The Palos Park Public Library is connected to the rich history of the Village of Palos Park and the artist colony that thrived there in the early 1900s-1940s. The story of the library begins with the Bartlett House which was set on a 39 acre estate in Palos Park on the southeast corner of 123rd St. and 88th Ave. It was built in 1905 by Emily S. Bartlett who lived with her daughter Jessie in the 10-room main house. Bartlett’s other daughter, Ada, married renowned sculptor Lorado Taft and lived on the estate for a short time. The Bartlett House became the heart of the artist colony in Palos Park at the beginning of the 20th century where writers such as Sherwood Anderson, a budding Ernest Hemingway, and artists such as Claude Buck, and others met for dinners and conversation. In 1927, as a memorial to her sister Jessie and her mother Emily Bartlett, Ada (Bartlett) Taft, donated the proceeds from a sale held by the Palos Woman’s Club of “the effects of the old Bartlett home” to be used to establish a public library.
In 1936, the Palos Park Woman’s Club established the Palos Park Library in a small real estate office at the corner of 123rd St. and 82nd Ave. The library was moved a few times to different locations in Palos Park including the Improvement Club Building, and the pastor’s study in the Presbyterian Church. In 1940, the Palos Park Woman’s Club presented a permanently equipped library to the Village. The library was a small room in the new Community House that also housed council chambers, the police magistrate's office, and village administrative offices. The guest speaker on this occasion was Ada (Bartlett) Taft. The Palos Woman’s Club continued to operate the library until 1945 when the village took over and appointed a Board of Trustees. In 1957, the library leased a building on the southwest corner of 123rd St. and Forest Glen Blvd. and then purchased it in 1967. In 1982, the library moved down the street to its present site at 12330 Forest Glen Blvd. as the building they moved out of became an addition to the Palos Fire Station. The Library completed an addition in 1993 at the 12330 Forest Glen Blvd. address and continues to be a vital part of the Palos Park community.