Our history is strongly rooted in its community’s desire for cultural improvement. Our origin goes back to 1967 when the communities of Bolingbrook and Romeoville were in the early stage of growth. Through the efforts of a small group of citizens, Fountaindale Public Library District was officially formed in 1970 when we opened in a temporary space at Park View School in Romeoville. The immediate challenge of our first elected Board of Trustees was to develop plans for library facilities in each community. The communities showed their continuing support by approving a referendum in 1973 to construct two identical library facilities, one in each community. The new buildings, which opened to the public in 1975, served the communities well for over 30 years.
After the referendum passed, a contest was held to name the new library district. Local historian James D. Bingle won the contest with his entry of Fountaindale Public Library District. This was a tribute to the first permanent settlers to this area, Steven and Willard Scott. The Scott brothers settled in the area where the DuPage River forks into the east and west branches. Fountaindale was the place name given to this area by settlers in the 1850’s noting the abundance of natural springs around the DuPage River. “Fountain” for the springs, “dale”, an old English word, for the hills surrounding the land. If Fountaindale had not been chosen, the name could have been DuPage Township Public Library District, which may have caused confusion due to DuPage County being located north of the actual township. The Fountaindale name reflected the inclusion of Romeoville, Bolingbrook and the surrounding township areas.
In 2004, during the long-range planning process, a Citizens Planning Committee strongly supported the need to expand the library, voicing a need for more space, books, programming, technology and other related materials. In response, our Board of Trustees initiated a site survey, telephone survey, space needs analysis and focus groups to assess the community’s support of a new library building in Bolingbrook and to determine if the present site could accommodate an expanded library. The results of these surveys demonstrated to our board that the community was supportive of a new library, and the best location was the current library site. By 2005, our board had contracted with Owners Services Group as the owner’s representative and with Nagel Hartray as architects. The project to build a new library was underway. Our Board of Trustees voted in November 2007 to place a library funding referendum on the February 2008 primary election ballot. The election was held, and the referendum passed by a narrow margin when the absentee and provisional ballots were counted.
In August 2008, the Romeoville building was transferred to the then Des Plaines Valley Library District (now White Oak Public Library District) by court order. This action united most of the Village of Romeoville into one library district. The ground breaking for the new Bolingbrook building was held in August 2009. Construction began when the site was cleared and temporary parking was installed. Our new library opened on March 7, 2011, and the old building was then demolished. This 114,000-square-foot building has become a focal point and cornerstone of the Bolingbrook community. With a focus on building a digital creation space for patrons, we debuted Studio 300 to the public in March 2013. This 7,000-square-foot space is located on our lower level and includes six sound recording suites, two television studios, three group collaboration rooms and a Mac computer lab equipped with the latest digital media creation software.
Our current building has received several awards since it opened. The American Institute of Architects presented us with a Citation of Merit in the Distinguished Building Category, and the Brick Association presented us with a Best in Class award for the Municipal/Government category. In 2012, we achieved LEED Gold Status, and in 2017, the International Facility Management Association Northern Illinois Chapter named us the Facility of the Year. Additionally, our building has been featured in several publications, and we have also been honored by the Bolingbrook Chamber of Commerce with a Best of Bolingbrook Business Award for Best Nonprofit in 2012 and 2018.