The front entrance to Stinson Memorial Library in Anna.

Stinson Library, Anna, featured on list of nation’s ‘spectacular libraries’

A Union County landmark has received special recognition on an internet website blog.

The BLT, which is the blog for Lifestyle & Travel on the website, posted a feature which was headlined: “20 Libraries That Will Make You Forget About Netflix.”

Among the 20 libraries earning recognition on the blog were the San Francisco Public Library in San Francisco, Calif., the Seattle Public Library in Seattle, Wash., the New York Public Library in New York, N.Y.,, and Stinson Public Library in Anna.

The recognition on the blog came as some welcomed, and unexpected, news for those at the Anna library.

“It was a complete surprise to all of us,” Stinson director Lisa Livesay said. She is grateful for the recognition.

Stephanie Campbell, the outreach coordinator for the Vacations Made Easy website, shared in an email that the site’s editorial staff considered several categories in choosing the 20 libraries on the list. The website is maintained by Vacations Made Easy, which is a business in Springfield, Mo.

Campbell said that the categories included “community involvement/activities offered, historical relevance, the size and importance of the collection, the architecture of the buildings themselves, and actual comments and reviews from visitors.” 

Campbell noted that the blog has more than 100,000 readers. She said the list of libraries offers a way to remind its readers “about all the exciting and fun family entertainment right in their own backyard.” 

Stinson Public Library is located at 409 S. Main St. in Anna. The architectural gem is listed on the National Historic Register. An effort is underway to gain National Historic Landmark designation for the library through the National Park Service.

The Vacations Made Easy blog shared that “In 1903, Robert Burns Stinson left his entire estate to the city and described in his will that it was to be used for the constructing of a fireproof public library. 

“The Stinson Memorial Public Library was magnificently designed by (Walter) Burley Griffin and consists of a limestone base, a concrete band of windows, and tall concrete pillars. The limestone on the outside was designed to look rough and natural and blends into the landscape. The building was dedicated in 1914 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.”

The Vacations Made Easy blog stated that the list’s 20 “spectacular libraries are a bookworm’s Narnia...

“Public libraries are one of the main components of a successful city and a thriving community. They allow every individual, rich or poor, the ability to intellectually and personally grow. 

“While most cities have some sort of a library inside of them, a few go above and beyond in some way. 

“We’ve compiled a list of some of the most interesting, beautiful, and modern libraries across the United States. From robotic book retrieval systems to breathtaking views, each library has way more than books to offer its visitors.”

The Anna library offers a wide range of services, including a wide collection of books, magazines, periodicals, DVDs and audio books. Internet access is available on computers at the library.

Stinson offers a popular summer reading program each year for young people. A story time for children, book club activities and assistance with the use of technological resources also are available.

Library director Lisa Livesay added that Stinson’s recognition on the blog has been “very positive for the library.” 

Stinson staff member Thomas Sisler shared the following message on the library’s website: “A big thank you goes out to Vacations Made Easy, but we extend a bigger thank you to all the awesome people from our community who support us. We could not do any of what we do without you.”

To see the Vacation Made Easy blog featuring the Anna library, visit

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158

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