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Title: Brief History of the Williamsport Public Library
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During the year of 1914 a few civic-minded citizens of Williamsport proposed the building of a public library. This petition was led by Jane Brodie and was received with much enthusiasm. In December of 1915 was the beginning of the Carnegie Public Library in Williamsport. At that time, a library board had been established and a temporary library had been set up in the clerk-treasurer office in the Town Hall on the North Monroe Street. A meeting was held with a plan in mind. The public was invited to bring books to place on the shelves built by boys in the training program. Eighty attended with more than a hundred books donated.

In March of 1916, the board accepted an offer from Peter W. Fleming to purchase his vacant lot on Fall Street as the site for permanent library. Purchase price for land was $500.00. In April, Architect Wilson B. Parker of Indianapolis consulted with the board as contracted to design the new library. The total appropriation was $8,000.00 and work began late summer.

The official opening was June 1917. Helen Boyd was procured as librarian until Mabel Claypool finished her training. Librarians in order of their service: Mabel Claypool, Helen Boyd, Lillie Evans, Laura Schoonover, Ruth Cowgill, Catherine Geisel, Nelda Watson, Priscilla Benson, Jaqueline Booth, Myra Hamilton, Joyce Davis, Dee Roderick, Chris Brown.

1915 Board Members: E.L. Stewart, Margaret E. Slauter, Jennie Brodie, and Victor Ringer

Present Board: Robert Rolan, Nancy Litzenberger, Elizabeth Rader, Judy Snyder, Julia Poor, Peggy Kenworthy, John Layton

Present Staff: Chris Brown, Dee Roderick, Sue Dobbles, Jeanne Foster.

In January of 1999 with the hopes of building a new library, the library applied for a grant through the Community Foundation. With savings over the last 80 years the board decided to move forward and purchase land that had become available adjacent from the Courthouse for the site of a new library.

With the hopes of incoming grants the Board interviewed prospective architects and selected H.L. Mohler as the architect of choice. In the new Millenium we can look forward to a new library the new facility will have 6000 square feet and will have a community meeting room with state of the art technology.

The library now has received monies for the new library and plans have begun. With possible completion by October of 2001, we at the library are very excited about the reality of our new facility. For more information come to the library, we would be glad to share what we know of the project.

Date: 4/17/2001
Origin: Williamsport-Washington Township Public Library
Author: Chris Brown
Record ID: 00000888
Type: Periodical
Source Archive: Online Database
Date Entered: 8/10/2001
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Entered By: Chris Brown

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