Wayne County Public Library

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About
Name
  • Wayne County Public Library
Information
  • Libraries and Archives and Archives
Services
  • Public Library
Facts
Founded
  • 1897
    Wooster,Ohio
Related
Key Persons
Key Persons
Location
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  • Shreve
    • 189 McConkey St., Shreve, Ohio
  • Creston
    • 116 S. Main St., Creston, Ohio
  • Doylestown
    • 169 N. Portage St., Doylestown, Ohio
  • Rittman
    • 49 W. Ohio Ave., Rittman, Ohio
  • West Salem
    • 99 E. Buckeye St., West Salem, Ohio
  • Dalton
    • 127 S. Church St., Dalton, Ohio
  • Wooster Main Library
    • 220 W. Liberty St., Wooster, Ohio
  • Operations Center and Bookmobile
    • 304 N. Market St., Wooster, Ohio
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Wooster Free Library Association

By 1897, more interest was generated and the citizens met and organized the Wooster Free Library Association. Anyone could become a member of the subscription library by signing the constitution and paying a fee of $1.00. There was also an annual fee of $1.00. The Association and the library were governed by a Board of Trustees elected annually by the members. A standing committee on the library was also chosen to meet monthly to select all reading materials, hire the librarian, and other staff members, and to attend to all other matters relating to the library.

On April 10, 1897 the committee met and hired its first librarian, Miss Bertha Ellsperman, at a salary of three dollars per week and a janitor and set the library hours as 9-11 a.m. and 12-8 p.m. each day from October to April. The Women's Christian Association ladies managed the reading room in the morning before the librarian arrived for her afternoon and evening duties. In May 1897, the Trustees voted to move the library to the southeast corner of East Liberty and Buckeye Streets where a two year lease was taken on the second floor.

In November of 1897, the Trustees clarified the duties of the librarian. Morning hours were discontinued and Miss Ellsperman was solely responsible for library operations throughout the day. She was permitted one evening off per week, provided it was not Saturday evening and that her substitute was acceptable to the board.

In 1899, the Trustees had discovered a state statute that gave local boards of education the privilege of levying a tax for the support of the public library. In 1900, the Wooster Board of Education agreed to help the Trustees maintain the library.

In 1901, Miss Ellsperman was relieved of her duties as librarian because the Trustees felt "for the best future growth and proper development of the library, change was advisable." Mrs. Elizabeth McBride was selected as a substitute replacement until a suitable permanent librarian could be found. Mrs. Elizabeth McBride stayed until April 1905 when Della M. Dice was elected librarian. Mrs. McBride became Della Dice's assistant.

In 1903, seeking a way to secure adequate funding for the library, the Trustees again approached the Wooster Board of Education. The Ohio Legislature had passed in 1902 an act that authorized local Boards of Education to collect real estate tax for library purposes. The Wooster Board of Education agreed to the establishment of a School District Library. The Trustees were now appointed by the Wooster Board of Education.

Wayne County Public Library

The Wayne County Public Library was officially established in 1897. Its former name was the Wooster Public Library and Museum. On January 1, 1960, the Wayne County District Public Library was created.

By this time, the library had been serving the county for many years. Library building conditions at all the branches and Main continued to deteriorate. At Main, there was insufficient space to provide the services and materials that were needed by the community.

In 1962, a tax levy was placed on the ballot to raise money for construction of a new main library. The levy failed and the library was forced to explore other possibilities. The County Budget Commission gave the library three annual payments of $63,500 and in 1965, $200,000 in federal aid was granted for the building fund.

Creston moved into new quarters in January 1961 and Rittman followed soon after.

On September 20, 1965 the architectural firm Tuchman and Canute presented the drawings of the new building. Since the new building was to be built on the site of the existing library, temporary quarters had to be found for the collection. the library moved in November 1965 to the Crater Motor building on East North Street where it remained until the new building was completed in March 1967. The formal dedication ceremony was held on October 8, 1967.

Miss Schantz retired in March 1969 and was replaced by Miss Margaret Hauenstein who had begun her library career at Wooster High School and then had moved on to Cleveland Public Library and Cuyahoga County Public Library before returning to her native Wooster.

Family service was started by the bookmobile in September 1972. The bookmobile made stops at thirteen Wayne County communities without branches. These stops were held in the afternoons and evenings to give adults better access to reading materials. The third week of the schedule was designated for town stops while the first two weeks were used to make stops at fourteen county elementary schools. Bookmobile service to the junior and senior high schools had been discontinued because most of the schools during consolidation had developed their own libraries.

After two years of planning, the Shreve library finally moved into its new building in November 1972. A formal dedication was held on January 28, 1973. The need for a new library in Doylestown was first presented in 1972 and in September 1973 plans were approved for a new building. However, it was not until November 20, 1977 that the building was finally dedicated. Various community groups had worked together to raise the needed funds for construction of the building and the Wayne County Public Library paid for the interior furnishings as well as the book collection.

Miss Hauenstein retired in January 1980. Joseph Marconi, who had served as director of the Bayliss Public Library and Hiawathaland Library Cooperative in Michigan, was named director.

Art prints, video cassettes, and toys were added to the ever increasing materials collection. With the growth of the collection and the expansion of services offered, the building had become crowded and renovation was needed. With the help of federal funds, the renovation project became a reality and remodeling began in May 1984. A rededication was held April 15, 1985.

In February 1985, the Wayne County Public Library became a member of CLEVNET - a regional automation system owned and operated by Cleveland Public Library. From September 1985 through November 1986 the library staff entered information about the collection at the Main Library into a central database located in Cleveland. In June 1986, computerized library cards were first issued and finally on September 8, 1986 the main circulation desk went online and began to check books in and out with the automated system. The film department followed on October 6, and on December 18, the online Public Access Catalogs (PACs) were installed.

The library had been receiving its funding since the 1930's from the intangibles tax, a county tax levied on stocks and bonds owned by the county residents. The intangibles tax was abolished in 1986 and libraries across the state began receiving an amount equal to 6.3% of the state's income tax revenue.

A new branch in Dalton was approved in June 1988 with construction of the building beginning in October. The building opened in May 1989 and the dedication was held August 27, 1989.

Approval for the new Creston branch building was given in 1990 and groundbreaking ceremonies were held on October 24, 1990. Many obstacles, including ground pollution and lack of funding, had to be overcome before the building was finally dedicated on October 13, 1991.

On Christmas Eve, 1991 at 10:45 a.m., the Wayne County Public Library circulated its 1 millionth item for the first time in one year.

With the percentage received from the state income tax cut back and the demand for materials and services increasing, the library board decided in November 1993 to place a five year one mill operating levy on the ballot. The levy passed 12,683 to 10,385.

Joseph Marconi retired in January 1995. Theodore Allison, Director of the Bellevue Public Library was chosen as his replacement. Following the precedent set in 1901, the board asked for Allison's resignation in November 1995. Despite protests from the staff and the public, the board refused to reinstate Mr. Allison. Alice Finley, Assistant Director, was appointed Acting Director until a replacement could be found. In August 1996, Pamela Hickson-Stevenson, director of the Wadsworth Public Library, was named director.

In November 1996 the first OPLIN (Ohio Public Library Information Network) computer was installed giving the public graphical interface to the Internet.

On February 14, 1997, the 300 year old northern red oak that had shaded both library buildings (Wooster) and countless readers throughout the years had to be cut down.

On June 29, 2001, Pamela Hickson-Stevenson resigned from the Wayne County Public Library to accept a position with the Portage County District Library. Greg Lubelski, Executive Director of the Erie County (PA) Public Library began as the new library director May 2002. He remained until his retirement in 2010. Jimmy Epling was director for a short time in 2010. With Epling's resignation, Jennifer Shatzer became Interim director in October 2010 and was named the new director a few months later by the Board.

Carnegie Library

  • Completed: Mary 1903
  • 2 story (Columbus dark grey brick building)
  • Architect: Vernon Redding (Mansfield, Ohio)
  • Contractor: John H. King (Galion, Ohio)

Slogans

  • "Helping You Discover the World"

Milestones

Quick Facts

  • 1895 - Organized, Women's Christian Association
  • - Prayer services were an early part of the Women's Christian Association and held adjoining to the reading room. Some records indicate they were held in connection with the reading room. [1]
  • 1896 - July, An unidentified man served as librarian and begun to loan the books no later than July. [2]
  • 1896 - December 26, According to a local newspaper, the reading room was developing into a public library. [3]
  • 1897 - Spring, Sufficient number of citizens were interested in organizing the Wooster Free Library Association [4]
  • 1897 - Organized, Wooster Free Library Association
  • 1897 - April 10, the committee hired its first library, Miss Bertha Ellsperman at the salary of three dollars a week and of a janitors at five dollars a month, setting the library hours at 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM and 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM each day from October to April and adding an extra half hour before closing during the other months. The Women's Christian Association ladies were designated to manage the reading room during the morning hours before the librarian arrived. [5]
  • 1897 - May, Trustees voted to move the library to the SW corner of E. Liberty and Buckeye Streets, a 2 year lease was signed for rooms on the 2nd floor from Mrs. S. Fisher for the sum of $7 a month. [6]
  • 1897 - May, The committee on the library decided to spend $100 for new books. Miss Whitford announced that she had cataloged the 700 books which formed the library collection.
  • 1897 - November, Trustees deemed it necessary to define the duties of the library:
    • Miss Bertha Ellsperman was Responsible for the "entire charge" of the library in the afternoon and evening (morning hours were discontinued) giving her total time during these hours connected with the library."
    • Allowed to be absent one evening a week-- provided it was not Saturday and find a substitute satisfactory to the committee on the library.
    • As a daily duty she was to supervise the janitor, reporting any negligence, dusting the tables and desk.
    • Before leaving each day she was to place the papers on file and arrange the books properly on the shelves.
    • Weekly the books, papers and shelves were to be dusted by the librarian.
    • Dealing with the public, the librarian was "to see that general order is maintained, due courtesy exercised and all rules enforced."
    • She was to collect fines for overdue and misused books.
    • She must know the books in the library and be familiar with their subject, title, author, and location on the shelf.
    • [7]
  • 1899 - The Trustees discovered a state statue which gave local boards of education the opportunity to levy a tax in support of the public library [8]
  • 1900 - The Wooster Board of Education agreed to "aid the Trustees in maintaining a library"[9]
    • Miss Ellsperman's annual report showed that boys from 10-18 years old were the most frequent library users and were interested in travels, adventure, history and science. Books for homework were requested, as well as, books used for discussion at art and literary club meetings. "Obligation cards" showed that 856 borrowers and the circulation for each month varied from 300 to 900 books for a total of 7,079 for the year. [10]
  • 1901 - September, Miss Ellsperman was relieved of her duties as library because the Trustees felt that "for the best future growth and proper development of the library change was advisable." [11]
    • Mrs. Elizabeth McBride was selected as a substitute until a suitable candidate could be found. She stayed as librarian until April 1905. [12]
  • 1903 - January, the Board of Trustees at the library as Mr. Mullins to write to Andrew Carnegie, the famous philanthropist, asking for funds for a new building. Mr. Mullins was reluctant, but agreed to write the letter the next day. He quickly received a reply back offering $12,000 which the Trustees decided insufficient for the building project. Again, they urged Mr. Mullins to write and ask for $15,000 which was the sum finally granted. Mr. Carnegie's only requirement for the library (which never bore his name) was that Wooster raise $500 a year for the building's maintenance.[13]
  • 1903 - April 13, Trustees formed a committee to confer with the Wooster Board of Education to see if they would assume responsibility of the library. This would provide the library with real estate tax collection according to "An act authorizing Boards of Education to provide library privileges for city, village, and special school districts" passed by the Ohio Legislature on October 17, 1902. It is worthy to note [14]
  • 1903 - May 21, The Wooster Board of Education accepted and appointed the same Board of Trustees of the library. The library now becomes a school district library. Each teacher was issued a circulation card for school use that the teacher could check out for students' use the books required in the pupils' reading course. [15]
  • 1903 - June 23, Trustees examined several buildings sites and chose 304 N. Market St., Wooster, Ohio which they purchased from John Fawcett Larwill for $4,500. [16]
  • 1905 - April, Della M. Dice was elected library and Mrs. Elizabeth McBride became her assistant. The Trustees received other applicants during this period, but no word is given why no action was taken. [17]
  • 1905 - May, the building was ready and a dedication ceremony was held. The cost of the construction was $14,262, add to that $4,500 for land, architect's fee of $525 and other miscellaneous expenses make the total cost of the library $23,000. [18]
  • 1905 - Wooster Free Library Association changes name to Wooster Public Library and Museum
  • 1905 - [[Rules for the Wooster Public Library and Museum (1905)|Rules for the Wooster Public Library and Museum were drawn up.
  • 1959 - November 18, The Trustees felt this was an unwise move and controversy raged throughout the county for several months. Amid threats of a motion to be placed on the ballot in November and publicity that extended beyond the county, the Board of Trustees, after considerable debate and negotiations, finally signed a resolution on November 18, 1959 that would change the legal status of the library.
  • 1960 - January 1, the Wayne County District Public Library was created.

Board of Trustees WCPL Library

Directors of Library WCPL

  1. History of the Wayne County Public Library: a research paper submitted to the Kent State University Library School in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Mast of Library Science, by Joyce A. McKnight. June, 1970, p. 7.
  2. History of the Wayne County Public Library: a research paper submitted to the Kent State University Library School in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Mast of Library Science, by Joyce A. McKnight. June, 1970, p. 8.
  3. History of the Wayne County Public Library: a research paper submitted to the Kent State University Library School in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Mast of Library Science, by Joyce A. McKnight. June, 1970, p. 7.
  4. History of the Wayne County Public Library: a research paper submitted to the Kent State University Library School in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Mast of Library Science, by Joyce A. McKnight. June, 1970, p. 8.
  5. History of the Wayne County Public Library: a research paper submitted to the Kent State University Library School in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Mast of Library Science, by Joyce A. McKnight. June, 1970, p. 9-10.
  6. History of the Wayne County Public Library: a research paper submitted to the Kent State University Library School in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Mast of Library Science, by Joyce A. McKnight. June, 1970, p. 10.
  7. History of the Wayne County Public Library: a research paper submitted to the Kent State University Library School in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Mast of Library Science, by Joyce A. McKnight. June, 1970, p. 10-11|History of the Wayne County Public Library: a research paper submitted to the Kent State University Library School in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Mast of Library Science, by Joyce A. McKnight..
  8. History of the Wayne County Public Library: a research paper submitted to the Kent State University Library School in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Mast of Library Science, by Joyce A. McKnight. June, 1970, p. 11.
  9. History of the Wayne County Public Library: a research paper submitted to the Kent State University Library School in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Mast of Library Science, by Joyce A. McKnight. June, 1970, p. 11.
  10. History of the Wayne County Public Library: a research paper submitted to the Kent State University Library School in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Mast of Library Science, by Joyce A. McKnight. June, 1970, p. 11-12.
  11. History of the Wayne County Public Library: a research paper submitted to the Kent State University Library School in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Mast of Library Science, by Joyce A. McKnight. June, 1970, p. 12.
  12. History of the Wayne County Public Library: a research paper submitted to the Kent State University Library School in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Mast of Library Science, by Joyce A. McKnight. June, 1970, p. 12.
  13. History of the Wayne County Public Library: a research paper submitted to the Kent State University Library School in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Mast of Library Science, by Joyce A. McKnight. June, 1970, p. 14.
  14. History of the Wayne County Public Library: a research paper submitted to the Kent State University Library School in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Mast of Library Science, by Joyce A. McKnight. June, 1970, p. 13.
  15. History of the Wayne County Public Library: a research paper submitted to the Kent State University Library School in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Mast of Library Science, by Joyce A. McKnight. June, 1970, p. 13.
  16. History of the Wayne County Public Library: a research paper submitted to the Kent State University Library School in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Mast of Library Science, by Joyce A. McKnight. June, 1970, p. 14.
  17. History of the Wayne County Public Library: a research paper submitted to the Kent State University Library School in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Mast of Library Science, by Joyce A. McKnight. June, 1970, p. 12.
  18. History of the Wayne County Public Library: a research paper submitted to the Kent State University Library School in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Mast of Library Science, by Joyce A. McKnight. June, 1970, p. 14.