History of Lorain Public Library System
Birth of Illumination:
“Birth of Illumination: First Hundred Years of the Lorain Public Library System” By Kelly Boyer Sagert© 2001 Lorain Public Library System
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 - January 1, 1905 - February 1, 1907
- Miss Frances Root - February 1, 1907 - August 1, 1910
- Miss Elizabeth K. Steele - September 24, 1910 - February, 1924
- Miss Evelyn Yeaton - March, 1924 - April, 1928
- Miss Margaret T. Grant - June 1, 1928 - May 1, 1937
- Miss Marion King - May, 1937 - October 31, 1967
- Mr. Richard Willson - November, 1967 - 1977
- Miss Pauline Demaree - 1977 - December, 1993
- Mr. Kenneth Cromer - January, 1994 to Dec. 2007
- Ms. Joanne Eldridge - December, 2007 - September, 2016
- Ms. Anastasia Diamond-Ortiz - Appointed October 31, 2016
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
A local priest assists in assembling a list of Polish language books for the library to purchase.
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.
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.
Classroom collections of 10 books may be borrowed by public school teachers.
The Library has 2,770 registered borrowers; 700 bear foreign names.
There are 293 books in the foreign language collection: Hungarian - 96; Polish - 80; and German - 117.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Chronology of the Lorain Public Library System
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.
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.
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.
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.
South Lorain Branch Library moves from East 28th Street YMCA to rented quarters in its own building at 3059 Pearl Avenue.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 branch 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.
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.
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.
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%.
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.
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.
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.
Mr. C. Paul Stocker serves as President of the Library Board of Trustees from 1962 - 1967.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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 ofLorain, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Library purchases its first microcomputer (TRS-80) for public use in December.
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.
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.
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.
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.
An Open House is held at the Lorain Public Library to acquaint the public with the newly remodeled and expanded building's facilities.
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.
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.
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 employs 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
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.
Avon community approves renewal of operating levy for Avon Branch Library. Voters of Lorain renew the library’s 5-year levy.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Columbia Branch moves into temporary quarters in a building on Station Road as the building is renovated and expanded.
The new North Ridgeville Branch opens. Columbia Branch moves back into its renovated and expanded building on West River Road.
The Grand Opening for the new North Ridgeville Branch Library was held on May 4th.
The Columbia Branch Library moved back into its renovated and expanded building on West River Road with a Grand Opening on November 9th.
On September 11th, the Emery K. Smith Reading Garden was dedicated at the South Lorain Branch Library. The $25,000 donation from Elisabeth Allison of Belmont, Massachusetts and Marta Kirsch of Pepper Pike, Ohio was given in honor of their father, Emery K. Smith and his fellow Hungarian immigrants.
Director Ken Cromer retires in December; Assistant Director, Joanne Eldridge is appointed Director.
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.
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.
The month of April was the Spring Clean Fine Forgiveness Month for the Lorain Public Library System. Patrons were able to pay 50% of their overdue fines and were waved the equivalent remaining balance for overdue fines only.
On May 17th, the Lorain Public Library System Board of Trustees voted to approve a change to one of our circulation policies which will allow all borrowers (regardless of age with a valid library card) to take out any videos or DVDs. The new circulation policy went into effect on May 18th.
The Lorain Public Library System in collaboration with the Cleveland Browns and the Cleveland Clinic hosted Touchdown to Reading, a fall online reading program.
The Homework Help Center at the Main Library opened for its sixth season on Monday, September 17th from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Frances Johnson accepted the newly created Circulation Service Manager position at the Main Library which began on December 9th.
Meagan Hayes began her position as our new Marketing Communications Manager in the Public Relations Department for the Lorain Public Library System on December 19th.
Terri Frederick, Public Relations Officer, and Debra Jackson, Public Services Coordinator, both retired from the Lorain Public Library System after many years of service combined on December 31st.
Veronica Parker from the South Lorain Branch was promoted to Outreach Services Librarian Supervisor and began her new position on February 3rd at the Main Library. She unexpectedly passed away on February 12th.
The Lorain Public Library System began incorporating Every Child Ready to Read (ECRR), an early literacy initiative of the Association for Library Services to Children in partnership with the Public Library Association, into our story times.
Tom Batiuk, creator and cartoonist of Funky Winkerbean, visited the Columbia Branch Library in March for a presentation given to a capacity crowd.
The North Ridgeville Branch Library celebrated its tenth anniversary in its new building on May 4th.
Kelly Palma was hired as the Outreach Services Librarian Supervisor on May 28th.
The Lorain County Reads program, a collaboration of all of the public libraries in Lorain County, was proud to sponsor a presentation by Neil Zurcher of One Tank Trips at the Spitzer Conference Center on October 24th.
The Avon Branch Library underwent a modest renovation.
New children’s early literacy computers were added to all library locations.
At the Main Library, an air conditioner unit was added to the Computer Resources Room on the second floor. The Teen Area was relocated to the Mezzanine so the teens can congregate in a nice location and enjoy the expanding collection.
The North Ridgeville Branch Library outdoor digital sign was installed to advertise library programs and special library hours or closures.
Norma Preston, Branch Librarian Supervisor, retired from the South Lorain Branch Library in November. Cheryl Grizzell became the new Branch Librarian Supervisor of the South Lorain Branch Library on December 2nd.
The Columbia Branch Library was awarded Business of the Year by the Columbia Chamber of Commerce for its contributions to the town.
The Columbia Branch Library celebrated its 10th anniversary in the newly remodeled and expanded building.
The Avon Bicentennial Local History Series drew large crowds all year long.
The Read to Your Baby Photo Contest ran in February and winners were selected for photo shoots in March for new READ posters to go up in all locations in April.
A National Library Week program, Drawing Characters with Jim Durk, illustrator of Clifford and Thomas the Tank Engine books, was a success at the Main Library in April.
The North Ridgeville Branch Library Renewal Levy passed on May 6th.
Remodeling at the Avon Branch Library closed the library from May 7th through May 24th for new carpeting, flooring, paint, blinds, reupholstered furniture, and other technology upgrades.
Browser Library Cards were available to children for the first time on May 12th.
A major storm on May 12th flooded the Columbia Branch Library forcing it to close until June 2nd. Damaged carpeting was replaced and moisture was removed from the drywall.
The Avon Branch Library celebrated its 20th anniversary in its current building in June.
The Mezzanine and Teen Area on the second floor of the Main Library had “swirl design” accent walls added to the decor in June.
On June 1st, hours of operation at the Main Library changed to 10:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Friday and Saturday hours remained open from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., but closed on all Sundays.
The Main Library Periodicals were moved out of the Toni Morrison Quiet Reading Room up to a newer smaller area on the Mezzanine.
Lorain Public Library System partnered with the Lorain Historical Society and the Lorain Palace Theater to present a 90th Anniversary of the Lorain Tornado on June 21st, with meteorologist Jon Loufman as our guest speaker at the Palace Theater.
To mark the opening of the Carnegie Center of the Lorain Historical Society, the Lorain Public Library System donated the time capsule retrieved celebrating the Library’s Centennial in 2001, its contents, and a framed photograph showing the dedication of the Carnegie Building on August 18, 1903.
Sandra Mitchell retired as the Branch Librarian Supervisor of the Columbia Branch Library in July. Susan Spivey became the new Branch Librarian Supervisor of the Columbia Branch Library on July 7th.
LPLS Day at Lorain County Ironmen was on August 2nd at the ballpark.
System-wide How-To Month programs covering a large variety of subjects was held in all of our locations throughout the month of September.
The Domonkas Branch Library’s 50th Anniversary Celebration took place in October.
The Domonkas Branch Library was one of the National Tour stops for the OverDrive Digital Bookmobile which housed all kinds of tech gadgets, a video lounge and featured many interactive demonstrations.
The South Lorain Branch Library began offering Sunday hours between October and April due to the Main Library ceasing Sunday hours of operation.
The South Lorain Branch Library relocated all of their Spanish materials into the International Room to increase visibility, circulation and usage of room.
Lorain Public Library System locations comprised many of the ten stops represented along the Lorain County Library Bus Tour routes on September 25th and October 2nd to show attendees the many features and services our public libraries across Lorain County have to offer.
The Friends of the Avon Library funded a beautiful fireplace for the Avon Branch Quiet Reading Room which was installed in October.
The mantel of the fireplace at the Columbia Branch Library was replaced in October.
In November, the Domonkas Branch Library had new front doors installed and the replacement of the concrete entrance was completed in December for much needed improvements including a new bike rack.
The employees of the Lorain Public Library System held a staff holiday luncheon to benefit our neighbors at the First Lutheran Church after a devastating fire to their church.
The Bookmobile was taken off the road indefinitely due to needing a major repair. New opportunities to continue outreach services were further examined in 2015.
The transformation of the Morrison Room into a program area for children and other library events was completed in December.
The Outreach Department contacted their patrons about the bookmobile being off the road and other library services that could be used in the meantime. Directions were given about dropping off library materials to different branches or to different delivery van stops at scheduled times. Lobby Stops began at two former bookmobile locations to serve patrons with library services while our Books by Mail services ramped up to serve even more qualifying patrons who used to visit our bookmobile.
Doris Garber, our Technical Services Coordinator, retired on April 30th from the Technical Services Department. Cheryl Paganelli was hired as our new Technical Services Coordinator and began her employment on April 22nd.
Work began on the swale behind the Columbia Branch Library in March to prevent flooding in the future.
The South Lorain Branch relocated their periodicals from the Quiet Reading Room into the International Room in March. This allowed for the transformation of the Quiet Reading Room into an additional small meeting room space which was ready for use in April and got more foot traffic into the International Room.
The Columbia Branch Library Operating Levy passed in May.
A community art project created during the month of May, the Lorain-themed glass mosaic mural, was installed in the Toni Morrison Quiet Reading Room in July.
The Friends of the Columbia Library, Inc. secured a very generous grant from the Columbia Community Foundation which added a new early learning computer, increased the number of computers available to the public, and helped support other technology upgrades.
Avon Branch Library had the parking lot repaved and new energy efficient LED light installed in the parking lot.
On June 22nd, Megan Anderson became the Circulation Services Manager of the Main Library.
North Ridgeville Branch Library had new energy efficient LED light installed in the parking lot.
Tall shelving was removed from the Reference Area on the Mezzanine of the Main Library to make room for more seating and tables for library patrons to use.
The Domonkas Branch Library hosted three events to celebrate the Bicentennial of Sheffield.
Several adult collections were relocated and rearranged in the North Ridgeville Branch Library to accommodate the creating of a new meeting room for library programs and community usage.
South Lorain Branch Library added new furniture, playthings, and a computer desk to the Children’s Area.
On September 29th, the Lorain Public Library System was one of the county libraries involved in sponsoring a Lorain County Reads event at The Spitzer Conference Center featuring local author Mary Doria Russell who discussed her novel Doc, a national best-seller about Doc Holliday.
The Outreach Department was back on the road in the fall with a new book truck featuring new carts and custom design work on the exterior. In December, the staff tested a few locations for new lobby stop locations which made many library patrons very happy.
The North Ridgeville Branch Library extended their hours from 10:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays to have consistent hours Monday through Thursday in October.
Columbia Branch Library extended their hours from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Monday mornings to provide two extra service hours a week beginning in November.
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. Director Joanne Eldridge retires in September; Anastasia Diamond-Ortiz is appointed Director on October 31.
On March 15th, we had several library levies pass in our service areas. The Avon Branch Library Renewal Levy was passed by Avon voters. Sheffield Lake voters passed the Domonkas Branch Library Renewal Levy. Lorain city voters passed the renewal levy that supports the Main Library and the South Lorain Branch Library.
The Lorain Public Library System worked with the Second Harvest Food Bank to provide books and food in backpacks that were sent home with Lorain City School District students.
The popular Guys Read program continued with its partnership between the Lorain Public Library System and students from General Johnnie Wilson Middle School and Washington Elementary School in Lorain. Our Guys Read program also received coverage in a story broadcasted on News Channel 5 in Cleveland.
The North Ridgeville Branch Library had the new meeting room wired for sound and video. The new meeting room also had cabinetry, carpeting, a fireplace and refrigerator installed.
The Children’s Story Time Room at the North Ridgeville Branch Library had a touchscreen display installed to be used for presentations with children and teens.
The Columbia Branch Library had five new public computers added and installed a Hatch children’s computer purchased with a grant from the Columbia Community Foundation awarded to The Friends of the Columbia Library, Inc.
Our Information Technology Department installed improved software at all locations for wireless printing from patron-owned devices.
The Lorain Public Library System launched the Bold Beginning Pilot grant in partnership with other community organizations to keep children healthy and ready for kindergarten.
During our Summer Reading Program Kickoff in June, we hosted the Cooking Caravan, an education company out of Columbus, which held a Chef Battle with teams of kids from the audience who made healthy snacks.
During the summer months, staff from the Avon Branch Library visited the Avon Pool for Swim Break Story Time and Parks and Recreation Playground Days.
Every other Tuesday during the summer months, the Main Library hosted a Healthy Eating Series featuring a few medical professional speakers from the Cleveland Clinic and Mercy Regional Medical Center.
On September 30th, Joanne Eldridge retired as Director with over 22 years of service at the Lorain Public Library System.
On October 8th, the Main Library hosted its first annual Indie Authors Day event to tie into events hosted at public libraries across the country.
Anastasia Diamond-Ortiz began her tenure as Director of the Lorain Public Library System on October 31st.
In November, the South Lorain Branch Library participated as a write-in location for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) where local writers were attracted to our writing sessions.
The Avon Branch Library began offering sensory-friendly story times and other programs specifically tailored for children with special needs.
The Columbia Branch Library co-sponsored a grant from the Lorain County Health District with Columbia Township and other local organizations for the creation of a walking trail in Columbia Township Park.
The 2016 fitness-themed summer reading club sparked the creation of the Columbia Branch Library’s Booking It for Fitness Walking Club.
The Outreach Department continually added new Book Truck stops to its schedule and began offering eMedia courses for seniors at many of its locations.
The Outreach Department created coloring kits that could be sent out to Books by Mail patrons.
Pamela Coghlan retired as the Librarian Branch Manager from the Domonkas Branch Library at the end of January. Marleen Watling became the new Domonkas Branch Librarian supervisor on January 30th.
The Lorain Public Library System hosted its first Food for Fines food drive during the month of March. We forgave $1.00 in overdue fines per every non-expired food item our patrons brought to each of our locations. By the end of the month, over 1,000 pounds of food was sent to our local Second Harvest Food Bank.
During the month of March, the Lorain Public Library System was one of many local organizations to partner with the Lorain Historical Society to participate in a series of Charrette Discussions which allowed everyone who participated to be a mutual author of the vision of what Lorain can be in the next 20 years and how they can help make that vision a reality.
Elaine Betting became the Public Services Coordinator for Youth Services and Outreach on April 1st.
The Lorain Public Library System began teaching kids the basics of computer coding at many of its locations. The Main Library taught third, fourth, and fifth grade students coding and technology concepts to build problem solving and creativity skills during the school year. The Avon Branch Library featured teens from the local high school robotics club who taught the "Scratch" programming language created by MIT.
By partnering with the Boys and Girls Club of Lorain County, the Main Library, the South Lorain Branch Library and the Domonkas Branch Library were able to provide free lunches and had special programs for children and teens during the summer months.
The Lorain Public Library System was only one of ten libraries in the state of Ohio to be awarded with the BOLD Beginning program grant as part of Ohio's Early Learning Challenge Grant. With funding from Family and Community Engagement, we were able to launch a free school readiness program to keep children healthy and get them ready for kindergarten.
Valerie Smith, Public Services Coordinator at the Main Library, helped to compile a book with the Lorain Lighthouse Foundation. The History of the Lorain Lighthouse 1917 - 2017 book was published by the library to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the lighthouse.
Valerie Smith, Public Services Coordinator at the Main Library, retired after over 40 years of service on September 1st. Jamie Lauver became our new Public Services Coordinator - Head of Main Library on June 26th. Elizabeth Wagner became the new Marketing Communications Manager on June 30th.
In August, the Lorain Public Library System became a key sponsor of Lorain County’s Dolly Parton Imagination Library by hosting system-wide pony parties during the registration drive.
The Solar Eclipse on August 21st drew huge crowds to all of our locations for viewing parties.
Patrons could sign up to receive text notifications of library news and events through a new feature on our website.
Lisa Work, Library Assistant at the Main Library, spearheaded the initiative of the Lorain Public Library System to create a Hurricane Maria Relief Fund in cooperation with El Centro de Servicios to divert library fines along with many other patron donations from October to December which raised $4,585.21 for the people of Puerto Rico devastated by Hurricane Maria.
After the Ellis Memorial Library in Port Aransas, Texas lost its entire library collection during Hurricane Harvey, Stephanie Brown, Library Associate at the Main Library, led an effort to collect and ship 1,015 books to rebuild its collection with the generosity of our library patrons along with the Friends of the Lorain Public Library.
The Avon Branch Library began a program called Story Time for You and Me at the Rose Senior Living Facility in the Memory Care Unit. Children from Primrose Academy and caregivers from the area enjoyed special programming and activities alongside the residents.
The Avon Branch Library partnered up with Every Child's Playground in Avon to create a wooded story area to host special story times and a Story Trail in the park. The Avon Branch Library also became stewards for two new Little Free Libraries that were built by Lowe's and added to the park.
Dale Girt retired as the Facilities Manager for all of our Lorain Public Library System locations after serving the library for over 20 years at the end of October. Richard Gerena became the new Facilities Manager for the Lorain Public Library System on November 8th.
The North Ridgeville Branch Library continued to furnish the new meeting room and also added stained glass art to the doors and windows of the room designed and created by local artist Sheree Ferrato with the help of the Friends of the North Ridgeville Branch Library.
The Avon Branch Library and the North Ridgeville Branch Library began accepting passport applications at their locations on December 1st.
Cheryl Grizzell became the Assistant Director for the Lorain Public Library System on December 1st.
In December, the South Lorain Branch Library celebrated a full renovation including new carpets, paint, furniture, and a redesigned
children's area complete with creativity-boosting toys.
The Main Library began undergoing a major renovation which added a new space for teens, four new conference rooms for the public to use, and new modern furniture throughout the building. The public internet computers were also moved to a new area on the first floor which gave easier accessibility to all of our library patrons. The collection itself was also updated and rearranged to make library materials more accessible and easier to find.
New photocopiers were added to all of our buildings which also provided our library patrons with access to self-service photocopying, faxing, and scanning.
The Lorain Public Library System hosted its second annual Food for Fines food drive from February 19th to March 31st as part of the Harvest for Hunger campaign to benefit our local Second Harvest Food Bank. We forgave $1.00 in overdue fines per every non-expired food item our patrons brought to each of our locations.
In March, the Lorain Public Library System launched a new ad campaign using the Zappar app augmented reality program. By scanning the QR codes on the posters and ads in the paper, you would hear our Sam Lewis providing the voice of the eMedia poster guy advertising all of our eMedia services to our library patrons.
Automatic renewals for CLEVNET items with no holds or maximum number of renewals began for our library patrons on April 2nd.
Along with the May celebration of the 15th anniversary in its current building, 2018 also marked the 60th anniversary of the existence of the North Ridgeville Branch Library in its community from its humble beginnings in a small store front in 1958.
The new meeting room at the North Ridgeville Branch Library was dedicated in May and the final large custom designed stained-glass window by local artist Sheree Ferrato was added.
The Community Garden at the Domonkas Branch Library played an important part in the Food & Fun program. The teens volunteered to plant starter plants from a local nursery and transplanted the growing plants into the garden that children started from seeds indoors.
Food and Fun programs began at the South Lorain Branch Library which provided free lunches, take home recipes complete with necessary ingredients, and healthy living activities for participating children shared with their families.
Jennifer Black became the Marketing Manager of the Public Relations Department of the Lorain Public Library System on July 30th.
Michael Diamond became the Human Resources Manager for the Lorain Public Library System on August 20th.
The first LPLS Writing Conference was held at the North Ridgeville Branch Library in October.
The Columbia Branch Library celebrated its fifteenth anniversary in its current building in November.
The Avon Branch Library began recording library patron interviews for an ongoing Oral History Project to document the history of Avon in a unique way to ultimately make it available online to the public.
Three Operation WARM coat giveaways were held in the month of December at the Main Library giving nearly 450 coats away to people in our Lorain community in need.
Children’s Early Literacy Parties replaced story times at the South Lorain Branch Library.
Lisa Crescimanto was appointed Chief Fiscal Officer and Clerk of the Board for the Lorain Public Library System on January 9th.
Susan Spivey became the Main Library Manager on January 13th after the departure of Jamie Lauver.
An electronic controller and motor pully were approved for purchase at the Columbia Branch Library to replace fifteen-year-old equipment in January.
On January 27th, local author Suzie Dills shared about her book series Stella’s Starry Adventures and brought along her portable Star Lab, which is an interactive portable planetarium, to teach the children about astronomy at the South Lorain Branch Library.
A kickoff meeting with the Avon Branch Library Community Advisory Committee was held in February to discuss the need, financing and gather community input to plan the Avon Expansion Project at the Avon Branch Library.
Project DAWN Training was held at all of our locations over the winter months to educate participants on recognizing the signs and symptoms of overdose and administering intranasal Naloxone. The program was presented by the Lorain County Public Help and funded by the Ohio Department of Health. Medication disposal bags were made available at all Lorain Public Library System libraries for the public to safely dispose of medication.
After forty-two years of service with the Lorain Public Library System, Karen Sigsworth retired as the North Ridgeville Branch Library Manager on February 28th. Jennifer Winkler became the new North Ridgeville Branch Library Manager on March 4th.
There was an Open House at the newly remodeled Main Library on March 3rd.
The Lorain Public Library System hosted its third annual Food for Fines food drive during the month of March as part of the Harvest for
Hunger campaign to benefit our local Second Harvest Food Bank. We forgave $1.00 in overdue fines per every non-expired food item our patrons brought to each of our locations.
In March, the purchase of real property near the Main Library from the Lorain Historical Society was approved. The closing of the property occurred on April 23rd.
During the month of March, we added self-service systems which enabled patrons to release their own their own computer print jobs and use the same kiosk as a self-checkout machine for library materials.
The Rising Titans Play Group continued to meet at the South Lorain Branch Library and the Main Library. The goal of the Rising Titans group is to create community wide kindergarten readiness throughout the city of Lorain.
The Columbia Branch Library began circulating volleyballs and waterbowls for dogs for library patrons to use in the park next door.
The Outreach Department continued to expand its services to provide eLibrary training at daycares and senior nursing facilities for
library patrons of all ages.
A contract with Tameran Graphic Systems, Inc. for digital microfilm scanning services was approved by the LPLS Board of Trustees in March.
On April 5th and April 6th, Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am documentary was shown at the Cleveland International Film Festival and went on to win the Local Heroes Competition. Librarian Cheri Campbell and Valerie Smith were instrumental in conducting much of the research needed for the film at the Lorain Public Library System in the years prior. On June 28th and June 30th, there were special screenings of the film at the Lorain Palace Theater. Toni Morrison died on August 5th at the age of 88.