feel, isn’t it  All my best regards to you in LaSalle..”  Kate Klise

 “Congratulations on your Centennial!  The thought of all the books and stories that have been checked out from your library and read over those years is awe-inspiring.  You should be very proud.  …  That’s what libraries do: they connect us as human beings.  That’s what your library has done for a hundred years.”  Brent Hartinger

 “Libraries help you to dream!”  Jennifer Holm

 “As a shy, introverted, scholarly child (long ago) I don’t know what I would have done without libraries!  My family moved often.  I was always the new kid in town.  The library always offered me my first and most important friendship: the place where I felt right at home.  I still feel that way today, about libraries.”  Lois Lowry

 “A dragon tale, an ode to pigs, a glimpse of red balloon … Oh, how the joy of reading spills across an afternoon” Eileen Spinelli

 “Congratulations to your library on its Centennial year.  …when I was little I wanted most of all to learn about new things.  I visited the local library every week and checked out the maximum number of books, which was then 12.  Six would fit into each of my bike baskets.”  Jan Brett

 “If my dad were still alive I know what Dad would say.  Dad loved the library.  No matter where he traveled, he always made a point to stop at the local library.  It was an inspiration to him and Dad did so much research for his books in the library.”  Dale R. Christopher (Son of Matt Christopher)

 “When I was a young boy, my local library was a place of sanctuary and wonder.  … Often, after collecting a dozen or more titles, I would curl up on the floor at the end of the darkest aisle and spend the day devouring my finds.  There, surrounded by the towering stacks, I found the gateway to the entire human world.  May your journeys here be as wondrous.”  Chris Gall

 “One of my fondest memories as a child was going to our town library.  …  My sisters and I would lug home as many books as we could carry.  … What beauty on those pages – wondrous illustrations, astonishing journeys, laugh-out-loud antics.  Stories are food for the soul, and my mother fed us well on library books.”  Sarah Clark Jordan 

“Libraries have helped me become who I am.  Here’s a special thanks to public libraries and librarians for being there for everyone!   Sheila Kelly Welch

 “I can’t help but imagine how many people’s lives have been changed by 100 years of reading your books.  …  I remember how it felt as a child walking into that quiet room and realizing that I could go just about anywhere I wanted.  That room was an escape from the world, and, at the same time a window onto any part of the universe that I chose to explore.  …  I still feel a sense of possibility and experience a feeling that time has stopped when I walk into a library.  I usually don’t have a particular book in mind, but like to wander around and see what I can discover.”  Steve Jenkins

 “Many, many congratulations to you, the library staff, and all of the people of the LaSalle community.  You all understand that a library is the heart and soul of any small town.  For me, the library is home, and the books are my brothers and sisters.  I read to learn, to laugh and cry, to find myself, and to understand other.  Books help me breathe and words flow in my veins.”  Laurie Halse Anderson

 “Free books: what could be better?  Those endless shelves of reading pleasure awed me as a kid and still do.”  Pete Abrahams

 “Libraries hold the wisdom of the world and the stories of the ages – available to everyone, free of charge!”  Linda Sue Park

 “I love to go to the silent reading room at the library and look around at al the people, books in hand, deeply involved in their own private worlds – wherever their particular books has taken them.”  Carol Montparker

 “Congratulations on the Centennial anniversary of your library!  The heart of every town is its library.”  Sharon Denslow

 “’I love books.  I like the way a book feels.  I like the way a book smells.  I like to turn each page, read each word, look at the pictures.’  I wrote those words in a book because of my wonderful, unforgettable first visit to a library.  It opened up a world to me – a world of surprises, magic, fun, mystery, excitement, and all the information I would ever need to write my books.”  Aliki

Essay Contest Winners

In the 5 through 7 group:
James Bishop - age 7
Alex Perez - age 7

In the 8 through 10 group:
Carter Sawin, age 8 
Mariah Scholle, age 10

In the 11 through 13 group:
Carlee Buczkowski, age 11 
Audra Mills, age 13