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Mission Statement

Serve as a bridge connecting our diverse and ever-evolving community to learning opportunities, resources, and services that place people first.  

In addition, the Library upholds the values put forth by the Library Bill of RightsFreedom to Read Statement, and Code of Ethics as found below.  

Library Bill of Rights

The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.

I. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.

II. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.

III. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.

IV. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.

V. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.

VI. Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.

VII. All people, regardless of origin, age, background, or views, possess a right to privacy and confidentiality in their library use. Libraries should advocate for, educate about, and protect people’s privacy, safeguarding all library use data, including personally identifiable information.

Adopted June 19, 1939, by the ALA Council; amended October 14, 1944; June 18, 1948; February 2, 1961; June 27, 1967; January 23, 1980; January 29, 2019.

Inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996.

Although the Articles of the Library Bill of Rights are unambiguous statements of basic principles that should govern the service of all libraries, questions do arise concerning application of these principles to specific library practices. See the documents designated by the Intellectual Freedom Committee as Interpretations of the Library Bill of Rights.

Freedom to Read

The freedom to read is essential to our democracy. It is continuously under attack. Private groups and public authorities in various parts of the country are working to remove or limit access to reading materials, to censor content in schools, to label "controversial" views, to distribute lists of "objectionable" books or authors, and to purge libraries. These actions apparently rise from a view that our national tradition of free expression is no longer valid; that censorship and suppression are needed to counter threats to safety or national security, as well as to avoid the subversion of politics and the corruption of morals. We, as individuals devoted to reading and as librarians and publishers responsible for disseminating ideas, wish to assert the public interest in the preservation of the freedom to read.

Most attempts at suppression rest on a denial of the fundamental premise of democracy: that the ordinary individual, by exercising critical judgment, will select the good and reject the bad. We trust Americans to recognize propaganda and misinformation, and to make their own decisions about what they read and believe. We do not believe they are prepared to sacrifice their heritage of a free press in order to be "protected" against what others think may be bad for them. We believe they still favor free enterprise in ideas and expression.

These efforts at suppression are related to a larger pattern of pressures being brought against education, the press, art and images, films, broadcast media, and the Internet. The problem is not only one of actual censorship. The shadow of fear cast by these pressures leads, we suspect, to an even larger voluntary curtailment of expression by those who seek to avoid controversy or unwelcome scrutiny by government officials.

Such pressure toward conformity is perhaps natural to a time of accelerated change. And yet suppression is never more dangerous than in such a time of social tension. Freedom has given the United States the elasticity to endure strain. Freedom keeps open the path of novel and creative solutions, and enables change to come by choice. Every silencing of a heresy, every enforcement of an orthodoxy, diminishes the toughness and resilience of our society and leaves it the less able to deal with controversy and difference.

Now as always in our history, reading is among our greatest freedoms. The freedom to read and write is almost the only means for making generally available ideas or manners of expression that can initially command only a small audience. The written word is the natural medium for the new idea and the untried voice from which come the original contributions to social growth. It is essential to the extended discussion that serious thought requires, and to the accumulation of knowledge and ideas into organized collections.

We believe that free communication is essential to the preservation of a free society and a creative culture. We believe that these pressures toward conformity present the danger of limiting the range and variety of inquiry and expression on which our democracy and our culture depend. We believe that every American community must jealously guard the freedom to publish and to circulate, in order to preserve its own freedom to read. We believe that publishers and librarians have a profound responsibility to give validity to that freedom to read by making it possible for the readers to choose freely from a variety of offerings.

The freedom to read is guaranteed by the Constitution. Those with faith in free people will stand firm on these constitutional guarantees of essential rights and will exercise the responsibilities that accompany these rights.

We therefore affirm these propositions:

  1. It is in the public interest for publishers and librarians to make available the widest diversity of views and expressions, including those that are unorthodox, unpopular, or considered dangerous by the majority.

    Creative thought is by definition new, and what is new is different. The bearer of every new thought is a rebel until that idea is refined and tested. Totalitarian systems attempt to maintain themselves in power by the ruthless suppression of any concept that challenges the established orthodoxy. The power of a democratic system to adapt to change is vastly strengthened by the freedom of its citizens to choose widely from among conflicting opinions offered freely to them. To stifle every nonconformist idea at birth would mark the end of the democratic process. Furthermore, only through the constant activity of weighing and selecting can the democratic mind attain the strength demanded by times like these. We need to know not only what we believe but why we believe it.

  2. Publishers, librarians, and booksellers do not need to endorse every idea or presentation they make available. It would conflict with the public interest for them to establish their own political, moral, or aesthetic views as a standard for determining what should be published or circulated.

    Publishers and librarians serve the educational process by helping to make available knowledge and ideas required for the growth of the mind and the increase of learning. They do not foster education by imposing as mentors the patterns of their own thought. The people should have the freedom to read and consider a broader range of ideas than those that may be held by any single librarian or publisher or government or church. It is wrong that what one can read should be confined to what another thinks proper.

  3. It is contrary to the public interest for publishers or librarians to bar access to writings on the basis of the personal history or political affiliations of the author.

    No art or literature can flourish if it is to be measured by the political views or private lives of its creators. No society of free people can flourish that draws up lists of writers to whom it will not listen, whatever they may have to say.

  4. There is no place in our society for efforts to coerce the taste of others, to confine adults to the reading matter deemed suitable for adolescents, or to inhibit the efforts of writers to achieve artistic expression.

    To some, much of modern expression is shocking. But is not much of life itself shocking? We cut off literature at the source if we prevent writers from dealing with the stuff of life. Parents and teachers have a responsibility to prepare the young to meet the diversity of experiences in life to which they will be exposed, as they have a responsibility to help them learn to think critically for themselves. These are affirmative responsibilities, not to be discharged simply by preventing them from reading works for which they are not yet prepared. In these matters values differ, and values cannot be legislated; nor can machinery be devised that will suit the demands of one group without limiting the freedom of others.

  5. It is not in the public interest to force a reader to accept the prejudgment of a label characterizing any expression or its author as subversive or dangerous.

    The ideal of labeling presupposes the existence of individuals or groups with wisdom to determine by authority what is good or bad for others. It presupposes that individuals must be directed in making up their minds about the ideas they examine. But Americans do not need others to do their thinking for them.

  6. It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians, as guardians of the people's freedom to read, to contest encroachments upon that freedom by individuals or groups seeking to impose their own standards or tastes upon the community at large; and by the government whenever it seeks to reduce or deny public access to public information.

    It is inevitable in the give and take of the democratic process that the political, the moral, or the aesthetic concepts of an individual or group will occasionally collide with those of another individual or group. In a free society individuals are free to determine for themselves what they wish to read, and each group is free to determine what it will recommend to its freely associated members. But no group has the right to take the law into its own hands, and to impose its own concept of politics or morality upon other members of a democratic society. Freedom is no freedom if it is accorded only to the accepted and the inoffensive. Further, democratic societies are more safe, free, and creative when the free flow of public information is not restricted by governmental prerogative or self-censorship.

  7. It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians to give full meaning to the freedom to read by providing books that enrich the quality and diversity of thought and expression. By the exercise of this affirmative responsibility, they can demonstrate that the answer to a "bad" book is a good one, the answer to a "bad" idea is a good one.

    The freedom to read is of little consequence when the reader cannot obtain matter fit for that reader's purpose. What is needed is not only the absence of restraint, but the positive provision of opportunity for the people to read the best that has been thought and said. Books are the major channel by which the intellectual inheritance is handed down, and the principal means of its testing and growth. The defense of the freedom to read requires of all publishers and librarians the utmost of their faculties, and deserves of all Americans the fullest of their support.

We state these propositions neither lightly nor as easy generalizations. We here stake out a lofty claim for the value of the written word. We do so because we believe that it is possessed of enormous variety and usefulness, worthy of cherishing and keeping free. We realize that the application of these propositions may mean the dissemination of ideas and manners of expression that are repugnant to many persons. We do not state these propositions in the comfortable belief that what people read is unimportant. We believe rather that what people read is deeply important; that ideas can be dangerous; but that the suppression of ideas is fatal to a democratic society. Freedom itself is a dangerous way of life, but it is ours.

This statement was originally issued in May of 1953 by the Westchester Conference of the American Library Association and the American Book Publishers Council, which in 1970 consolidated with the American Educational Publishers Institute to become the Association of American Publishers.

Adopted June 25, 1953, by the ALA Council and the AAP Freedom to Read Committee; amended January 28, 1972; January 16, 1991; July 12, 2000; June 30, 2004.

A Joint Statement by:

American Library Association
Association of American Publishers

Subsequently endorsed by:

American Booksellers for Free Expression
The Association of American University Presses
The Children's Book Council
Freedom to Read Foundation
National Association of College Stores
National Coalition Against Censorship
National Council of Teachers of English
The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression

Code of Ethics

As members of the American Library Association, we recognize the importance of codifying and making known to the profession and to the general public the ethical principles that guide the work of librarians, other professionals providing information services, library trustees and library staffs.

Ethical dilemmas occur when values are in conflict. The American Library Association Code of Ethics states the values to which we are committed, and embodies the ethical responsibilities of the profession in this changing information environment.

We significantly influence or control the selection, organization, preservation, and dissemination of information. In a political system grounded in an informed citizenry, we are members of a profession explicitly committed to intellectual freedom and the freedom of access to information. We have a special obligation to ensure the free flow of information and ideas to present and future generations.

The principles of this Code are expressed in broad statements to guide ethical decision making. These statements provide a framework; they cannot and do not dictate conduct to cover particular situations.

  1. We provide the highest level of service to all library users through appropriate and usefully organized resources; equitable service policies; equitable access; and accurate, unbiased, and courteous responses to all requests.
  2. We uphold the principles of intellectual freedom and resist all efforts to censor library resources.
  3. We protect each library user's right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted.
  4. We respect intellectual property rights and advocate balance between the interests of information users and rights holders.
  5. We treat co-workers and other colleagues with respect, fairness, and good faith, and advocate conditions of employment that safeguard the rights and welfare of all employees of our institutions.
  6. We do not advance private interests at the expense of library users, colleagues, or our employing institutions.
  7. We distinguish between our personal convictions and professional duties and do not allow our personal beliefs to interfere with fair representation of the aims of our institutions or the provision of access to their information resources.
  8. We strive for excellence in the profession by maintaining and enhancing our own knowledge and skills, by encouraging the professional development of co-workers, and by fostering the aspirations of potential members of the profession.
  9. We affirm the inherent dignity and rights of every person. We work to recognize and dismantle systemic and individual biases; to confront inequity and oppression; to enhance diversity and inclusion; and to advance racial and social justice in our libraries, communities, profession, and associations through awareness, advocacy, education, collaboration, services, and allocation of resources and spaces.

Adopted at the 1939 Midwinter Meeting by the ALA Council; amended June 30, 1981; June 28, 1995; January 22, 2008; and June 29, 2021.

The following Strategic Plan was approved by the Library Board April 8, 2024. Click or tap for a printer friendly PDF version.

Strategic Plan 24-26, page 1

Strategic Plan 24-26, page 2

The following Master Plan was completed in March of 2023.

Click or tap for the complete PDF.

Master Plan Cover


Public libraries serve as vital community hubs, offering far more than just books. They provide access to information, technology, and educational resources for people of all ages and backgrounds. Beyond fostering literacy, libraries host diverse programs and events that enrich cultural understanding, support lifelong learning, and promote social engagement. By offering a welcoming space for everyone, public libraries play a pivotal role in strengthening communities and empowering individuals to thrive.

Roughly 84% of the O'Fallon Public Library's funding comes from local property taxes. With that in mind, it is important that tax payers realize a return on that investment.  

The average O'Fallon Public Library cardholder saves approximately $400 last year just by using their library card. Use this Savings Calculator to see how much value you and your family realize in a given week or month.  

Top 10 Stats for Your Library

In FY 23/24, the O'Fallon Public Library saw:

  • 129,497 in-person visitors
  • 197,157 physical items checked out
  • 64,200 digital items checked out
  • 481 events
  • 12,477 people attend those events
  • 9,144 hours of public computer use
  • 8,533 people use our study rooms
  • 1,675 new library cards issued
  • 780 kids participate in our Summer Reading Program

All of this was accomplished with just 2 cents out of every $1 paid in local property taxes.

Click or tap for a stats infographic.

National Stats

  • The average library returns over $5 in services, programs, savings, and revenue to the community for every $1 invested in them
  • People in the U.S. borrow over 2.1 billion items annually. That's an average of 16 items a year for every person
  • People in the U.S. visit their libraries more than 1.3 billion times annually. More people use libraries than go to MLB, NFL, NHL, NBA, NASCAR, or the movies COMBINED
  • Illiteracy costs Americans more than 225 billion dollars a year in lost revenue and taxes
  • Over 90% of Americans believe that closing their local library would hurt their communities
  • There are more libraries in the United States than Starbucks or McDonald's
  • Low literacy adds $230 billion to the annual cost of delivering healthcare in the United States
  • More than 172 million Americans (more than half the population) have library cards
  • Millennials use libraries more than any other generation
  • Students in high-poverty schools are almost twice as likely to graduate when the school library is staffed with a certified school librarian
  • Research shows the highest achieving students attend schools with well-staffed and well-funded school libraries

And lastly...

  • 98% of library funding is dependent on the will of local voters and politicians

Thank you for your support!

Areas of Impact

Libraries provide a significant return on investment in multiple ways:

  1. Economic Impact: Libraries contribute to local economies by providing access to resources that support workforce development, entrepreneurship, and small business growth. They offer free internet access, job search assistance, and business development resources, ultimately helping to reduce unemployment and boost economic productivity.

  2. Educational Support: Libraries enhance educational outcomes by offering tutoring programs, homework help, and access to educational materials. By fostering a love for reading and learning, libraries contribute to the academic success of students, leading to higher graduation rates and better-prepared individuals for the workforce.

  3. Social Services: Libraries often serve as community centers, offering support for individuals experiencing homelessness, mental health challenges, or other social issues. They provide access to social workers, legal aid, and other support services, improving the well-being of community members and reducing strain on other social service systems.

  4. Cultural Enrichment: Libraries preserve cultural heritage through archives, special collections, and programming that celebrates diversity and promotes understanding among community members. They offer access to literature, music, art, and other cultural resources that enrich lives and contribute to a vibrant community culture.

  5. Digital Inclusion: In an increasingly digital world, libraries bridge the digital divide by providing access to computers, Wi-Fi, and technology training. They empower individuals with essential digital literacy skills, ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to participate fully in society and the economy.

Overall, the return on investment in libraries extends far beyond monetary value, encompassing social, educational, and cultural benefits that enrich communities and improve quality of life for all residents.

Board Members

Board members are appointed by the Mayor and approved by City Council.  Terms are for three years and can be renewed. The Board elects their own officers annually at the May meeting.  

Name Term Start Term End
Suzanne Rupright - President 7/1/2016 9/17/2024
Linda Mitchell - Vice-President 2/1/2021 9/3/2025
Doug Distler - Treasurer 3/7/2011 2/3/2026
Charla Morton - Secretary 5/3/2021 5/3/2026
Nancy Clark 7/1/1991 9/17/2024
Linda Gruchala 8/17/2015 9/17/2024
Vern Hamm 1/17/2023 1/17/2026
Liz Jennings 5/3/2021 5/3/2026
Larry Morrison 7/1/1992 9/3/2025

You can contact the Board at [email protected]


Board meetings are held on the second Monday of the month.  Meetings begin at 7 pm in the library's first floor Community Room. Members of the public are welcome to attend.

Check our Events Calendar for the exact dates of future meetings. 

Below is a schedule of routine topics and duties the Board handles throughout the year.  Additional items are added to agendas as needed.  Specific agendas and meeting minutes can be found on BoardDocs.

Month Item
January Send director's finished evaluation to HR
Approve closure for Staff Development Day
Review Conduct Policy (odd years)
Review Social Media Policy (even years)
February Review initial draft of budget for next FY
Review Strategic Plan Progress Report
Review Animals in the Library Policy (odd years)
March Review updated draft of budget for next FY
Review Quarterly Statistical Report
Review Programming Policy (odd years)
Review Art Policy (even years)

Pass Budget for next FY, effective May 1
Form nomination committee for May officer elections
Review Board Roster for expiring terms
Review Fine Free Policy (odd years)
Review Recognition Policy (even years)

May Elect new officers
Review Library Card Issuance Policy
Review Staff Roster and Organizational Chart

Review Closed Session Minutes
Review Collection Management Policy (odd years)
Review Annual Statistical Report
Review Collection Management Policy (odd years)
Review Food and Drink Policy (even years)

July Review Holiday Policy (odd years)
Review the OFPL Way (even years)
Review Investment Policy (even years)
August Review Strategic Plan Progress Report
Review Display Policy (odd years)
Review Computer Use Policy (even years)

Review Quarterly Statistical Report
Review Purchasing Policy (odd years)
Review Bylaws (even years)

October Distribute director's evaluation form
Review draft of levy request for next FY
Review Privacy Policy (even years)
November Pass levy request for next FY, effective May 1
Collect completed director's evaluation forms
Review Staff Roster and Organizational Chart
Review Filming and Photography Policy (odd years)
December Review Closed Session Minutes
Discussion director's annual evaluation (Closed Session)
Review Quarterly Statistical Report
Review Volunteer Policy (even years)


The present library was started by the O'Fallon Woman's Club.  Originally called the O'Fallon Woman's Club Public Library, it opened on Saturday, April 12, 1930, in a room on the second floor of what was then the First National Bank building, 101 West State. It was in that room until 1945, when it moved to the first floor of 119 East First  (Advertiser Press building).  In February 1962, it moved back to the First National Bank building, but on the first floor (the bank had moved to new quarters at Second and Lincoln).  A children's wing was opened in the one-story annex in 1983.  The library moved to its present building at 120 Civic Plaza in 1995.

Attached is a newspaper article about the library's 1930 opening in addition to a short history (up to 1954) of the library from the O'Fallon Centennial History.  The latter talks about how the library was managed by the WPA for a while and then became a tax-supported library.

Interestingly, there were predecessors to the library.  In 1877, there was an O'Fallon Library Association that attempted to raise funds to create a public library in O'Fallon.  However, it's not clear to what extent they were actually successful. Whatever they were able to do, it didn't last long.  

In 1910, the Ladies' Reading Room and Library Association was formed. They opened and operated a reading room "with books, magazines and papers and games of various sorts."  They had furniture and even plants to give it a cozy feel.  The Ladies' Reading Room Club, or simply Reading Room Club, changed its name to the O'Fallon Woman's Club in 1911.  The reading room eventually fizzled, but the idea didn't die.  They tried again in 1930, and this time it lasted.  

Grand Opening Article

The article below appeared in the April 17, 1930 edition of the O'Fallon Progress. 

O'Fallon Progress 4.17.1930

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Centennial Article

A short history (up to 1954) of the library from the O'Fallon Centennial History. 

A short history (up to 1954) of the library from the O'Fallon Centennial History

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The library is open the following hours.  Holidays and inclement weather may impact our normal schedule.  You can check our website, or follow us on Facebook for any announcements concerning closures.  

Mondays: 9am - 8pm

Tuesdays: 9am - 8pm

Wednesdays: 9am - 8pm

Thursdays: 9am - 8pm

Fridays: 9am - 5pm

Saturdays: 9am - 4pm

Sundays: 1pm - 5pm


The Library is closed on the following holidays:

New Year's Day
Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Memorial Day
Independence Day
Labor Day
Day After Thanksgiving
Christmas Eve
Christmas Day
New Year's Eve (close at 1:00)

Library hours are subject to change and the Library may close due to severe inclement weather or other unforeseen emergencies. Closing announcements will be made on the Library's homepage, as well as on Facebook.