After a long fought battle by local citizens to raise money and save the library, director,
Stan Huntington announced its closing.
October 26, 2013
By MARY O’CONNOR
MAYWOOD | Maywood’s race to save its historic library has stopped short of a finish
The Maywood Public Library Director, Stan Huntington, announced Saturday at a press
conference, the closing of the nearly 140-year old library. “It’s the fifth oldest library in
Illinois… and it’s devastating: Huntington said.
A grassroots effort, lead by a local citizens group, has been ongoing to help raise
donations to save the library. But declining property taxes and state revenue left the
facility more than $500,000 in debt, to steep a debt for even the activist group.
In 1994, after the community overwhelmingly approved a referendum to make the library
bigger, it expanded from 950 square feet to the 40,000 square foot building today.
Huntington blames Maywood’s high foreclosure rate. There are some blocks were five
homes are in foreclosure. We don’t have the revenue we once did,” he said.
Huntington said he hoped the bank would give them more time to make the loan
payment. “We need more time to make the loan payment. It was crucial based on the
fact that we had a tremendous drop in income.” But the library’s loan servicer, Seaway
Bank, declined to extend the bank loan.
Huntington said that he believes the community will suffer greatly from the loss of the
library. “We are the center of the community. We’re a meeting room place, we’re a job
center, we’re a safety net for children, safety net for seniors. We are the center of the
community. You could come to the library at any hour and the parking lot is full,” he said.
Huntington said 3,500 people a month use the library’s computer center alone. The
library’s website remains functional and reads, “The library will reopen when funding is
Maywood historic library
closes its doors