The Rogers Park Women’s Club founded what would become the Rogers Park Branch of the CPL in 1894 on Clark Street. Club members donated books and served as volunteer librarians. This is similar to the origins of the Riverside Public Library, the Indian Prairie Public Library District, the Arlington Heights Memorial Library, the Downers Grove Public Library, the Berwyn Public Library, the Algonquin Area Public Library District, the Barrington Area Public Library District, the Woodridge Public Library,the Atwood-Hammond Public Library District, the Indian Trails Public Library District, the La Grange Public Library, the Glen Ellyn Public Library, the Summit Public Library District, the Glenside Public Library District, the Lisle Library District, and the Franklin Park Public Library District.
In 1904, the CPL began operating the collection as a deposit station. In 1911, the Rogers Park delivery station was located at 5042 North Clark Street.
In 1917, the Rogers Park Branch Library opened as a storefront library on Clark Street near Morse Avenue. By 1923, it had outgrown its home and moved to 1731 West Greenleaf Avenue.
The library remained there through the Great Depression and the postwar era. In January 30, 1951, a disastrous fire destroyed almost the entire collection.
While the CPL looked for a new location, the Great Northern Laundry at 7057 North Clark Street donated space to house the remaining books in a deposit station. On September 17, 1951, the Rogers Park Branch Library re-opened in a rented storefront at 7015 North Clark Street.
The next iteration opened on October 29, 1958 at 6907 North Clark Street. The present iteration of the Rogers Park Branch Library re-opened in a two-story facility on June 8, 1999 in the same location as the previous smaller facility. Antunovich Associates, Ltd. designed this building (1999), a prototype, one of four that the CPL commissioned four architectural firms to design at the same time.
The influence of the Prairie School of architecture can be seen in the massing, horizontal band of limestone, and slablike clock tower, as noted in the AIA Guide to Chicago. The CPL’s motto (“Read, Learn, Discover”) is rendered in brass in the terrazzo floor of the lobby.
It has a reading garden, like the Beverly Branch, Brighton Park , Budlong Woods, George Cleveland Hall, Thurgood Marshall, and Dunning BranchLibraries. The reading garden, adjacent to the library, was dedicated September 23, 2003.
The Rogers Park Branch Library is open from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Mondays, from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Tuesdays, from 12:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Wednesdays, from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Thursdays, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Fridays, and from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturdays. Like other branch libraries, it is closed on Sundays. The phone number there is (312) 744-01456.