Welcome to the Lake Geneva Public Library!
Free Parking & WiFi
Parking downtown Lake Geneva is currently free while the City of Lake Geneva is in emergency status to address COVID-19. The library is closed until further notice, but our WiFi network is free and open to the public 24/7. You can park in the stalls in front of the library at 918 W Main Street and log into our WiFi (the closer you are to the main entrance doors, the better the signal strength). There is no password required, just a terms and conditions page to accept in order to proceed.
Lake Geneva Public Library Foundation
Lake Genevans take great pride in their Library as volunteers as well as patrons. In a municipality of over 7,000 citizens and a service population of over 17,500 people, LGPL is supported by three active groups.
A Unique Building, A Dramatic Site
Situated on one of the most dramatic library sites in the Midwest, the Lake Geneva Public Library is one of the city’s most recognizable buildings. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright protege, James R. Dresser, the prairie style building overlooks the lake from its downtown location in Library Park. The unique building has become a key stop for not only library patrons, but architectural enthusiasts as well.
In 1894, Mrs. Mary Sturges deeded property to the city of Lake Geneva, stipulating that “until means shall be provided for erecting a suitable fireproof building for library purposes, the building now erected may be used for that purpose.” In 1898, the Lake Geneva City Council accepted books from the Lake Geneva Library and Improvement Association and established a city public library. In 1913 Henry Strong’s estate left $1000 which became seed money for a library building fund. Added to it was a $10,000 donation from the estate of Jennie Buckbee, a $5000 bequest in memory of James Simmons, and $100,000 from the estate of Mary Gridley Bell.
Recognizing the need for a new and safe building, the Library Board combined the various legacies, their accumulated interest, $12,000 in general public donations, and a $30,000 appropriation from the Lake Geneva City Council. The current library building was dedicated in December 1954. Constructed of Roman brick and red oak with immense glass areas, the building combines beauty and utility, making it both practical and a show piece which blends into its park setting. Drawing again from the Jennie Buckbee estate, in 1963 a meeting room was added to the east end of the building. In 1970 additions to the south and west ends of the building were completed.
Library programs, events, and opportunities (as well as book recommendations) via email!