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How long has the Foulds factory on Church Street been in business? The name C.H. Kaiser is on the building above Leggy Bird. Who was that? Where can I find historical photos of Libertyville?

Whether you want to answer a specific question or just stroll down memory lane, the Local History Collection has something for you. The Local History Collection in the Lower Level of the Cook Park Library is a treasure trove containing books, clippings files (over 700 topics), maps (as early as 1861), and newspaper microfilm dating back to 1897. Make sure to check out our historical photographs display in the Lower Level lobby and our new exhibit case featuring local photographs and artifacts. Our current exhibit illustrates the history of our own Cook Library from its start as a few shelves in a drug store.

Local history resources are also available online through the Local History section of the Cook Library web site. Access telephone directories back to 1913, Sanborn Maps of Libertyville starting in 1867 (in-library use only), a local newspaper obituary index and hundreds of digitized vintage photographs and postcards of downtown Libertyville and the surrounding area. Learn more about Libertyville by exploring online local history exhibits or follow our blog "Libertyville's Past is Present" and our tumblr feed "A History of Libertyville in Photographs" to feed your local history craving through social media.

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Shining the spotlight on: Reference and Genealogy librarian Sonia Schoenfield, who gives us the scoop on family history resources for you to discover in Cook Park Library’s Lower Level:

Come to the Genealogy Collection to find books to help you trace your family history, whether your ancestors are from Ireland, Poland, Germany, or somewhere in the U.S. Check out our three circulating genealogy magazine titles with all the latest news and tips. You can also order microfilm from the vault in Salt Lake City and view it on one of our two digital microfilm readers. Records viewed on these readers can be emailed or printed.

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“Wow – I had no idea all this was down here!” Three years after the completion of the renovation of our Cook Park Library, we still hear words to that effect a few times every week. In addition to major parts of the library’s holdings (music CDs, mysteries, science fiction, books on language and literature) our Lower Level is home to a variety of special collections. Today Ear to the Community is launching a series of posts to shine a spotlight on some of them.

First up: Book Club shelves

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Want to be “in the know” about upcoming library events and programs? Curious about the new books, movies, and music our librarians are recommending?

Sign up for email updates to receive:

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If your children or grandchildren tell you that librarians can change a banana into a remote control, you can take their word for it. A team of our children’s librarians is currently in the midst of 55 visits to 17 local schools to promote summer reading to over 7000 students. Thanks to Cook Memorial's “Makey Makey” invention kit, their slide show is controlled by an actual banana. Students have been amazed and intrigued, with one little boy asking in awe, “Are you from a magical land?”

The librarians encourage the children to enjoy reading all summer, and to take advantage of the many free summer activities planned by the Library. This year’s Summer Reading theme is DISCOVER, and children who complete a bingo board by reading, watching DVDs, listening to music and attending programs will earn rewards including coupons for treats from local businesses and a book of their choice to keep.

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