Gail BordenGail Borden was not a woman despite the spelling of his first name. He never lived in Elgin, and he never donated funds for the library which bears his name. How his name became attached to our library is as fascinating and complex as the man himself.

Born in New York in 1801, Borden found his way to the province of Texas as a young man where he farmed and published a newspaper. His newspaper supported the Texas independence movement and he became associated with such historic figures as Stephen Austin and Sam Houston.

After struggling with various other enterprises in Texas and New York, Gail Borden had suffered the death of his wife and was near financial ruin. Finally, at the age of 55, after years of experimentation, Borden was a awarded a patent for condensed milk.

Carole Medal, Gail Borden Public Library Executive Director, Named Illinois "Librarian of the Year" 

Carole Medal, Executive Director of the Gail Borden Public library in Elgin Illinois, is the recipient of the 2013 Illinois Library Association Librarian of the Year Award. The award recognizes a librarian’s distinguished service and leadership in Illinois libraries. The award is sponsored by the Sikich.

Carole Medal believes libraries should be a hub in their community. Under her direction, the Gail Borden Public Library is on the cutting edge, willing to embrace change, creative, and connected with their community through collaboration. Carole has encouraged her staff to look for new ways to serve their community which have resulted in increased attendance, circulations, library card registrations, and partnerships. One of her collaborated exhibits included an opportunity for students to hold live conversations with astronauts on the International Space Station. Through her partnership with the local school district, more than 8,000 students now possess library cards and all students participate in the library’s summer reading program. Under Carole’s direction, the Gail Borden Public Library has been recognized on local, state and national levels for both grants and awards. Carole has also received many personal awards for her work in libraries.

Carole has been active in ILA, including having served as ILA President for 2009-10.  

Press Release Illinois Library Association


StoryTubes - the 2-minute or shorter "my favorite book" video project - has won the PLA Polaris Innovation in Technology John Iliff Award and that win couldn't have come at a better time.  The $1,000 PLA award honorarium prize will go into the project.

2009 National Medal for Museum and Library ServiceWashington, DC—The Institute of Museum and Library Service (IMLS) has selected five museums and five libraries to receive the 2009 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor for museums and libraries that make extraordinary civic, educational, economic, environmental, and social contributions. 

In December 2008, Iwo Jima veteran Gordon Schnulle opened a large cardboard carton that arrived at his Elgin residence. Over 100 letters spilled from the carton. They were letters of thanks from local high school students. Always a faithful marine, Schnulle wrote back to each student.

John Cotton Dana AwardThe Gail Borden Public Library has been honored with the prestigious 2008 John Cotton Dana Award from the American Library Association (ALA) due to community involvement.

The American Library Association (ALA) recently announced that the Gail Borden Public Library District of Elgin, Ill. is the 2006 winner of the Marshall Cavendish Excellence in Library Programming Award for its project "GIANTS: African Dinosaurs, created by Project Exploration" exhibit.

Gail Borden Library Members of the 650 libraries of the North Suburban Library System voted the Gail Borden Public Library the 2006 Library of the Year.

The Illinois Library Association awarded the Gail Borden Public Library  the 2006 Highsmith Award for Innovation.

    * YWCA Corporate Award 2008
    * Mayor's Award for Preservation with historian Mike Alft 2008
    * North Suburban Library System Innovation Award 2008
    * Downtown Neighborhood Association “Community's Favorite Place” Award 2007
    * Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Award 2007
    * Slow Global Warming Visionary Award 2007
    * Illinois Main Street Lieutenant Governor's Award for Excellence in Downtown Revitalization 2006
    * Elgin Image Award 2004 and 2005

In recognition of a marketing campaign that put a new library card in the hands of more than 8,000 U-46 students, the Gail Borden Public Library ( in Elgin has been named the recipient of the 2009 Marketing Award from the North Suburban Library System.