In the last of our series on library history, we’re going to talk about the library’s current building, from its construction to today. We’ll touch on the limitations of this building and how our new facility will benefit all members of the community.
When the Carnegie Library burnt down in 1958, the library board was unsure of the best way to proceed. A temporary library was established on North Cherry Street while they decided. Some members of the community advocated for rebuilding the Carnegie Library in its original form, but this idea was ultimately scrapped because the design of the building would be limited and it would be more costly than building a new library.
In December of 1959, the board decided to use the $240,000 of insurance money received from the fire to build a completely new building. In July of 1960, the ground was broken, and by September of 1961 the first load of furniture was brought in. The new library building was officially dedicated on November 3, 1961.
This building has still undergone some major changes over the years. It was expanded in 1967 and 1984, and had more significant updates in 1996. Despite all these changes, our current building can no longer adequately serve the needs of the community. Here are a few ways the new building will help us, and you:
- The new building will be 68,110 square feet, while the current one is only 36,800
- Room for 30,000 more items
- Twice as much seating
- Wider aisles with books shelved within reach
- Improved restrooms, including family and all-gender restrooms
- A large community room with kitchen that will be accessible outside library hours, plus a meeting room and conference room
That’s just a preview of what the new building has to offer. If you have questions about the building or the process, stop by the library and we’ll be happy to answer them. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Originally published in The Burg.