The Harvard Diggins Library began serving the Harvard community in 1909. Delos F. Diggins, who spent his childhood in Harvard, provided a generous bequest to the City of Harvard for the purpose of building a library. That building, named the Delos F. Diggins Library, became the first free standing public library in McHenry County. The library served the community successfully from that building until a new library was built in 2001. In deference to the lasting legacy of Delos Diggins, the library was renamed the Harvard Diggins Library. Today it continues as a gathering place for the community, providing opportunities for education and cultural enrichment for Harvard and the surrounding area and is a member of the PrairieCat consortium of libraries and the Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS)
The Harvard Diggins Library will serve as a cultural, educational, and informational resource for the Harvard community. The Library will provide a collection of materials in a variety of formats that reflect the diversity of the community, serve as an entry point to local and global information through available technology, promote the use of library materials for educational, professional, and personal enrichment, and provide trained staff able to support all functions of the library.
Population served 9,477; Total operating budget FY 17/18 – $435,425; Total number of employees 4 full time, 6 part time.
The Harvard Diggins Library encompasses 19,000 square feet of space for browsing, relaxing, meeting, and study. The core of the facility houses the collection but designated space is available for children and teens. The children’s area features a penny rug (ask a librarian to tell you the rug’s story), a Lego table, a train table, and games and puzzles for children to enjoy. Crafts for youngsters are often held in a separate youth activity room. Teens will find a vibrant space to read, study and mingle, featuring gaming computers and a gaming system which can be checked out for in-library use. The library has two study rooms for individual or small group use. They are open on a first come, first served basis or may be reserved for a dedicated block of time. There is no charge to use the study rooms. The board room is most often reserved for library use but may be reserved for small group use if the study rooms are not available. The Burbank room is the library’s largest meeting space with capacity to hold 50 people. A small kitchen and computer with overhead projector are available for use within the room. While the Burbank room plays host to the majority of library programs, it may be used by groups and organizations for a fee. See the meeting room policy (below) for more information about the library’s meeting rooms.