Like so many other small- to medium-sized towns, Peru had a private library--in fact, two--before receiving a Carnegie grant in 1910 to build a public facility. This Carnegie library still stands (a charming two-story brown brick building), but in 1986 Peru opened a modern building paid for by federal, state, and city funds. Peru residents take pride in their new library and its inviting landscaping. Inside, patrons enjoy a view from both levels of a mass of trees changing character as the seasons change. In 1993, the Starved Rock Library System, of which the Peru Public Library was a member, merged with the Bur Oak Library System to form the larger Heritage Trail Library System. Peru Library patrons have benefited significantly from the resources of this newer system. Welcome to Peru and the beautiful Illinois Valley country. Rich farmland, heavily wooded state parks, and the scenic river provide an idyllic background for this progressive cultural and business center. Located on the historic Illinois and Michigan Canal corridor, Peru (incorporated in 1835) and its close neighbor, LaSalle, offer visitors and residents daily reminders of the area's roots as one of the earliest settlements in North America. Named with the Inca word for "wealth," Peru and its neighbors also offer a promising future with a rapidly expanding business environment and up-to-date community services. The Peru Public Library offers the same unique blend of past and future: good old-fashioned friendly service to patrons and up-to-date technology that links the library to a wider world of knowledge. The Peru Public Library is governed by a nine-member Board of Trustees who establish library policy, hire the library administrator or director, adopt and oversee the library budget, and contribute their experience in their areas of expertise in various advisory roles. They are dedicated volunteers who serve the library and community without compensation. The Peru Public Library Friends group now numbers over 200. This group has donated approximately $15,000 to the library to help purchase materials, furniture, equipment, and subscriptions. They sponsor speakers and programs held at the library. Often, they literally "lend a hand" to the library by helping with physical preparation for special events or in processing library materials.