Monday, November 18, 2013

Bookish Trivia for the Old Fashioned and Analogue -- In Celebration of our County Libraries,

A lot has changed in the last ten years.  More than half of the books purchased today are not actually books.  They are e-books.  Newspapers once the staple of every household on a daily basis have been reduced to twice or thrice weekly deliveries.  Where once seven locals were in existence, now only one is daily in our county.  Remember when Waldenbooks, B. Dalton and Borders were found in neighborhood shopping venues.  Remember when dust jackets seduced you into a sensory experience.  There was even a time not so long ago when public libraries were found in our  public schools.  Books and their repositories, the public library were a great asset and great resource for our community.  Today we celebrate the community library, the one place helping us save our endangered species.

Mentor Public Library Facts
  • The Mentor Library Company was founded in 1819.  Six shareholders paid $2.50 per share to have access to the 79 volumes in the collection.  In a short time the collection grew to 194 and were housed in private homes.  A single book was loaned out for three months.
  • In 1875 the Mentor Library Association was founded.  Membership fees were $1.50 annually and books were on loan for two week increments.
  • James R. Garfield took over the library system in 1890 and served thru 1927.  Village Hall served as the first official library building and had a collection in excess of 767 books.
  • Mentor Public Library became the new official name  in 1895.
  • Abram Garfield helped design the first public library in Mentor.  Over 2,400 books were now housed under a single roof. The building is still standing on the corner of Nowlen and Center Street.
  • Miss Frances Cleveland was the pioneering librarian serving from 1906-1944.
  • The Mentor Headlands Branch Library founded by the Fairport Library became its own entity in 1959.
Wickliffe Public Library Facts
  • Wicliffe's first library was once located inside a pharmacy.  The store's owner loaned out 280 books from the Willoughby Public Library collection.  The year was 1929. It remained a viable book lending institution thru 1942.
  •  1936 saw the creation of the Wickliffe Public Library.  It was housed in what today is the current middle school.
  • The current library located on Lincoln Road is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2013.
Painesville / Morley Public Library Facts
  • The first library was begun in 1878 and was part of the Temperance Society Reading Room.
  • Jesse H. Morley donated the funds to establish the first public library in Painesville in 1899.  Named after his parents, Julia Erwin was its first librarian.
  • 1957 saw the first county bookmobile service get underway.  Morley Public Library continued this service until recent years.
Fairport Harbor Public Library Facts
  • The first library appeared in 1895 as part of the Kasvi Temperance Hall site on Eagle Street.  Over 138 pieces of literature were in the collection including the Anne of Green Gables series and Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm novels.
  • The first school library was in 1904 at the Plum St. School and later McKinley School site. A library was also created in second floor classrooms at the high school.
  • 1922 saw the first truly public library established, funded in part by the Public Works Programs of the era.  The building is located on the Harding High School property.
  • A library station was opened at Sunset Point in Painesville Twp in 1955.
  • A library station was opened in 1957 in the Headlands.
Space limits the length of this journey thru the annals of real paper and the analogue era.  I love real books, and I love real bookstores.  I don't want them to go the way of the LP, typewriter, Pontiac, and Life Magazine.  But if they do, go shopping the old fashioned way - at your local community library.

Sources-  FHHS, Fairport Book    News-Herald, Andrew Case article, websites Mentor & Morley Public Libraries

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