Saturday, February 05, 2011

Wilmington (Ohio) Public Library

Wilmington Public Library Vintage Postcard
The old and the new.  Wilmington (Ohio) Public Library.

1997 addition to the Carnegie Library, main entrance now faces north, instead of west.  From this website.

According to the 1985 County Seat Calendar:  In early February of 1816, leading citizens formed a library association.  "No books to discredit the Christian religion" was their motto and thus, all novels and plays were excluded from the library collection except Oliver Goldsmith's Vicar of Wakefield.

February 7, 1902 - The Carnegie Foundation grants $10,000 to the town for a new library.  It opens in June of 1904, replacing the small Main Street library of the DAR who financed it partially by selling a collection of old rubber boots from school children.  There was also a bequest by Samuel Walker, which occurred during the Carnegie negotiations and resulted in a token library space set up in the Walker Building.  It is honored for years by the Rice family, which ran the furniture store and saw that an upstairs shelf always had books on it.

From the library's website: Members of the George Clinton Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, founded the Wilmington Library Association in 1899. That summer they opened with 500 books in two rooms on Main Street and were offered rent free in a building owned by the First National Bank of Wilmington.

Knowing the work of Andrew Carnegie, the association wrote a request to him in 1902. Carnegie granted $10,000 followed by an additional $2,500 asked by the association. Grant requirements included a supporting levy, subsequently adopted at $1,000 a year by Wilmington village council.

The library opened in June 1904 on the site it occupies today.

From Wikipedia: In 1899 the George Clinton Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution began a subscription library in two rooms of the First National Bank building. They raised $710 and purchased furniture, shelving, books and periodicals. Minnie Farren was employed as the first librarian. Tickets that gave the purchaser the privileges of library and reading room use for one year could be purchased for $1.00.

Members of the community donated many items and various groups held fundraisers to benefit the library. The Six-and-Twenty Club began their tradition of donating books to the library every year.
The Library Aid Society was organized in March 1900. Members donated funds at the monthly meetings. Books from the State Library of Ohio were loaned on a rotating basis.

In 1903 Andrew Carnegie gave ten thousand dollars for the purpose of building a free public library building, provided the village council should appropriate one thousand dollars annually toward the support of the library.

In 1933 the structure for library funding in Ohio was changed. Funding was to be derived from the Intangible Tax on stocks and bonds to be distributed on a county basis. A flaw of this structure was that the amount of money collected depended upon the number of local residents who owned investments. Areas with a significant tax base did relatively well under this system while areas with a small tax base were under-funded or virtually unfunded by the Intangibles Tax collection.

The Walker Annex was completed in 1938. Bookmobile service began in 1940. In 1961 a bookmobile garage was added to the south side of the building. A second level was added above that to be used as an adult reading room.

In 1979 a Friends of the Library was created. The group supports the library in many ways. There is an annual book sale to raise funds for special projects. The Friends also decorate the library for Christmas, host special events such as the 100th anniversary celebration in 2004, and assist with other events through the year.

Children visiting a bookmobile operated by the Wilmington Public Library in Wilmington, Ohio, 1941.  Picture from OhioPix: Picturing Ohio's History: Selections from theh Ohio Historical Society's Collection.

As most of you know I collect library postcards, especially Carnegie libraries.  I do not (yet) have a card from the Wilmington Public (Carnegie) Library.  The one shown above is available for $14.95 but I'm not that desperate to add it to my collection.

The Wilmington Library also has the distinction of having employed two members of our family.  I worked there in 1965, sorting obituary clippings and shelving books until they discovered I could correctly type card catalog cards.  That was enough experience in tech services that I decided I preferred the public side of the library.  Not sure of the exact dates that Serena worked there, but early 2000s.

1 comment:

Mary Uible Crowson said...

How funny, Catherine---didn't realize you had worked at WPL or that you got a "promotion"!!

Items from Uible photo album