Rakow Branch


The Rakow Branch front view

The Rakow Branch, located at 2751 W. Bowes Road in Elgin, Illinois, opened on August 15, 2009. 
The branch features a popular collection, gardens, an external 24/7 DVD dispenser and is an environmentally friendly LEED  registered building.  

2751 W Bowes Rd
Elgin, IL 60124


   Rakow Branch map

Building Hours

Monday – Thursday
Friday & Saturday          


9 a.m. - 8 p.m.
9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Noon - 5 p.m. 


Drive Thru Window Hours


Monday – Thursday
Friday & Saturday

9 a.m. - 8 p.m.
9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Noon - 5 p.m. 



Rakow Branch exterior view

General Information About the Rakow Branch

For the first time in its 135 year history, the Gail Borden Public Library District opened its first branch. Opened on August 15, 2009, the “Rakow Branch,” located at 2751 W. Bowes Road, features a popular collection, a computer café, Zen gardens and a small “family room” with a fireplace. An external DVD dispenser, one of the first in a North American library, operates during all hours of the day and night, 365 days of the year.

The 10,000 square foot building, designed for expansion for up to 30,000 square feet, features environmentally sustainable elements and received gold LEED certification. (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). Read about the branch’s “green” features (see below).

Enjoy this YouTube tour of the Rakow Branch Library >

Programs at Rakow Branch

Click here for all programs at the Branch and to register.

Family Storytimes, Read to Rover, Book Clubs, Device Advice, Technology classes, family programs and various other activities take place at the Rakow Branch throughout the year.


Welcome Baby!  Baby's First Library Visit

Saturday, April 2, 1 - 3 pm Drop-in - For babies up to 6 months old and their parents

Registration preferred.

Rakow Rooks Chess Club - Grades 3 - 8

Tuesdays, March 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29

Registration required.

 Where Nature Comes Home - Adults

Dennis Paige, adjunct instructor with the Morton Arboretum and the Chicago Botanic Gardens, will present an inspirational and highly informative program to touch the hearts and minds of those who wish to apply native micro-habitats and other eco-friendly landscapes around their home to enhance biodiversity, beauty and environmental health.

Sunday, March 20,  2 - 3:30 pm

Registration required.

 Coffee, Conversation & More  (For people old enough to have a past!)

Friday, March 11 - Grandpa Q plays his guitar and tells the backstory of some favorite folk tunes.

Thursday, March 24 - Knit one purl two.  Bring knitting needles and share your latest project.  If you don't knit, please share other crafting projects you like to do.

No registration.

Book Clubs 

The Rakow Readers Book Group and Rakow Novels at Night are for readers interested in reading and discussing contemporary fiction and nonfiction. 

  • 2015 - 2016 schedule
  • Meets at the Rakow Branch on the fourth Monday afternoon or the third Thursday evening of each month.

Contact Susan at 847-531-7271 or sfarnham@gailborden.info or Marisa at mrobinson@gailborden.info