History of the Lorain Public Library System

History of the Lorain Public Library  as of August 18, 1903

This speech was read at the Cornerstone Laying Ceremony of the Lorain Public Library's new Carnegie Library building on August 19, 1903 by Margaret Deming, Librarian:

It is no mistaken enthusiasm that says that today, that witnesses the laying of the cornerstone of the beautiful building which is to be the home of the Lorain Public Library is one of the greatest days in the history of the town. Great were those other days which saw the establishment of those immense industries which in the last ten years have more than quadrupled the population of the town & have abundantly ensured its commercial prosperity. Almost as momentous, I take it, is the movement which places on firm and permanent basis a free public library in our midst; for the spirit which is directing the library of today has placed it side by side with the public school as the great factor of modern civilization. The function of the library is far from stopping, as its detractors foolishly say, with the dissemination of fiction which shall beguile our minds from the cares and monotonies of our daily lives. While I make no quarrel with that purpose, far reaching as it may be, I do say that the true purpose of the Library is to broaden and uplift the life of the community in which it stands along every channel of activity; to; support and supplement the work of the public schools and when school doors are closed behind one, to make self-education possible; to aid and encourage social reforms, municipal improvements; literary movements; investigation and research to aid the workman in his work and the mother in her home - and above all and always to open the doors to that elect society which it is the privilege of us all to enjoy when we read good books.

With the realization before us of all that the public library, wisely directed, may stand for, it become deeply interesting to look over its history in this town and especially it is a source of gratification to give the full meed of praise to those determined workers whose efforts have given it to us and to the public spirit and disinterested generosity of the man who has endowed it with a beautiful and appropriate home.

The Lorain Public Library is not yet three years old. It seems, in looking back over the meager records, that there had always been fitful talk of having a public library here. From time to time other libraries had been started. So far as I have learned, the first movement in that direction was made by the wife of our Mayor, who honors us today by participating in our program. For some time she conducted a small circulating library at her place of business on Duane Street. It was succeeded by the subscription library of the W.C. T.U. (Women's Christian Temperance Union) which consisted of a few hundred volumes; that in turn by the little library and reading room started in 1897 in the Franklin Hotel block. About that same time the WIMODAUGHSIS, a ladies literary society, placed their small collection of 80 books in circulation, through subscription. The only books in free circulation in the city before the present library became free were those in the school libraries. These had their origin in the little High School library started in the '80s with money earned by the pupils at commencement and Junior exhibitions. Later the School Board appropriated money from time to time for branch libraries in the grade buildings. These serve an excellent purpose but naturally the collections are small, restricted in scope, and reach only a limited public. Lorain was still far, very far, from the public library ideal which is beginning to animate the whole of our American life. The 20th century is the age of the public library, in the words of our generous donor, just as the 19th was the age of steam or the 13th that of glorious cathedrals. And the first year of that century was marked in Lorain by the final establishment of a library which was not to fail as its trembling predecessors had done, from lack of support, and which was in time to be for the free use of all the people and for all time.

It is my happy privilege today to carry your thoughts back to those first days of our library's history and to give with you all honor to that determined little band of women to whom we owe its existence.

As has proved true over and over again in library history, it was the women, the women who are today assuming so large a share of the burden of our modern philanthropies, who in Lorain determined that the public library should be no longer a thing talked about, sighed for or vaguely desired, but an actuality and a potent force in our civic life.

It happened at a meeting of the Sisterhood, a charitable and literary organization, in April of 1900. After the business of the day had been transacted someone incidentally brought up the oft-mooted question of the library. The time was ripe. There was instant enthusiasm. The ladies said, "Let us constitute ourselves a library committee here and now and begin the good work without further delay." An organization committee was appointed composed of the following women: Mrs. E.M. Pierce, chairman; Mrs. A.E. Thompson, Mrs. F.W. McIlvaine, Mrs. J.H. Hills, Mrs. Isaac Honeker, Mrs. J.B. Hoge, Mrs. F.D. Ward, Mrs. S. Klein, Mrs. Thomas Gawn and Mrs. W.R. Comings. They called a meeting at the Opera House the following Monday afternoon to which all women interested were invited. There an organization was effected the name of Library Board and the project launched. It is a pleasure to commemorate the names of the women forming this Board: Mrs. E.M. Pierce, chairman; Mrs. J.H. Hills, Secretary and Treasurer; Mrs. W. R. Comings; Mrs. F.D. Ward; Mrs. F.W. McIlvaine; Mrs. McKee; Mrs. J.A. Graham; Mrs. S. Klein, and Mrs. C.B. Hopkins.

From then until the formal opening in October of that year the history of the library is one of a dauntless struggle against heavy odds.

There was everything to be done and no money to do it with. But the ladies went energetically to work. A series of entertainments were given which brought in $120.00. The Wimodaughsis contributed their library of 80 volumes and the case containing it; and the remains of the previous library efforts were turned over to the cause. And this was discouragingly little. The first real support to the cause was given by the Reading Room Board. This was a body of five men, composed of Rev. A.E. Thompson, Chairman; W.C. Fisher, F.P. Bins, E.C.Loofbourrow, and S.L. Bowman. These men had organized under the energetic leadership of Mr. Thompson for the purpose of opening a free reading room. They had secured private subscriptions sufficient to rent and maintain the present library quarters on Franklin Street for one year and to subscribe for $125.00 worth of magazines and newspapers. They granted the use of the room and attendant to the ladies for the library.

The Library and Reading Room were opened together October first, 1900. A book shower was held and many books were added to the small collection. So small had outside support been that it was necessary to begin as a subscription library, borrowers being required to pay $1.00 per year for the privilege of drawing books, a regulation which continued only until the following April. The following winter the Lecture Course was started in the interest of the Library. During the two years that it has been maintained it has turned over over $600.00 to the library fund. As is well known it is to be continued the coming winter and it is trusted will prove even more successful than in the past.

In January of 1901, feeling the necessity of cooperation and reorganization, the Library Board and Reading Room Board united and were duly incorporated under the name of Lorain Public Library Association. At the time of incorporation there were 520 books in the library.

The first meeting was held in April. Mr. E.E. Hopkins was elected first president, a position he still fills. The organization was effected along lines as free as possible from sectarian or party prejudice. The membership was limited to 50 - the terms of office are self-perpetuating.

They made it their first duty to secure from the Board of Education the tax levy provided by the library law of February 16, 1898, for the support of free libraries in cities of the fourth grade of the second class. They were successful - the following year - 1902. The Library was awarded a tax of three tenths mill on the property of the municipality, amounting to about $1,300. Through this means the Library was at last on some sort of a financial footing, and the Association, encouraged by the wonderful liberality and public spirit shown by Mr. Carnegie in his many gifts of library buildings throughout the country, applied to him for a building.

The terms of the gift require all towns making application to subscribe a yearly maintenance of at least 10% of the value of the gift and a suitable site. The Common Council accordingly voted in June of that year a library tax that should yield at least $3,000. The present site was obtained the following August. The same month came the letter from Mr. Carnegie giving the city of Lorain a library building that should cost $30,000. The contract for the building was signed April 20th, 1903, (with) Chicago architects who have won distinction for their successful work in library construction. These momentous results have been accomplished largely through the energy and ability of the building committee, composed of E.M. Pierce, Chairman; F.A. Rowley, and J.M. Jones, succeeded by W.C. Fisher.

The present officers of the Association are E.E. Hopkins, President; W.G. Fisher, Vice-President; C.S. Daniels, Secretary; F.A. Rowley, Treasurer; Margaret Deming, Librarian.

The Board of Trustees are J.W. Jones, E.M. Pierce, Mrs. J.H. Hills, Mrs. McIlvaine, W.C. Fisher, George Wickens, E.E. Hopkins, and F.A. Rowley.

The success of the Library now rests with the citizens in whose interest it is maintained. It is now perfectly free to all residents of Lorain and to non-resident tax-payers. There are now about 2,000 volumes on its shelves. It receives by subscription or gift six daily newspapers, eighteen weeklies, and twenty five monthly magazines. In its brief history it has received two important gifts: Mr. J.R. Rogers, formerly Superintendent of the Lorain public schools - distinguished as long as he was here by his cordial support of the town's best interests - sent $50 when it was still struggling for existence; and Mrs. C.B. Alexander, of New York City, sent a similar sum this last spring for the purchase of children's books. We have also received as an indefinite loan Warner's Library of the World's Best Literature. I would say in closing that we are far from being beyond the need of such substantial recognition. If any of you have standard works on your own shelves that are filling no very useful purpose, remember that they could fulfill their mission splendidly in the library. If any of you have money to give you could invest it in no more certain philanthropy.

Chronology of the Lorain Public Library System

1883

On January 10, 1883, the first attempts to start a library for the city start as an association library begins. The Lorain Library Association sells 100 shares of stock. The association library operated from the dentist office of Dr. Purcell. Mayor J. G. Clark serves as President, Miss H. G. Burrett is Vice-President, and Miss Abbie Reid is Secretary. Each borrower is allowed to borrow as many books as he/she owns shares.

School Superintendent John R. Rogers returns from a meeting of the teachers' association and pleads for a library for the children. There is no school library as yet and the school board cannot buy books for one. Mr. Rogers begins collecting for a school library.

1886

It seems that the village is not yet ready to support a public library. In May the Lorain Library Association dissolves dues to lack of interest and it turns its assets over the Board of Education. Circulation of books from the Association Library has averaged less than one book a week. The School Board already has a small library collection of books and adds the Library Association books to their collection.

1897

A small library and reading room is started in the Franklin Hotel block. About the same time the WIMODAUGHSIS ladies literary society places a collection of 80 books in circulation by subscription.

1900

The city of Lorain has a population of 16,028. Members of the city's three literary clubs, WIMODAUGHSIS, the Historical and Literary Club and The Round Table, form the Lorain Sisterhood Library Board. . The women's Library Board gives entertainments to raise money for a library. At least $120 is raised this way. The WIMODAUGHSIS donates its collection of 80 books. The W.C.T.U. gives its book collection as well. Book showers are also held. The Lorain Library Association opens a library in October in a small frame building at 202 5th Street near Broadway Avenue. The rent is $10 per month.

Reverend A. Eugene Thompson, pastor of the First Congregational Church, along with Prof. F. D. Ward, Superintendent of Schools, sparks the start of a reading room for young men. The gentlemen are able to garner pledges of $113 in the first afternoon of their fund raising endeavors. The collection starts with not quite 500 books and is housed in a building owned by Mr. F. A. Rowley. The reading room is housed in the old Lorain Herald building at 110 Franklin Street. Mr. Rowley had housed the Lorain Herald in this building until he erected a new building for the newspaper on Broadway Avenue.

In the summer the Sisterhood Library Board and the Reading Room Board explore combining their efforts. The two groups hold a joint meeting in September and they agree to open a Public Reading Room at 110 Franklin Street in October. Owing to lack of funds the group initially starts as a subscription library.

Rev. A. Eugene Thompson serves as President of the Lorain Public Reading Room Board from April, 1900 - April, 1901. Mrs. Elisha M. Pierce serves as President of the Lorain Library Board from April, 1900, - April 23, 1901.

1901

The Lorain Sisterhood Library Board and the men's Reading Room Board unite and officially incorporate in April as the Lorain Library Association. The collection now numbers about 520 books. [A copy of the BYLAWS of the Lorain Library Association is appended to this Chronology.]

The first annual meeting of the Lorain Library Association is held on April 22nd.Mr. E.E. Hopkins serves as President of the Library Board of Trustees from April 23, 1901 to April, 1905. The other nine members of the Board are Mr. Elisha M. Pierce, Mrs. J. H. Hills, Rev. A. Eugene Thomson, Mr. Frank P. Bins, Mrs. Floyd W. McIlvaine, Mr. George Wickens, Mr. W. R. Comings, and Mr. F. A. Rowley. At this meeting the trustees appoint a committee to make an application to Andrew Carnegie for a donation for the purpose of building a library.

The letterhead of the Library Association states that "the Lorain Public Library Association is an organization of citizens having for its object the management of a free public library and reading room."

Miss Alice Wadsworth serves as Assistant Librarian as of December 1st.

1902

The Lorain Public Library Association has 50 members. 477 people are regularly "drawing" from the book collection. An average of 35 people use the reading room daily.

On July 21st M. Hopkins receives notification from the Carnegie Foundation of an award to the city for erection of a library building. On July 22nd, the City Council passes a resolution fixing a tax levy for library purposes. On July 24th, the Library Association decides that the Streator Park location is the one wanted for the new library building.

The Lorain Library Association notifies Andrew Carnegie of the acceptance of his terms for his gift of $30,000 for the erection of a library building. The terms require that two conditions be met by the city: a suitable site must be provided for erection of the building and the city must promise to support the library with an annual appropriation amounting to $3,000 or 10% of the cost of the erection of the building. The Lorain City Council passes an ordinance amending the tax levy from 4/10 of a mill to .75 for the amount required by the Carnegie grant. The Council also passes a resolution that not less that $3,000 would be raised annually for the public library.

On July 24, 1902 the Lorain Library Association chooses the northeast corner of Streator Park, on West 10th Street, as the site for the new Carnegie Library building.

At its April meeting the trustees decide to employ a trained and experienced librarian but to continue with the Assistant Librarian until a Librarian is secured.

The Book Committee of the Lorain Library Association rents the Lorain Opera House and holds a lecture course, the proceeds of which are used to purchase materials and equipment for the library.

1903

The Lorain Library Association secures a library tax levy from the Board of Education. $1,300 is given to the Library.

At the March 3rd meeting of the Trustees Miss Margaret Deming is appointed Librarian at a salary of $60 per month. She is the Library's first professional librarian. She graduated from Stanford with a B.A. in 1897, and from the Albany Library School in 1903 with a Bachelor of Library Science. Her philosophy of library work is to 1) buy books; 2) reach the people with these books; 3) organize the work within the library according to modern library methods.

At the April Trustees meeting the installation of a telephone is approved. Patrons can call the library for information, answers to questions and to renew books.

The Trustees decide to expand the current library (the rented quarters) by renting the back room. The rent is increased from $10 to $15 per month. A portion of this back room is curtained off to be a separate Children's Room. There are approximately 2,500 books in the (old) Lorain Public Library. 1,723 books have been added to the collection this year. Borrowers may borrow two books at a time - one fiction and one non-fiction.

The Lorain YMCA requests a sub-station library be established at the YMCA. This is the origin of the present South Lorain Branch Library.

The cornerstone is laid on August 18th for a new library building. A "sunny west room on the second floor" is planned for use as a Children's Room in the new building. Click here to read the speech read at the dedication day ceremony: Cornerstone Laying Ceremony.

1904

By the beginning of April the collection includes about 134 children's books.

The Carnegie Public Library building on 10th Street is dedicated on May 20, 1904. Area residents may pay $1 per year to borrow books. There are approximately 3,240 books, six newspapers and 53 magazines in the collection. The library's first printed catalog is issued at the dedication. The catalog is entitled Complete Catalog of the Books in the Lorain Public Library, May, 1904. The catalog is used by patrons who either telephone in to reserve titles or who send their children for the titles. Children's circulation of books accounts for 44% of the first year's circulation from the new building.

Since Miss Deming has become Librarian circulation at the library has increased from 300 books per month to over 4,000 per month. The total circulation for 1903 is 27,269 volumes. 2,437 readers have been issued library cards. The city's population is 16,028.

At the April 25th Annual Meeting the Trustees of the Lorain Public Library Association officially change the name of the library to Lorain Public Library.

Librarian Margaret C. Deming resigns at the end of the year.

1905

The new Head Librarian is Miss Grace D. Chapman; the Assistant Librarian is S. Florence MacLane.

The Lorain Public Library owns 40 books in German and 15 in Hungarian.

The Library sponsors lectures for the public in its auditorium; a fee is charged. On March 10, 1905, an illustrated lecture on the Indians of the Northwest is presented. The proceeds from the admittance fee are used to "swell the library's German collection which is not adequate to the many demands of the readers."

Non-residents of Lorain may borrow books by paying $.30 for three months. A deposit station for the return of books is set up at W. C. Fisher's jewelry store at 444 Broadway.

In September the Library presents its first Saturday afternoon story programs for children. As many as 250 children crowd into the auditorium. For one program Japanese and Armenian students from Oberlin College, wearing native costume, talk to the children.

Mr. Elisha M. Pierce serves as President of the Library Board of Trustees from April, 1905 - January 26, 1920.

1906

Librarian Grace D. Chapman recommends in the annual report for April, 1905 - April, 1906 that permanent branches are needed in South Lorain and the north end of the business district. She says "A no less important task is that of bringing the books to the people - not the leisure classes but those who have neither the time nor inclination to go on a long detour from their place of business for sake of even a new book or the current magazine."

1907

Miss Frances Root becomes Lorain's fifth Librarian. She is a professional librarian and descended from early area pioneers. Later, after marriage to A. K. Hibbard, she serves as a library trustee and president of the trustees.

As of November 4, 1907 new books at the Lorain Public Library include Silas Marner and House of the Seven Gables.

An East Side book station is established in Capt. Ingraham's Grocery Store. A small case holding about 60 books is located there. Books are issued each Friday afternoon from 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.. At the YMCA book deposit books are circulated one hour per week. 780 books circulate from this location during the year. The South Lorain deposit station is open Fridays from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The East Side book station is so successful that another book station is established in South Lorain at Mr. Chapin's Dry Goods Store. This station is open on Fridays from 3:00 to 5:30 and has an average circulation of 100 books per week.

Librarian Frances Root writes in her annual report: "A relatively large proportion of the population of Lorain is foreign. The few books we have in Hungarian and German have been literally read to pieces. If we might have a gradually increasing collection of foreign books we should receive the active and most appreciative patronage of a new class of people." Miss Root also writes that the work of the Reference Department has practically doubled due to use by school children, especially those in the high school.

The trustees adopt a policy to have the library's fiscal year close annually on December 31st.

1908

The Head Librarian is Miss Frances Root; the East Side Branch Librarian is Miss Randall; the South Lorain Branch Librarian is Miss Kemery.

The Library loans books to the 13th Avenue School and Vine Avenue School since these two buildings have the most difficult access to the public library.

The East Side station circulates 5,267 books. The South Lorain Station circulates 4,877 books.

The Trustees instruct Miss Root to contact library schools for an assistant librarian. This is the first step for Lorain Public Library to add its second professional librarian to the its staff. Trustees abolish paid position of secretary and combine the duties of that position with that of the librarian. The librarian is still paid the usual salary carried in the budget.

Miss Tristam of the Children's Department arranges for Miss Lindsay and her pupils of the Fairhome School to present a dramatization of the Birds Christmas Carol in the Library auditorium for an audience of over 450 children.

1,355 foreign language book circulations are tallied this year. The most popular additions to this collection are 35 volumes of books in Polish and 38 books in German. In her annual report Miss Root reports "With the large and flourishing colonies of Germans, Poles, and Hungarians, there is an ever increasing need for collections of foreign books. These people are largely property owners and it is but right that they should have some return on the proportion of their taxes spent on the library."

1909

The Library circulates over 1,740 foreign language books.

The library's stationery is labeled: The Lorain Free Public Library.

Financial records for the year show income from taxes to be $4,869. This is the year that the library purchases a typewriter for a cost of $87.75. One of the library's expenses this year is "care of trees - $60.00". Staff salary costs are $2,016.83; and books and magazines cost $1,478.

The South Lorain station is open two afternoons a week. Miss Root indicates that there is need for more rooms for both the East and South stations which could serve as neighborhood centers giving opportunities for story hours, boys clubs, etc.

1910

Miss Frances Root resigns as head librarian. Miss Elizabeth K. Steele becomes the sixth librarian of Lorain Public Library. Miss Steele's salary is $75 per month and she is promised an annual salary of $1,000 beginning in January, 1911.

Miss Elizabeth K. Steele writes to a librarian in Ontario, Canada, describing the "new" Lorain Library building: "[it] is a two-story brick structure, somewhat in the shape of a cross, the arms being very short and broad. The Library proper is on the second floor (and I beg of you not to make the same mistake). On the first floor are the Auditorium which will seat about 250 people, a club room which is used by one of the Literary clubs here and furnished by them but which is also used by the Ministers Association, the Settlement Association and another study club for their regular meetings and for the Children's Story Hour on Saturday afternoons, the furnace room, of course the toilet rooms and a hall which is absolutely waste space. The front room on the second floor is the Reference Room, and in here we have all our Classed books except those on Travel and Biography, for which there is no room. At the right, in the Fiction room, in which we have these two departments mentioned above. To the left, is the Children's Room. The desk is in the center, under the skylight, and gives one complete supervision over all the rooms. Behind the desk is a large open room which is designed for a stack room when the collection outgrows our wall space. The Library is now entering upon its seventh year. We have 8,403 volumes, by this year's report, of which 2,282 are Juvenile books. Last year we had a circulation of 57,616 volumes of which 23,063 were juvenile.

The East Side station and South Lorain station are now open three afternoons a week. 8,504 books circulate at the South station and 4,568 circulate at the East station.

2,157 foreign language books circulate.

1912

Class instruction to students in the use of books and the library is now common.

The South Lorain station is moved to the YMCA, where a room with a separate entrance is provided. Library services are provided two afternoons a week.

1913

A local priest assists in assembling a list of Polish language books for the library to purchase.

1914

Lorain Public Library has 9,768 books by the end of the year; circulation for the year is 64,716. The Library owns 282 books in three foreign languages - Polish, Hungarian and German. Circulation of the foreign language books for the year is 2,515.

1915

Of the 35,332 books circulated by the Lorain Public Library, 2,343 are foreign language books.

The East Side station, which had been located in Mr. Hakes' store, is moved to the Stack boot Shop on East Erie Avenue.

1916

Classroom collections of 10 books may be borrowed by public school teachers.

The Library has 2,770 registered borrowers; 700 bear foreign names.

1917

There are 293 books in the foreign language collection: Hungarian - 96; Polish - 80; and German - 117.

1920

Mr. Lester A. Fauver serves as President of the Library Board of Trustees from January 26, 1920 - February, 1931. He had been an original member of the 1901 Lorain Library Association.

A fire in the YMCA makes it necessary to move the South Lorain station to the basement of Lowell School.

The Librarian reports that she is now able to purchase foreign language books now that the war in Europe is over. This is the year that the Library purchases its first books in Slovenian.

1921

Roumanian language books are added to the foreign language books collection as a gift from the Roumanian Bureau of Education.

A collection of books is stationed at the Longfellow School.

Library Trustees ask the YMCA to provide a room for library service in the new YMCA building.

Library Trustees authorize "Homecoming Week". No questions are asked or fines levied if overdue books are returned.

The Trustees are urged by the Librarian to take on the challenge of tracking down and collecting local history information about the early history of Lorain for preservation in the Library.

1922

Circulation at the branch locations is 15,409 at the YMCA; 4,872 at the East Side Branch, and 3,465 at the Longfellow School branch.

Miss Evelyn Yeaton is employed by the Library.

1923

Classroom collections of 10 to 30 books are provided for classes at Harrison, Brownell, and Whittier Schools.

South Lorain Branch is moved from the YMCA when it is torn down to a basement room at Lowell School. This location serves children from Lowell, Lincoln, Whittier and Oakwood Park area adults.

1924

Miss Elizabeth K. Steele resigns to become Head of the Drama and Music Department of the Detroit Public Library. Miss Evelyn H. Yeaton becomes Head Librarian upon Miss Steele's resignation. Miss Yeaton's salary is $1,800. Miss Eleanor Hall of Port Henry, NY, is appointed First Assistant Librarian and Children's Librarian. She is a graduate of Mt. Holyoke College and of Simmons Library School.

Miss Yeaton reports to the Trustees that the Lorain Tornado passed over the Library without doing a great deal of damage. It costs about $90 to make repairs and replace glass. There are about 1,951 books in circulation at the time of the Tornado but only 73 are lost because of the storm. Some books had to be rebound. The Library replaced 36 lost library cards. Eleven persons owning library cards were killed by the Tornado. The Library closed June 28th at 6:30 but was open on Monday until 6 p.m. The Library operated without electricity for about a week.

By the end of the year the foreign language books collection numbers 466 books. Total library circulation exceeds 100,000 for the first time. 110,403 books were loaned out during the year.

1925

Lorain's first "branch library" is established in South Lorain's new YMCA building. "Home visits" are used to retrieve library overdue books. Circulation of library books for the year exceeds 100,000.

The city's tax revenues decrease so sharply that is become necessary for the city to cut the public library's allocation to $5,000, less than one-half of the previous year's amount. Total expenses for 1924 were $9,845.31. The Library Trustees declare that the library, under the current form of management, cannot go through 1925 without going into debt. In order to obtain more adequate support, it was deemed advisable to reorganize the library according to state law to be a school district library. On April 15, 1925 the Lorain Public Library Association dissolves its corporate existence as the Lorain Public Library Association. The Association requests that the Lorain City Schools establish the Public Library as a school district library. Lorain City Schools appoints a Board of Trustees for the new city school district library. Lorain City Council passes an ordinance to transfer the library property to the new Board of Trustees. Eleanor Yeaton is the Head Librarian.

The Library meeting room and auditorium may be used by groups for meetings.

The South Lorain branch library is moved from Lowell School to the Broadway YMCA near the steel mill.

1927

Lorain Schools Superintendent, Mr. Boone, attends Library Trustees meeting and indicates that a room is available in Hawthorne Junior High School for use as a Library Room.

1928

The Lorain School Board of Education requests that the library trustees establish a branch library at Lorain High School by providing a librarian. The Library's children's librarian, Miss Frances Nicholson, is temporarily transferred to the Lorain High School branch library.

Margaret T. Grant is appointed as Head Librarian.

1929

The East Side Branch is the oldest library branch. It is maintained in the Heilman's Candy Store on California Avenue. The "pitifully inadequate" collection is shelved in a small bookcase between a candy counter and a barbecue roaster. The Library Trustees agree to rent new quarters for the East Side Branch at 339 East Erie Avenue, west of McHenry's Grocery.

During Book Week in November a new children's room is opened on the first floor in what had been the auditorium.

The St. Joseph Hospital receives library service one hour each Thursday morning each week.

1930

Local library patron, Mr. Csontos, compiles and prints a catalog listing the Hungarian language books at the South Lorain Branch Library at his own expense.

The Library opens its fifth branch at the Hawthorne Junior High School with Alice Cook as branch librarian. Other branches were South, East, Lorain High School, and Longfellow Junior High School.

The Library loans a small "model library collection" to Neighborhood House for the summer. Later the Trustees agree to continue to leave the collection at that location.

1931

Mrs. Frances Root Hibbard serves as President of the Library Board of Trustees from 1931 - 1933.

The Library Board of Trustees orders a bookmobile from Gerstenslager Company.

The Library Board and the School Board agree that the schools should employ and pay school librarians and that their work be synchronized by a coordinator on the Lorain Public Library staff.

1933

Mr. Daniel A. Cook serves as President of the Library Board of Trustees from 1933 - Dec. 5, 1934.

Circulation by the end of the year totals 249,338, and there are more than 29,000 volumes on the shelves. The library staff has 12 members. Miss Virginia Pandy heads the Children's Department which conducts reading hours and children's book clubs.

1934

South Lorain Branch Library moves from East 28th Street YMCA to rented quarters in its own building at 3059 Pearl Avenue.

1935

In 1935 the State Library Board designated Lorain Public Library as a County Extension Center, and Columbia Township began to receive monthly Bookmobile Service. Columbia Branch Library was the first branch to be established by Lorain Public Library under this designation. W. P. A. workers are used to help process new books.

Following a trend of public libraries throughout the county, more attention is being given to pamphlet materials that are classified in pamphlet boxes and indexed by means of subject cards in the general catalog.

Trustees approve the expenditure of $500 for a county book collection. Plans for rural extension work are tentatively approved.

Mr. Edward P. Reidy serves as President of the Library Board of Trustees from 1935 - April 1, 1936.

Six librarians of Lorain County meet at Oberlin with Miss Mildred Sandoe of the State Library of Ohio to organize the Lorain County Library Federation. Miss Margaret T. Grant of Lorain Public Library is elected President. This is the beginning of library cooperation in Lorain County. The participating libraries decide to share duplicate titles to create a nucleus of a county book collection. It is also decided that Lorain Public Library is the library ready to prepare and care for the collection. Some 1,400 books are provided for the collection, which is the origin of the Lorain Public Library county book collection and service. Lorain Public Library trustees approves the expenditure of $500 for the county book collection.

Sheffield Lake Village requested a loan of 100-200 books to be circulated in the village. This was the first time the trustees approved loan collections of books outside the city. The Sheffield Lake Village station opened in September in the Gang's Grocery with 200 books. This station was considered as one of the first services provided by the Lorain County Library Federation.

1936

Mrs. Frances Root Hibbard serves as President of the Library Board of Trustees from April 1, 1936 - 1937.

By the end of the year there are twelve collections of books throughout the County, including Amherst School, Brighton School and Clearview School. There are 21 schools and stations that borrow 1,724 books. Student storytellers from Oberlin College participate in a project to introduce the new book collections to the schools.

In June, Mrs. R. O. Snow of the Garfield School P.T.A. presents a petition to the Library Board to have a branch library established in Central Lorain. The petition is discussed at board meetings the rest of the year, but no decision is made due to lack of funds.

Margaret T. Grant reports that the South Lorain Branch librarian says that her branch needs foreign language books in Slovenian, Slovakian, Spanish, Russian, Croatian, and Hungarian. The Main Library also needs books in Polish, Italian and Spanish. Miss Grant suggests that Lorain Public Library contract with Cleveland Public Library for the books.

1937

Miss Grant resigns to become Executive Secretary of the Public Library Commission for the state of New Hampshire.

Total circulation of books is 237,090 this year. The total book stock is 40,960 with 189 periodical subscriptions being received.

Miss Marion M. King is appointed as Head Librarian for the Lorain Public Library. She received her certificate of Library Science from Western Reserve University in 1924 and her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan in 1932. She comes to Lorain from Stow, Ohio, where she was head librarian for five years. She also has two years experience at the Dayton Public Library and served five years on the Oberlin College Library staff.

Rev. Theodore Merten serves as President of the Library Board of Trustees eight different years between January, 1937 and 1946.

In October, Mrs. A. E. Miller of the Garfield School P. T. A. presents another petition to the Library Board to have a branch library established in Central Lorain.

Lorain Public Library provides service at the Lorain County Tuberculosis Sanitarium.

1938

The Library has 5 WPA workers.

The Library contracts with Toledo Public Library to be supplied with books in the following foreign languages: Italian, Hungarian, Slovak, Bulgarian, Ukrainian, Czech and Polish. Usually 100 books are rented for six months. This service continues through 1942.

In February, Mr. George Llewellyn, of the Central Business Men's Association (CBMA) submits a petition to the Library Board to have a branch library established in Central Lorain. In March a delegation of nine people, representing the CBMA, the Garfield School P. T. A., and the Library Board, present the need for a branch library in Central Lorain to the Lorain County Budget Commission at the Elyria Court House. The Budget Commission provides a grant of $3,000 for the branch library.

The Penfield (Central Lorain) Branch open house is held on August 19th. It is located on Broadway at 21st Street. Miss Jean Lawless is the first Branch Librarian. The branch is named in honor of Russell H. Penfield, who was the former owner of most land in Central Lorain. The book collection includes 1,551 books. The branch is open Mondays-Fridays from 1:30 to 5:30. Later the branch name is changed to Central Lorain Branch.

The Board of Trustees adopts a policy that a branch library should not be nearer than one mile to the Main Library and that a person with library training fill the branch librarian position.

The East Side Branch is relocated to 808 East Erie Avenue.

1939

The new Library bookmobile starts service on September 25th. The new bookmobile uses a 1 1/2 ton Dodge chassis. It is constructed by the Orville Body Company for a cost of $1,672. Library service to the North Ridgeville area starts with the bookmobile visits from the Lorain Public Library. Circulation surpasses 51,000 by the end of the year. Miss Eleanor Fenner becomes the Bookmobile Librarian.

1940 Circulation on the bookmobile for the year is over 93,000 items. (In 1938 the Library's stations had circulation slightly over 51,000 items.) The Library's bookmobile is taken to Cincinnati, Ohio, for an exhibition at the American Library Association convention. Librarians from all over the country inspect the Lorain bookmobile. It forms an important link in a parade of more than 15 Ohio bookmobiles; it is the next largest bookmobile in the state. The trip to Cincinnati is financed by the Lorain Journal.

Trustees pass a policy that the Lorain Public Library County Extension Service funds be kept in a separate bank account.

200 books in the history portion of the collection are damaged when water seeps into the second floor of the building during an August rainfall that lasted three days. "Insecure roof flashings" were the culprit in the water damage.

The Library's collection has grown to 50,021 volumes. The Library's expenditures for 1940 are $47,051.80. There are ten staff members.

1941

Mr. Alex J. Cameron serves as President of the Library Board of Trustees from May, 1942 - 1944. Mr. Victor A. McGee serves as President of the Library Board of Trustees from 1941 - 1942.

At year's end the library has 21 employees. The Head Librarian, Marion M. King, writes in the annual report about "The Library in a World at War". These are the four kinds of service to people in the community that she identifies the library as providing: Serving as a War Information Center; Providing Technical Books for Industrial Defense Workers; Helping Maintain Civilian Morale by making available interpretations of current facts and events; and Relieving the Strain of War by providing recreational reading for men, women, and especially children. The Library is permitted gasoline to operate the bookmobile but cuts its stops to once in four weeks.

234,596 books are "lent for home use" during the year.

The Main library closes for two weeks as extensive repairs to the mezzanine are made and new steel shelving stacks are installed on that floor to provide more shelving for the library collection.

Lorain Public Library severs its connection with the Lorain High School Library. The public library stops cataloging the High School Library's books and no longer counts its circulation with the Main Library.

The abolishment of the WPA program helps make it necessary to cut the bookmobile service from weekly stops to stopping once every 4 weeks.

1942

Miss King reports to the Library Trustees that circulation at the library is declining due to the fact that libraries have been established in local elementary schools.

The library collection now numbers 51,209 books. 2,151 were added to the collection in 1941. The W. P. A. project is discontinued this year. As a result there are not enough workers to make bookmobile rounds twice a month. The bookmobile schedule is changed to a four-week basis during the school year. Women bookmobile drivers are hired as it is difficult to find men for the position due to the war.

1943

There are 22 people employed by the library system. Library service is provided from the Main Library, the South Lorain Branch, the Penfield Branch, the East Branch and the bookmobile. The library suffers from a shortage of trained staff through the year as copes, like the rest of the country, with wartime conditions. Salary scales were reconstructed to help attract staff. Hours of operation were cut to find money to pay for the increases in salaries.

1944

Lorain Public Library, Elyria Public Library, and Sandusky Public Library participate in a cooperative book exchange program. A library page at the Lorain Library describes the program as a "lend lease" service.

1945

At the Trustees meeting, a letter from artist, Stephen Donahos, is received where he agrees to design a bookplate to be used in memorial books given to the library in memory of servicemen who gave their lives during the War.

At the April Trustees meeting the Head Librarian and the Trustees discuss the crowded conditions of the Library building and the need to plan on a new library.

In one week's time the Library is able to plan and decorate a float to join the parade welcoming Admiral Ernest J. King to Lorain. The float has a six-foot blue book with Lorain Public Library in white letters for its title. The Children's Librarian, Miss Worthington, sits on the float with four children having a story hour. The float's motto is "Nazis burned books - we build with books."

1946

The Library has 56,000 books and 7,959 borrowers. Staff includes one librarian and 9 assistants. The county bookmobile makes 48 stops; book collections are delivered to 35 classrooms. Books are on deposit in five city schools. In addition to the Main Library there are three other branches in the city - South Lorain Branch, East Branch and Penfield Branch.

In November of 1946, voters approve a one-mill tax levy to build a new library building for the Main Library in Lorain. The bond issue amount is $475,000.

Mr. Judson S. Masson serves as President of the Library Board of Trustees from 1946 - 1954.

The Library is designated as a Documentation Center for the U. S. Department of State publications. United Nations and foreign relations documents are to be sent to the Library.

The Library provides library service at five Lorain public schools: Harrison, Hawthorne, Longfellow, Whittier and Irving. The Trustees hold a special meeting and decide to retain the Lorain County Traveling Library (bookmobile) service.

1947

62% of the library's entire circulation is to children.

The Library begins to contribute information about its adult non-fiction titles to the Union Catalog maintained by the State Library of Ohio.

1948

The Library joins the Northern Ohio Film (16mm) Circuit in September. This is the first public library 16mm film cooperative in the United States. The Carnegie Corporation provides $25,000 to purchase films to be shared by ten Ohio pubic libraries. Seventeen films are included in each circulating collection. The grant is sponsored by the American Library Association.

Chloe Wofford, later known as Toni Morrison, is a page at the Main Library.

1949

The Library starts its phonograph collection with 78 rpm recordings on November 22nd. Mr. And Mrs. J.H. Tucker gave the library a phonograph record player and 3 phonograph records in memory of their son, Lieut. Lewis J. Tucker, who was killed April 13, 1945, on his 43rd mission over Switzerland. The gift marked Lieut. Tucker's 30th birthday anniversary.

By May story hours at the Main, East and South Lorain libraries have drawn an attendance of more than 7,000 children, setting a new record.

The Lions Club donates a ceiling projector book viewer to the Library. 55 books are available that can be delivered with the ceiling viewer to disabled people for use in their homes.

Miss Grace Standen, representing the Lorain Altrusa Club, donates $325 to the library to purchase its first 16mm movie projector.

The bookmobile makes 49 stops per month.

The Library starts a Library Radio Program over WEOL every Saturday at 11:45 a.m. The programs feature children's stories.

Longfellow School's library branch is discontinued due to lack of space in the school building. This service had been started in 1922. 400 books had been on loan at that location.

A party is held for the 61 members of the Lorain Library's children's summer reading club called the "49ers". Games are played and refreshments are served in the junior room. A total of 431 books were read by children during the summer for this reading club.

Seven Lorain library workers are among the 200 attending a Kent State University symposium on "Censorship and Its Implications for Librarians". Those from Lorain include Miss Marion King, Miss Margaret Ambrose, Miss Theresa Perusek, Miss Fern M. Steward, Miss Goldie Berg, Mrs. Marie Fitzharris, and Mrs. Hazel L. Sutton.

1950

Lorain Public Library is a member of a film cooperative lending service with Cleveland Public Library acting as the clearing house for the project.

A total of $350,000 has already been received for the building fund from the one mill five-year levy passed in 1946. The levy is expected to bring in about $500,000 by the end of 1951.

The Lorain Library Board of Trustees raises the salaries of 15 employees. Effective September 1st, under the new plan, persons with college degrees will start at between $2,400 and 2,800 a year and advance to $3,000 to $3,400 in another grade. "Subprofessional" class employees may begin at between $1,860 and $2,040 a year and advance to $2,160 to $2,340, depending on ability and experience. Clerical help starts at either $1,620 or $1,800, and advances to a possible $1,920 or $2,080 depending on ability and classification. All advances are given in six annual wage boosts (steps) instead of five under the old plan.

1951

Mr. C. A. Hoskins of North Ridgeville requests a branch library for the township.

The Trustees place an order for a new bookmobile from the Gerstenslager Company to the replace the bookmobile purchased in 1939. The cost was $8,770. The bookmobile arrives in December and can hold 2,000 volumes. By the end of the year approximately 65,000 books have circulated from the bookmobile. The bookmobile makes 29 school stops and 21 adult stops on a complete tour.

The library experiences an increase in the registration of new borrowers with over 1,800 signing up during the year to bring the total of registered borrowers to over 10,000. At the beginning of the year the popularity of television seems to be cutting into circulation counts but that trend doesn't continue through the entire year. The summer reading program is called "The Tom Sawyer Club."

The library starts service to nursing homes with its first patient deliveries.

In July, Miss Mary Coleman (later Mrs. Mary Conser) takes a position at the Library as Professional Assistant.

1952

The Library's new bookmobile, a green and cream colored 1951 Dodge, starts service in January.

The Slovenian language collection at the South Lorain Branch is expanded with a gift of 500 books from the Slovenian National Society on March 14th.

The Trustees purchase three lots on Sixth Street for the site of the new Main Library.

The library system employs 28 people at year's end. 10,186 borrowers are registered. 142,876 books have been loaned out during the year.

The Ohio Library Association honors Judson S. Masson, President of the Lorain Public Library Trustees, with a citation for outstanding work as a library trustee. He was appointed trustee in July, 1944, and was instrumental in seeing that a bond issue was passed by Lorain residents to build a new main library.

Until it expires in 1956, a lease on a Sunoco service station at the corner of 6th Street and Reid Avenue, held by the Sun Oil Company, will hold up the construction of the proposed $500,000 library.

1953

The firm of Meyer & Fauver, Architects, is hired On March 10th to plan the new library at 6th Street and Reid Avenue.

The Library discontinues its children's story program on WEOL radio.

The bookmobile circulates 79,861 items this year; this was an increase of 9,123 items over 1952's circulation. Circulation for the main library and its branches totals 149,151; this is an increase of 6,275 over the previous year. The bookmobile participates in the Lorain Sesqui-Centennial parade.

This is record breaking year for the Library with large circulation increases chalked up for the library system. The largest increase is in circulation from the bookmobile which had 79,861 books circulated, an increase of 9,123 over 1952. Miss King speculates that the novelty of television is beginning to wear off and that people are again turning to books for entertainment.

A local newspaper article reads, "Red Books Unpopular at the Library: Lorain Spurns Commie Literature. Don't look now Senator McCarthy, but Karl Marx's 'Capital', the Bible of Communism, isn't being read by Lorainites. Since October, 1949, 'Capital' (Das Capital) has been loaned out but six times; and another menacing book, Ernest Untermann's 'Marxian Economics', has left the library seven times since Oct. 26, 1932. Only Whitaker Chamber's anti-Communist work, 'Witness', can be classed as popular, being taken out 15 times in the one year the library has had the book. The Lorain Public Library Board has a 'bill of rights' which states that books should be chosen because of value and interest to people of the community, and in no case 'should the selection be influenced by the race or nationality or the political or religious views of the writers.'"

175 Lorain youngsters, who participated in the spring/summer reading program, are given certificates of merit and are feted with an Apple Harvest party on the front lawn of the library.

Displays of books on the history of Ohio and replicas of early maps of Charleston and Lorain are part of Lorain Public Library's contribution to the three-day celebration of Ohio's Sesquicennial in Lorain.

Miss Nancy Shepherd is hired as a page in the junior department on November 19th at a wage of 60 cents an hour.

1954

On February 20, 1954 Judson S. Masson dies, aged 80. Earlier in the year he had been elected to his ninth consecutive term as president of the Library Board of Trustees. He had first been appointed to the Board of Trustees in 1944. He served in the Lorain Schools from 1916-1947. (He was the Principal of Garden Avenue School and also Assistant Superintendent of Schools).

Mr. Lyle C. Ziegler serves as President of the Library Board of Trustees from 1954 - 1961.

After 16 years at the same location, 808 East Erie Avenue, East Branch moves to 204 Kansas Avenue in August. The new location is across the street from St. Anthony School and midway between Fairhome and Longfellow Schools. Mrs. Marie Fitzharris is branch librarian.

The Building Fund has a balance of $524,341. In September the Trustees authorize the razing of one of the two residential buildings on Sixth Street that it had earlier purchased. The rental income from these properties has been added to levy funds set aside for the building of the new library. A service station and one other residence will be razed later.

The Main Library's hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday. The summer reading program has 132 children complete by reading 10 or more books. The special reading club party held for the children at the end of the program is a "Punch and Judy" puppet show performed by Mrs. Erich Melchior.

The Lorain County Budget Commission allocates $4,687 to establish a Columbia Township branch library in 1955.

The 8 1/2 ton Lorain County Traveling Library (bookmobile) serves better than 6,500 borrowers throughout the county. The majority of stops are at schools. In one day's trip the bookmobile may check out anywhere from 300 to 1,000 books. The bookmobile travels a different route each day and complete coverage of the county is made in a four-week period during the school year months.

The Board of Trustees approves a contract for 50 tons of "stoker coal" for use at the main library. The bid is by Zipp-Stack-Miller Coal Company at $10.27 a ton. Eight tons of coal for the South Lorain Branch are purchased from the Matt Ebinger Coal Company for $10.75 a ton.

The Board of Trustees hires Detroit Public Library's Director and Associate Director, representing the firm of Mohrhardt and Ulveling, Consultants, to assist in preparation of plans for the new main library. This firm recently served as consultants for the remodeling of the Lakewood Public Library.

Miss Marion M. King, head librarian, and A.L. Fauver, architect for the new main library, attend the 73rd annual conference of the American Library Association in Minneapolis, MN.

1955

Columbia Branch Library opens in new location on Station Road and Route 82 on April 2nd. The new branch is stocked with approximately 3,400 books. The location, a room of the Frederick A. Castle Building, is sponsored by the Acme Grange. Mrs. Leo (Marjorie) Slansky is part-time librarian. She works 24 hours a week at a salary of $1.50 an hour. By May 11th circulation has totaled 70 books.

Residents of North Ridgeville, Sheffield Lake and Avon have requested brnch libraries for their communities. Marion King, Head Librarian, meets with citizens of Avon Center to discuss a branch library. The Lorain County Budget Commission provides $4,200 to establish a branch in Avon in 1956.

Lorain's Penfield Branch changes its name to "Central Lorain" Branch.

At its December meeting the Board of Trustees awards contracts to build the new $450,000 Main Library building.

Children who completed the summer reading program are treated to a puppet show at the Main Library.

1956

The Avon Branch Library is opened in the Old Town Hall building on Nov. 6th with 792 books and other materials. Miss Ruth Robeson is the first librarian. She circulates 100 books the first day that the branch is open.

Miss King, Miss Scott and Miss Lawless attend the Puerto Rican Institute in Cleveland, sponsored by the North Eastern Ohio Council on Spanish American Affairs. The Institute gives pointers on "serving the strangers in our midst."

In December, the Board of Trustees announces that Hume Construction Company has submitted the low bid as general contractor for construction of the new Main Library building.

1957

In early November, members of the Lorain Junior Chamber of Commerce volunteer in the massive job of packing up and moving books from the old library building to the new one. The Jaycee members move thousands of books in a few days time.

The new library building has a capacity for shelving of 250,000 volumes. Porcelain covered steel panels are installed on the front of the new Main Library building. The architects select these panels as being "appropriate to use in a steel town."

The Open House for the new Lorain Public Library building on Sixth Street is held on November 23rd. A two-day Open House is held with the first day being for "adults only" when over 1,000 people tour the building. The first day the library is open for business a record 1,929 books are circulated; the average at the old library was about 350 per day. Circulation for the rest of the year increases about 62% compared the year before.

South Lorain Branch moves from 3059 Pearl Avenue and opens in a location at 3012 Grove Avenue.

The Central Lorain Branch at Broadway and 21st Street is closed when the property owner leased the building to another party. Circulation had been decreasing at this location for a number of years. The Trustees decide to store the books and explore establishing a branch in a proposed shopping center at Meister Road and Oberlin Avenue.

1958

The first North Ridgeville Branch Library was opened in a storefront in the Tran Building on Avon-Belden Road on September 1st. Space for the library service is 20' x 40'. Mrs. Yvonne Jenkins is the branch librarian.

Nearly 500 librarians and library workers attended a meeting of the North Central District of the Ohio Library Association at the new Lorain Public Library.

Miss Marion M. King, librarian, reports that 47% of "telephone questions" received in June and July were questions being asked on television quiz shows. Miss King also reports that the foreign language collection now includes books in Hungarian, Italian, Russian, Ukrainian, Czeck, German, and Slovenian. The first year in the new Main Library the book circulation increases 62%; questions answered go up 69%; there is a 20% in the number of registered borrowers and the book stock increases by 5%.

1959

The Lorain County Budget Commission requests that all Lorain County public libraries form a County District Library. The Commission states that $375,000 will be available for all the public libraries in 1960 and that all intangibles tax for the County will be allocated for support of the public libraries. The libraries are invited to help arrive at a satisfactory method of dividing the intangibles tax income. (Before 1961 public libraries had to share income from the intangibles tax with villages, cities and townships in the County).

This is the first year that the South, East and Oberlin Avenue branches receive card catalogs.

The Library Trustees establishes the first policy for the retirement age of library staff. Mr. Buell and Captain Male, who are the Library's oldest Trustees, move that "Age seventy be established as the retirement age for all employees beginning June, 1962, but that employment may be extended annually at the discretion of the Board. When this policy is adopted there are several employees over the age of eighty.

Columbia Branch Library is moved into new building on 25796 Royalton Road. The collection numbers 4,027 volumes. The size of the new library building is 40' x 28'. The branch librarian is Mrs. Margaret Furlong.

Oberlin Avenue Branch opens on September 16th at 3325 Oberlin Avenue (in the shopping plaza at Oberlin Avenue and Meister Road) replacing the Central Lorain station. The Lorain Jaycees arranged for moving of books and equipment; approximately 4,000 books were moved. Miss Eleanor Beck is the branch librarian.

The Main Library circulates 185,552 books.

1960

The Lorain County Budget Commission requests that all Lorain County public libraries form a county library district.

City Council is still trying to decide what to do with the old library building - raze it or re-use it for city office needs? In July, the Trustees notify the City that the library has no further use for the old library building and that the keys to the building had been turned over to the City Service Director.

The Library system has a record circulation of 429,001 books in spite of Intangibles Tax collection reduction necessitating cuts in books purchased, hours open, staff salary increments, and children's story hours.

1961

The Trustees decide to close the Main Library and branches on Saturdays in the summer. Finances are limited.

The seven public libraries in Lorain County receive 100% of the intangibles tax collection ($418,807). Per capita support for libraries is $1.92. Lorain Public Library receives $222,643. Lorain County population is 217,500.

1962

Mr. C. Paul Stocker serves as President of the Library Board of Trustees from 1962 - 1967.

1963

Sheffield Lake Branch library opens in Shoreway Shopping Center on January 20th. The Sheffield Lake Kiwanis Club raised $3,100 to help furnish the facility. They also helped move books and small equipment into the branch library. Mrs. Henry (Frances) Sutman was hired as part-time librarian for the new branch. Mr. Stephen Domonkas is revealed as the donor of $100,000 for construction of a new library building in Sheffield Lake. The library is to be built on land, adjacent to the Sheffield Community Park, purchased by City Council for $36,000.

The Main Library makes available a coin-operated "Vico-Matic Duplicator" for library users to copy pages from reference materials.

At year's end the Library has circulated 476,271 books.

1964

The Domonkas Branch Library, in Sheffield Lake, is dedicated for use by the community by Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Domankas. The Open House is held on Nov. 8th. Over 300 people attend the Open House.The 5,000 square foot building is located at 4125 East Lake Road on the shore of Lake Erie. The city of Sheffield Lake provided the land for the building with a 100 year lease. Mrs. Frances Sutman is branch librarian. The collection consists of 6,166 volumes.

The East Branch is moved from 204 Kansas Avenue to 2434 Garfield Boulevard.

The Library now has Spanish language books in the Main Library and at the South Lorain Branch. Italian and Polish books were also added to the collection.

1965

The Library has 35 (full-time equivalent) staff. 238,285 books circulate; this is a 51% increase over the year before. The total book collection is 186,197 - a 90% increase over 1955. 48,389 borrowers are registered compared to 15,302 in 1955.

Mrs. Margaret Hudak is the librarian at the East Branch.

Avon Branch is established in the former Avon Town Hall. Columbia Branch moves to cement block building on Route 82. North Ridgeville Branch is established at 7085 Avon-Belden Road.

The Library agrees to loan 50 books for the Lorain County Community Hospital auxiliary to use at the new hospital.

1966

Miss Marion King, Head Librarian and Clerk-Treasurer, has the duties of Clerk-Treasurer separated from her duties as Head Librarian. Mrs. Rita Stratten is hired as the library's first Clerk-Treasurer. Ohio's new uniform accounting system makes it difficult for the same person to function as head librarian and clerk-treasurer. Mrs. Mollie Leffler is branch librarian at North Ridgeville Branch.

1967

Mr. Richard Willson becomes new Library Director, succeeding Miss Marion M. King who retired on October 31st, after 30 years of employment. At the close of Miss King's tenure as librarian the library system had grown from a Main Building to seven branches and a county bookmobile.

The library system's total book collection numbers 192,411. The total circulation is 445,404.

The staff consists of 31 full- time employees and 31 part-time employees.

Library starts a radio program on WEOL in July.

Nearly 100,000 volumes are circulated from the bookmobile by nearly 14,000 registered users.

A fire bomb is thrown the window of the Children's books area at the Main Library.

1968

Avon Branch Library moves from the Old Town Hall to larger quarters in a storefront at the Avon Plaza at 36923 Detroit Road. The room has 1,650 square feet. The new location also has a restroom which the Town Hall location did not. There are 10,968 books in the collection. The branch librarian is Mrs. Marilyn Miller.

Letters are written to officials in Columbia Township and North Ridgeville indicating how inadequate their facilities are and the need for future expansions and improvements.

The remodeled South Lorain Branch re-opens on 3012 Grove Avenue. The building now has 1,230 square feet and holds 10,000 volumes. Telephones are installed at the Oberlin Avenue and East Branch locations as well. Mrs. Margaret Hudak becomes the librarian at the Oberlin Avenue Branch. Mrs. Virginia Coller becomes the librarian at the Oberlin Avenue Branch.

Mr. Stanley G. Pijor serves as President of the Library Board of Trustees from 1968 - 1975.

Library Director, Mr. Richard Willson, receives permission to close the Library at 5 p.m. on the day before Thanksgiving for the benefit of those staff whose home is out of town.

The Library's new bookmobile (painted blue) is purchased from the Gerstenslager Company of Wooster, Ohio. It made its first official stop at Barr Elementary School. The new bookmobile cost $17,975 and holds 3,000 books. It is built on an International Truck chassis. Mrs. Maurine Noble is the bookmobile librarian. She has served in that capacity since 1955.

The Library acquires its first microfilm collection and microfilm reader. The microfilm collection starts with a microfilm edition of the Lorain Journal from Oct. 2, 1922. The Lorain WIMODAUGHSIS Club presents the library with a combined microfilm case/table in memory of Mrs. Eva E. Hills.

Youth workers from the Neighborhood Youth Corps work in the Technical Services Department.

The Lorain Lions donate 13 large print books to the Library; the Library's collection of large print books is now expanded to about 50 titles.

The Children's Department at the Main Library begins conducting regular story programs for pre-schoolers.

Weekly service for residents at Oak Hills Nursing Home in Lorain begins.

Library Trustees pass a resolution allowing all citizens of the city of Vermilion borrowing privileges regardless of the county in which they reside.

1969

The Library's collection now has available for loan a collection of standard 8mm films.

The Library also has a collection of 33 rpm recordings available for circulation; over 170 recordings are cataloged for use by adult borrowers. The collection is started from records donated by the RCA Victor Company and the Columbia Record Company. In March, the first month that recordings are circulated, 25 are borrowed. In the fall the Lakeland Juniors organization donates money to purchase 52 children's recordings. By the end of September the children's recordings collection numbers 97.

The Columbia Kiwanis Club spearheads a fund raising drive to finance a proposed 2,4000 square foot addition to the existing Columbia Branch Library. The Friends of the Domonkas Library donate a photocopier to that library.

Mrs. Beverly Stipe is the North Ridgeville Branch Librarian; she is later transferred to be the Avon Branch Librarian. After she resigns due to maternal reasons Mrs. Isabell Hyams if appointed to be the Avon Branch Librarian. Then Mrs. Patricia Vorabetz becomes the North Ridgeville Branch Librarian. . Miss Evelyn Yeaton, head of the Technical Services Department, retires in March. She started work at the Library in 1922.

Financial difficulties, and the presence of school libraries, prompts the Board of Trustees to discontinue bookmobile service to most county school locations. Circulation at the bookmobile stops had been declining for years as expenses increased.

Senior citizen outreach library services are started at John Kennedy Plaza.

The Council of Lorain County Librarians meets at Elyria Public Library to discuss forming an Area Library Service Organization (ALSO).

1970

The Lorain Public Library's operating levy is defeated 9,526 against and 5,988 for); two branches (East Branch at Garfield Avenue and the Oberlin Avenue Branch) are closed and Bookmobile service is discontinued to schools and communities.

Library Director, Richard Willson, reports to the Trustees that the Lorain Public Library System meets only 63 of the 92 standards listed in the newly published "Standards for Public Libraries in Ohio."

"Project Libros", to provide a Spanish-speaking field worker and purchase Spanish language materials, is an LSCA project funded by the State Library of Ohio. The project is run in conjunction with Cleveland Public Library. The collection opens for use by the public in September. Two bilingual staff are hired to provide service to the Spanish-speaking community. A Spanish reading room is opened at the Latin American Council Building on Vine Avenue with 250 books. Over 100 people attend the open house.

Cityview Center collection starts with 300 books. A collection of 300 books is provided at the Neighborhood House location.

Mrs. Claude (Virginia) Coller is the new branch librarian at the Sheffield Lake Domonkas branch. Mrs. Clarence (June) Wollerman is hired to serve as Bookmobile Librarian. Miss Linda Hall becomes Branch Librarian at North Ridgeville Branch.

The Main Library Children's picture books area is damaged when an automobile collision in front of the building at about 1 a.m. results in one vehicle crashing through the front glass windows. Masonry and water pipes for the heating system were damaged causing water damage to books on the first floor and in a storage area in the basement.

The Board of Trustees passes a resolution asking the Lorain County Budget Commission to distribute the county's intangibles tax collection to the seven public libraries in the county on a per capita basis based on the 1970 census figures.

The Main Library establishes a paperbacks collection. Many of the paperbacks are gifts from Miss Ida Stone, a retired Lorain High School teacher.

The Main Library receives the first of five bomb threats in November. The Library is closed for various parts of days but reopens on November 12th.

The State Library Board approves a grant to provide 455 large print books to the Lorain Public Library. These books are to be shared with other libraries in the county. This grant expands the library's collection of large print books to 888 volumes. In 1967 the Library only owned 25 large print books.

1971

Library pages wage is $1 per hour.

Lorain Public Library 's federal grant application to provide special services and materials for the Spanish-speaking residents of Lorain, Project Libros, is awarded. 51 people attend the first Spanish-language film program. In June the combined Cleveland Public Library-Lorain Public Library project is ended. During the project Lorain Public Library received 1,605 adult books, 825 children's books, 1,048 paperbacks, 108 phonograph records, 34 16mm films and 2 filmstrips. During the project 4,971 persons attended 182 film programs and 2,990 books were circulated. On July 1st a separate Project Libros is funded giving the Library $36,600 for July 1, 1971-June 30, 1972.

Columbia Branch residents pass a 2.5 mill levy for a library building. The building is to be 3,000 square feet. The levy passed with 564 votes for it and 535 votes against it.

On September 8th, at 5:10 p.m., 18 double-faced magazine storage stacks collapse on the Main Library's balcony. The stacks contain between 50,000 and 80,000 magazines and books. Over $12,200 worth of materials are damaged. No staff or patrons are injured in the unusual catastrophe. The Library closed at 6 p.m. and stayed closed the next day for the safety of the public. A photograph of the damage appears in Wilson Library Bulletin.

Bookmobile service in the county is discontinued.

On February 20th the Main Library circulates 1,276 books. This is the highest circulation for any one day in the Library's history.

Miss Jean Lawless, Head Children's Librarian, retires after serving in the position since 1947.

1972

Project Libros funding is renewed for one year; $74,000 is provided. The Library presents its first weekly educational Spanish program on WLRO radio. The "Latin Varieties" program was started by Mr. Neftali Rodriguez of Project Libros.

Mr. Randolph S. Symon is the first bilingual librarian appointed to be in charge of the South Lorain Branch library.

The library system has its first summer reading program in fifteen years. 943 children registered for the program.

Miss Pauline Demaree becomes Assistant Director, replacing Mrs. Bessie Scott, who retired at the end of December, 1971.

The Library's first Deputy Clerk-Treasurer, Mrs. Elene Mayer, is appointed.

The Library begins to use "County Welfare" work-trainees.

On June 13th, Lorain Public Library is chosen to administer the Project Info Lorain-Medina County Library Cooperative by the State Library of Ohio. The project provides $36,800 for books and staff.

The Library begins using its first volunteer, Mrs. Roger (Barbara) Doane who is a former library employee and a graduate of the University of Denver School of Library Science. She volunteers one afternoon a week in the Children's Area.

1973

Project Libros funding is extended for six more months and the Library is granted $10,500 to pay the salary of the Project Director and one field worker and to purchase a few books. Project Libros sponsors an Hispanic Week Festival Cultural Hispano at Southview High School. Approximately 1,300 people attend in an auditorium designed for 900 people. The program is a highlight of three years of Library outreach programming to the local Hispanic community.

Project Info II is funded for six months. The multi-county projects receives $9,525.

The Outreach Services Department is established in December.

The Board of Trustees considers and decides to maintain separate funds for the City and County budgets. In January, the Lorain City Finance Committee meets for a hearing with the Library Trustees and agrees to the Library's 1972 request to grant the Library $20,000 in Revenue Sharing Funds. In November the City Council allocates $78,000 of Revenue Sharing funds to the Library. This allocation is among the largest made by any city in Ohio to a public library.

The lack of adequate funding to operate the County branches as well as the refusal of those communities to provide Revenue Sharing funds results in the Trustees' decision to reduce branch library hours. The Library receives $12,250 of Revenue Sharing funds from the Lorain County Commissioners. $9,000 is allocated for city services and $3,250 is allocated for county branch services.

On November 18th, Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Domonkas are honored on their 50th Wedding Anniversary by the Friends of the Domonkas Library. The Library's meeting room is dedicated as the "Ruth Domonkas Room."

The Lorain Public Library Staff Organization is recognized by the Board of Trustees.

The official open house for the Columbia branch Library is held on April 8th; 150 people attend.

The Library participates in a Black Expo at the Elks Farm in Lorain. Library staff mount a special exhibit and show five Black History films.

1974

Lorain Public Library starts its book deposit service at Cityview Center with a collection of 1,008 books. Mr. Ronald Wilson is the field worker assigned to work at Cityview. In the month of June 123 books are loaned.

The Library Trustees approve start up of use of a "Recordax photo charge" circulation system at the Main Library and in the branch libraries. Project Libros is funded for an additional year. The State Library Board awards $46,713 to the Library.

In March the Main Library changes its opening hours from 10 a.m. to 9 a.m. to make the library more accessible for people who come downtown for other business. The Main Library is now open 64 hours per week.

Miss Mary Frances Gumpper becomes the first full-time Outreach Services librarian hired to provide services for senior citizens. Miss Louise Kulka becomes head of the Outreach Services Department. Ohio Extended Care center starts to receive regular outreach service staff visits. The Library also expands services to seniors at the Shields Nursing Home. Weekly service is also started at St. Joseph Hospital, Firelands Retirement Center and at Anchor Lodge Nursing Home.

Mrs. Kathleen Philips, Children's Librarian, resigns to move out of state. Mrs. Valerie Smith, Assistant Reference Librarian, is appointed to replace her. She becomes the Library's 18th Children's Librarian since 1924.

In September, Mr. Kenneth Cromer becomes the second bilingual South Lorain Branch Librarian, replacing Mr. Randolph Symon.

The Outreach Department begins a popular foreign language film series. The first film, one in Ukrainian, attracts an audience of 133 people.

Mr. Mark Waller becomes the Library's first multilingual librarian as he is appointed Director of Project Libros. Project Libros quarters are expanded on the Main Library balcony as back files of magazines are moved to storage elsewhere in the building. Mrs. Lucila Echeagaray presents a popular Mexican cooking series of classes that attracts 87 people to attend programs during one month.

Project Libros field worker, Victor Torres, begins a series of classes to prepare Spanish-speaking persons to be able to pass the Spanish language version of the Ohio Driver's License examination. This is the first time any agency has offered such classes.

This is the first year that the Lorain Public Library participates in the Lorain International Festival Bazaar. Over 3,000 visit the booth and see filmstrips, slides and 16mm films.

The Library acquires its first microfilm reader-printer for use by the public.

The Library acquires its first station wagon, an eight-passenger 1974 Custom 500 Ford.

September 28-30 the Library is extensively involved in "Civic Center Madness Days" to help the city get a civic center. The weekend festival is held downtown. The Children's Department presents 21 puppet shows for 1,173 children. One show was done in Spanish. 8mm film shows were presented to over 800 persons at the "Great Gatsby Party" at the Palace Theater.

Domonkas Library holds a tenth anniversary open house in November. Over 200 persons attend the celebration.

1975

The Library Trustees make various cutbacks in staffing and services in order to adjust expenditures to the Library's lower income. The City budget needs an additional $84,000 and the County budget needs $28,860 to continue staffing and services at same level as 1974. All Main Library student library aides are dropped from employment as of April 19th. Vacant staff positions are left unfilled. Two junior clerks, paid for by CETA funds, are "hired" to act as shelvers. In May the Trustees make further cuts to live within the Library's current income. The Main Library closes on Saturdays and Tuesday evenings. The branch delivery to Domonkas and South Lorain Branch is eliminated. The library system buys no books for the remainder of the year and makes general economies in administrative and other activities. By the end of October the library system has 21 vacant positions that cannot be filled due to lack of funds to operate the Library. The Lorain City Finance Committee holds a hearing on the Library's request for $70,320 in Revenue Sharing funds. The Committee agrees to allocate $25,000 to help solve the Library's financial problems.

County branches close the last two weeks of August. The employment of student aides at Domonkas, Columbia and South Lorain Branch is eliminated. All county branch libraries begin short hours with the exception of Columbia Branch which receives Revenue Sharing funds.

The State Library Board provides LSTA funding for Project Discover to serve the needs of the Black American residents of Lorain. For 1975 Lorain Public Library receives $43,651. Lorain Public Library opens the West Side Book Deposit on W. 21st Street using Project Discover funding. The collection starts with 825 volumes. The Book Deposit is open on Monday and Thursday afternoons and Thursday mornings. In the first month 266 items are loaned out.

Mr. Luis Sanchez serves as President of the Library Board of Trustees from 1975 - 1978. Mrs. Rita Stratten, Clerk-Treasurer, resigns in February. Mrs. Elene Mayer, Deputy Clerk-Treasurer, assumes the role of Clerk-Treasurer on March 1st.

The Lorain Public Library starts cataloging library materials "online" using the OCLC system. During the first month, Lorain Public Library catalogs 47 titles on OCLC. Of that number, five titles were not already listed on OCLC.

The Library's first affirmative action plan is adopted by the Trustees in July.

The Trustees adopt a residency requirement for the Director, Assistant Director, Clerk-Treasurer, Head of Maintenance, and department heads.

The Library presents its first program of the "America" film series to begin its observance of the nation's Bicentennial.

Project Info is funded by the State Library; $106,632 is provided. This grant is the largest given to any multi-county cooperative in the state.

This is the last year that the State Library provides funding for Project Libros from LSCA funds.

1976

The voters of the city of Lorain approve an operating levy for the Main Library, South Lorain Branch, and Outreach Services for the city of Lorain.

1977

Mr. Richard Willson resigns as Director to take a position as Director of a regional library system in Illinois. Miss Pauline Demaree, the Assistant Director, is appointed Director of the Library System in December.

The North Ridgeville Branch Library moves into the Old Town Hall on Center Ridge Road.

1978

Avon Branch Library moves to larger quarters on Ridgeland Drive.

Mrs. Barbara Doane serves as President of the Library Board of Trustees from 1978 - 1988.

1980

The Library purchases its first microcomputer (TRS-80) for public use in December.

1981

We are among the first public libraries in Ohio to offer free access to microcomputers for the public. TRS-80 computers are acquired at the Main Library in cooperation with a grant offered by the Lorain City Council.

Ethnic cooking demonstrations at the Main Library are popular programs. Mrs. Lucila Echeagaray demonstrates Mexican cooking in July to a full kitchen at the Main Library meeting room.

Voters of Lorain renew the library's 5-year levy.

1982

South Lorain Branch Library is enlarged and remodeled.

The Library starts Project LITE (Learning Through Intensive Training and Effort), an adult literacy program that trains volunteers to teach adults to read using the Laubach Literacy program.

The Main Library receives a gift of a TDD (teletype device for the deaf) from the Lorain Kiwanis Club.

1983

Lorain Public Library is awarded a grant of Library Service and Construction Act funds for $456,000 by the State Library of Ohio to finance the construction of a two story addition to the Main Library building on 6th Street that will increase the by about 30% the room available to shelve library materials and serve the public.

Lorain Public Library publishes a 1984 Lorain History Calendar to honor the city's upcoming Sesquicentennial. By the end of the year, circulation for all materials in the library system tops 700,000 for the first time.

The total collection now total over 288,000 books; 195,700 books are in the Main Library. 70 people, full and part time, are employed by the Library.

1984

There are now two TRS-80 computers available for the public to use at the Main Library.

Construction starts on the $1.4 million expansion and remodeling addition to Lorain Public Library's main building.

1985

An Open House is held at the Lorain Public Library to acquaint the public with the newly remodeled and expanded building's facilities.

1986

Avon community approves operating levy for Avon Branch Library. Voters of Lorain renew the library's 5-year levy.

Compact discs are added to the library collection this year.

1987

Lorain Public Library workers join District 925 of the Service Employees International Union.

This year Lorain Public Library System ranks 14th in circulation of materials in the Ohio libraries. More than 44,350 persons are registered borrowers and more than 590,000 items are borrowed.

Over 1,000 people attend free computer orientation classes at our library system as our free microcomputer access services continue to be popular with the public. Both "TRS-80" and "Leading Edge" are available for public use.

Lorain Public Library System wins the John Sessions Memorial Award from the American Library Association and the AFL-CIO for Project ACTION, a job search and career counseling service.

1989

North Ridgeville Branch Library moves into former bank building on Jaycox Road.

Mr. Norman Herschelman serves as President of the Library Board of Trustees.

A new bookmobile is ordered.

Avon Branch Librarian, June Wollerman, retires after serving the System for 19 years.

Library Director, Pauline Demaree, is awarded the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Achievement Award by the Western Reserve Historical Society Black History Archives Committee. The library system was honored for its leadership in keeping Dr. King's dream alive.

The Domonkas Branch is remodeled and expanded with work completed in October.

The library system employes 105 staff. Circulation for the is 806,158 and there are 51,361 registered borrowers. There are over 330,000 volumes in the library collections.

1990

The Lorain Public Library System affiliates with the CLEVNET network in 1990. CLEVNET, administered by the Cleveland Public Library, is a computerized network of libraries in nine counties in northern Ohio.

A new bookmobile is put into service.

We loan out over 920,000 items this year with the highest monthly circulation ever recorded at the Main Library in March when we lend out 48,903 items.

A Lorain County Computer Users Group is organized through the first year sponsorship of the library system.

1991

Avon community approves renewal of operating levy for Avon Branch Library. Voters of Lorain renew the library's 5-year levy.

1992

Lorain Public Library users get local dial-up access to the online catalog from their home computers.

The library system achieves record circulation and public service. Patrons borrow over 1,129,000 items and make over 750,000 visits to our library locations. The library system collection includes over 380,000 items. Over 60,000 new items are added to the collection during this year alone.

Project LITE, the adult literacy program that links trained volunteers with adults who desire to learn to read, observes its 10th Anniversary. In ten years, 563 adults have been trained to read by Project LITE volunteers.

Columbia Branch Library forms its first Friends of the Library group.

The Library develops an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Advisory Panel to develop an ADA Transition Plan for the library system.

A one-on-one resume counseling service at the Main Library is started.

1993

Lorain Public Library announces plans to honor Lorain native, Toni Morrison. by designing a Toni Morrison Reading Room in the Main Library.

North Ridgeville Branch Library levy to construct addition to its building is turned down by the voters.

At the end of the year Miss Pauline Demaree retires after serving for sixteen years as Director. She has worked for the Lorain Public Library System since 1972.

1994

Kenneth Cromer, former Assistant Director, is appointed Director of the Lorain Public Library System. Joanne Eldridge is appointed Assistant Director of the Lorain Public Library System.

The new Avon Branch Library building on Harvest Drive opens.

1995

Toni Morrison comes to Lorain to participate in the ribbon cutting for the Toni Morrison Reading Room in Lorain Public Library. Hundreds of people attend the event at the Library.

1996

Avon community approves renewal of operating levy for Avon Branch Library. Voters of Lorain renew the library's 5-year levy.

Columbia Branch Library starts the new year with new carpeting, new paint, and new tables and chairs.

Lorain Friends of the Library group forms.

1997

A Computer Resources Room, is created at the Main Library. The Computer Resources Room centralizes word processing and Internet access computers for patron use.

Kelly Kroll becomes the new Clerk-Treasurer for the library system.

1998

A citizen Task Force was formed to decide the direction of the North Ridgeville Branch Library that has now completely outgrown the facility on Jaycox Road.

A "Books for Babies" county-wide libraries grant starts that places kits of materials with parents of new babies to encourage family literacy.

A collaboration with a Lorain City Schools grant produces an increase in the number of the word processing workstations from two to six. Computer connections for a "Video on Demand" service, allow viewing of videos stored on the Lorain Middle School computer server by students studying for Ohio proficiency tests.

The library system's budget is over $ 6 million. The system owns 530,425 books and other library materials. The library system loans 1,203,057 items. The Main Library's book collection has over 242,000 items. The Main Library's videocassette collection includes over 18,800 items; and the library system adds 61,530 new items to its collections. There are 90,249 peopled registered as library card holders. Library staff answer approximately 235,000 reference questions. 23,657 people attend the 1,183 programs offered at the various library locations.

Ground is broken for new South Lorain Branch Library building.

A "Books for Babies" program starts providing free books and other materials to parents of infants.

1999

The Lorain Public Library System employs 126 people, full and part-time, at its six locations. Over 1,217,00 items are circulated to borrowers through the system's locations. There are over 95,000 registered borrowers with our library system. There are over 550,000 books in the collection; almost 20,000 compact discs and over 33,000 video recordings available.

The new South Lorain Branch Library is under construction.

North Ridgeville citizens approve a levy to build a new library building.

The Library implements wireless online access to ClevNet from the Bookmobile.

Mrs. Madeline Torres Hutlock serves as President of the Library Board of Trustees.

2000

The new South Lorain Branch library building holds an open house with hundreds in attendance.

The Main Library's Audio-Visual Services Room is remodeled and expanded. New carpeting is installed and a new bookmobile garage is built.

Columbia Township citizens approve a levy to expand the Columbia Township Branch Library building with a vote of 1,774 for and 1,157 against.

Kelly Kroll resigns as Clerk-Treasurer and Lisa Crescimano becomes the new Clerk-Treasurer for the library system.

The Library cooperates in research for LCCC filming of video about Toni Morrison. Toni Morrison visits LCCC for the Toni Morrison Society Biennial Conference where the video is debuted.

2001

The Lorain Public Library System celebrates its 100th Anniversary with Open House celebrations at each of its locations.

Lorain Public Library debuts its new mascot, "Browser," at the Main Library 100th Anniversary Open House on April 22nd.

Children's author, Johanna Hurwitz, is the guest speaker for Main Library's Centennial Open House.

The Lorain County Visitors Bureau selects the new South Lorain Branch Library building as one of the "Lorain County Beautiful 2001" new structures.

The fifth Bookmobile in the Library's history is delivered in April.

The Lorain Public Library System receives a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant awarding new Internet/word processing computers for use in the Main Library, South Lorain Branch Library, and Domonkas Branch Library.

The Main Library is re-carpeted and the Information and Reference service desks are replaced. A new digital microfilm reader-printer is installed at the Main Library.

The Children's Department area at the Main Library has a Lorain Lighthouse replica installed in time for the Centennial Open House. A series of mural panels depicting life near Lorain's lakefront, by local artist Jeff Pye, are installed at the Main Library Children's Department area. Both special additions to the Children's Area were funded by a grant from the Fifth Third Bank.

The Lorain Public Library System is the featured "industry" at the 2001 Lorain International Festival. The Lorain Friends of the Library sponsors an International Princess during the Festival.

2002

Columbia Branch moves into temporary quarters in a building on Station Road as the building is renovated and expanded.

2003

The new North Ridgeville Branch opens.  Columbia Branch moves back into its renovated and expanded building on West River Road.

2010

The Main Library undergoes a renovation project that produces a computer training lab for the public, expanded area for shelving of books for the Children's collection and a relocated Information Desk.

Columbia Branch levy renewal is passed by Columbia Township voters.

2011

Avon Branch levy renewal is passed by Avon voters.  Sheffield Lake voters pass levy renewal for Domonkas Branch.  Lorain city voters pass levy renewal that supports the Main Library and the South Lorain Branch.

Columbia Branch needs drying out in May as it recuperates from a flooding problem that damaged a portion of the building carpeting and shelving.

2013

North Ridgeville Branch celebrates its tenth anniversary in its new building.

Presidents of the Board of Trustees of the Lorain Public Library

  • 1900-1901 Rev. A. Eugene Thompson (Lorain Public Library Reading Room Board)
  • 1900-1901 Mrs. Elisha M. Pierce (Lorain Library Board)
  • 1901-1905 Mr. E. E. Hopkins
  • 1905-1920 Mr. Elisha M. Pierce
  • 1920-1931 Mr. Lester A. Fauver
  • 1931-1933 Mrs. Frances Root Hibbard
  • 1933-1934 Mr. Daniel A. Cook
  • 1935-1936 Mr. Edward P. Reidy
  • 1936-1937 Mrs. Frances Root Hibbard
  • 1937-1946 Rev. Theodore Merten
  • 1941-1942 Mr. Victor A. McGee
  • 1942-1944 Mr. Alex J. Cameron
  • 1946-1954 Mr. Judson S. Masson
  • 1954-1961 Mr. Lyle C. Ziegler
  • 1962-1967 Mr. C. Paul Stocker
  • 1968-1975 Mr. Stanley G. Pijor
  • 1976-1978 Mr. Luis Sanchez
  • 1978-1988 Mrs. Roger (Barbara) Doane
  • 1989-1997 Mr. Norman Hershelman
  • 1998-1999 Mr. H. Scott Leeseberg
  • 1999-2002 Mrs. Nicholas (Madeline) Torres Hutlock
  • 2003-2004 Mr. Anthony Campana
  • 2005-2006 Ms. Jodi Penwell
  • 2007-2009 Mr. Douglas Petersen
  • 2010-2011 Ms. Garalynn Tomas
  • 2012-2013 Mr. Anthony Campana

Head Librarians/Library Directors of Lorain Public Library

  • Mr. E.C. Loofbourrow Oct. 1, 1900 - June 26, 1903 (He was listed as an officer of the Lorain Library Association. He was the Secretary and Librarian. He resigned August 13, 1902).
  • Miss Margaret C. Deming March 23, 1903 - Dec.1, 1904.
  • Miss Grace Chapman Jan. 1, 1905 - Feb. 1, 1907
  • Miss Frances Root Feb. 1, 1907 - Aug. 1, 1910
  • Miss Elizabeth K. Steele Sept. 24, 1910 - Feb., 1924
  • Miss Evelyn Yeaton March, 1924 - April, 1928
  • Miss Margaret T. Grant June 1, 1928 - May 1, 1937
  • Miss Marion King 1937 - Oct. 31, 1967
  • Mr. Richard Willson Nov., 1967 - 1977
  • Miss Pauline Demaree 1977 - December, 1993
  • Mr. Kenneth Cromer January, 1994 to Dec. 2007
  • Ms. Joanne Eldridge appointed Interim Director, Dec. 2007
  • Ms. Joanne Eldridge named Director, Dec. 30, 2007