We serve the Village of Crete, Crete Township, and a few other area addresses. Library district residents have access to a wide variety of materials and online resources with their library cards. Our well-trained and friendly staff is here to assist you.
We are a member of RAILS (Reaching Across Illinois Library System) and the SWAN Database Consortium, which provides an online catalog allowing our cardholders to borrow from the Crete Public Library, as well as more than 90 other public library collections through the interlibrary loan service.
The seeds of the Crete Public Library were planted in 1929 when a small collection of donated books was made available to the public at a public school library. In the early 1960s, the first stand-alone location was in the historic home of Dr. Charles Blim, at the northeast corner of North and Benton streets. With a staff of one, it was open just 14 hours a week.
In February 1985, a referendum led to our becoming an official library district, which moved the library out from under the Village umbrella. A second successful referendum brought all unincorporated areas of Crete into the library district. Our current building was dedicated on May 2, 1996.
The library building went through a major renovation in 2013 to help improve how the library serves our community. Based on findings from community surveys and focus groups, the library added additional study rooms, computer space, and a dedicated teen area, in addition to replacing carpeting, repainting and generally updating the decor.
For more information on the history of the Crete Public Library, including articles and pictures, please visit our historical archives, Capturing Crete.
Fink Photography Statue
In 1996, Richard Nopar, owner of the Fox Photography Studio in Chicago, commissioned Crete native and renowned artist Bruce Fink, to design and create a statue of a photographer in the early 1900’s. The work was commissioned as a tribute to Nopar’s grandfather, Edward Fox, who opened the photography studio in Chicago in 1902. Edward Fox started with very little and built a thriving business, continuing to work as a photographer until his death in 1960. As a teenager, Richard followed in his grandfather’s footsteps and in 1943 started working his way up from the “bottom of the totem pole” in the family photography business. Richard worked diligently and successfully operated the business until he retired at age 77 and sold it. Edward Fox Photography Studio is still operating today as the second oldest photography business in the United States.
Once Richard decided to sell the business, he also decided to find a permanent home for the Photographer statue. After considering several options, Richard chose to donate the piece to the Crete Public Library as a meaningful location where the statue could permanently reside. Richard believed it fitting to return the statue to the home of its creator, thus paying tribute to the artist and his work.
Bruce Fink, a world-renowned sculptor, and artist is the son of Adele and Gibb Fink, Sr. Bruce was born in Crete in 1939, grew up in Crete, and graduated from Crete-Monee High School in 1957. He went on to study at the University of Illinois and later taught at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, and the Rhode Island School of Design. He currently resides in Connecticut where he built his home and art studio, including a foundry. He continues to use the studio today, where he designs and creates all types of pieces including bronze doors and gates, outdoor sculptures, and other significant cast and sculpted pieces. All of Bruce’s work is completed in his studio without any outside assistance.
With the help of Bruce Fink’s nephew, Jeff Fink, along with Crete Library Trustee and local historian Phyllis Monks, arrangements were made to have the statue removed from the Chicago location and permanently installed on the grounds of the library. The process included pouring a permanent concrete foundation at the new site and restoring the sculpture to its original glory. Over the course of several months, the painstaking process was completed. The statue was installed and officially dedicated on December 3, 2015.
The sculpture is dedicated to Adele and Gibb Fink, Sr. who helped the library for many years after it opened in 1963. The Finks provided rent-free space for the library on the first floor of the historic home at the northeast corner of North and Benton Streets. In 1969, the library moved into a building owned by the Finks at 534 First Street. Gibb finished the space to the library’s specifications and built the book shelves along with some furnishings. The library remained at the location until it moved to its current permanent home on Main Street.
The entire process of relocating and restoring the statue was made possible by donations from the Crete Library Foundation, Crete Woman’s Club, and contributions from many individuals. No public funds were used to bring the artwork to the Crete Library. It is destined to remain at the library in perpetuity for the enjoyment of all, and particularly, the residents of Crete.
The statue is located at the front of the building alongside our Butterfly Garden.