ANNE EICKSTADT PHOTO Belvidere Republican
Mayor Morris presents his proclamation to the President of the Library Board of Trustees, Dawn Brooks.

After months of planning and weeks of preparing, the Ida Public Library greeted distinguished guests to their celebration of 140 years of existence at 5 p.m. on March 9. Refreshments, cookies and cupcakes, were served and anyone who wished a tour was escorted around the building. At 6 p.m., guests were invited to join the speaking guests for proclamations and speeches. All the seats were filled and television cameras recorded the event for all the local stations.

Director Mindy Long welcomed everyone and kicked off the speeches by welcoming Mayor Clinton Morris. He said it was an honor to be there and read his proclamation:

“Whereas, Ida Public Library is commemorating its 140th anniversary celebration on March 9, 2023, where members of the community are all coming together to help celebrate this marvelous event; and Whereas, in 1883, General Allen C. Fuller donated funds to the City to form a public library; and Whereas, the library was named in honor of General Fuller’s daughter Ida Fuller Hovey, who was an avid reader and was dedicated to the Ladies’ Library Club. Ida passed at just the age of 24 due to consumption, and Whereas the library became very popular and by 1910 it had outgrown its capacity at City Hall and a new library was needed and Whereas, a new library was planned and funded by the Andrew Carnegie Foundation and construction began in 1912. The front of the library is the 1912 construction that is wonderfully preserved and Whereas, during 1986 and 1987, a 10,000-square-foot addition was built on the west end of the library, tripling the size of the library; and Whereas, with the addition of the Bookmobile in 2021 the library continues to explore new ways to serve the residents of the City of Belvidere as the population grows, and Whereas, the Ida Public Library’s tradition of promoting education, literacy, and com-munity involvement has enriched the City of Belvidere for 140 years; and Now Therefore, I, Clinton Morris, as Mayor of Belvidere, do hereby honor the 140th anniversary of Ida Public Library and proclaim, Thursday, March 9, 2023, to be ‘Ida Public Library Day’ in Belvidere, Illinois and encourage all residents of Belvidere to pay special tribute to the library on the occasion of their 140th anniversary celebration.

“In witness whereof, I here unto set my hand and affixed the Seal of the City of Belvidere this 6th day of March, 2023.

“Clinton Morris, Mayor, City of Belvidere”

Distinguished representatives of state organizations also presented proclamations and letters of congratulations to the Library Board of Trustees.

-State Rep. Dave Vella offered recognition by the 103rd General Assembly of the House of Representatives.

-State Sen. Steve Stadelman presented a proclamation of congratulations from the Senate of the one hundred and third General Assembly of the State of Illinois.

-Congressman Bill Foster sent a letter of congratulations.

-Gov. JB Pritzker also sent a letter of congratulations and commended everyone at the library for their hard work, dedication, and passion.

-The Illinois State Historical Society offered a Centennial Award certificate welcoming the library to an elite group of Illinois businesses and service organizations. Belvidere’s Ida Public Library has become an “Illinois Centennial Library.”

The falling snow did not slow down any of the guests. Everyone had good food, good conversation, and were de-lighted at the recognition the library received.

Congratulations, Ida Public Library!

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