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Apr 20

Riverside Library

Posted on April 20, 2023 at 11:41 AM by Amy Downing

The Riverside Public Library opened with fanfare on April 4, 1931. At the dedication ceremony, the first Library Board President, Robert Somerville, presented the mural “Marquette and Joliet” and a decorative map of the region as a personal gift to the Library. In the first week of its opening, over 1800 people signed up for library cards. 


Over the years, the Library has been in the limelight. The Flamingo Film Company staged the filming for an Encyclopedia Britannica Film in the Library over four months from late 1989 to January 1990. Sometime in 1988, local photographer Keith Haase photographed the Library. He was so pleased with the photos that he submitted them to “American Libraries” magazine. It took a few years, but the magazine featured Riverside Library on its cover in 1991. In 1997, The Oprah Winfrey Show needed a setting for a book discussion. Oprah and crew used the Library to tape the discussion of “Stones from the River” by Ursula Hegi. On April 5, 1999, the show “Early Edition” used the front of the building in taping for an episode. 


In 2008, children’s book author Brian Lies published “Bats at the Library.” The book featured the interior and exterior of Riverside Public Library. Brian had fond memories of visiting the Library as a child with his grandparents. The Library welcomed Mr. Lies with a booking reading and signing celebration named Batoberfest. 


Interested in learning more about Village history? Visit the History Museum located by the Water Tower.  The Museum is open Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.