William Elmer Henry.

Municipal and institutional libraries of Indiana. History, condition and management online

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satisfactory evidence that they were properly organized, and had a read-
ing room and a library of one hundred volumes.

Applications flowed in from several states wherever the terms of
the bequest were known. Owing to the incapacity of the principal trus-
tee, Mr. Alexander Maclure, who was opposed to the testator's disposi-
tion of the estate, the affairs were so loosely managed that a large portion
of it was wasted and lost. Finally the courts removed him and appointed
Alvin P. Hovey administrator.

Out of the residue 160 institutes complied with the terms of the
bequest, each receiving the sum of $500. The New Harmony Working-
Mens' Institute received as its portion a wing of the old German church
and an order on a bankrupt London bookseller for $1,000 which was only
partially honored. From this beginning the Library has grown slowly
but surely. In the year 1847 it contained, as the first catalogue shows,
425 volumes. In the year 1854, a member died leaving $1,000 for the
purchase of books "treating of science and fact."

Another Maclurean Institute was organized about this time, which,
after two or three years' existence, turned its books, some 300 volumes,
over to the Working Men's Institute.

In the year 1866, one of the old township school libraries established
by the state containing 600 volumes was included. In 1870 the Library
was recatalogued, when it contained 4,200 volumes. In 1874 the agent
of the Economy Society visited New Harmony, purchased the old Ger-
man church which was in a dilapidated condition, tore it down, and con-
verted it into a school building at and the same time repaired the wing
owned by the Institute at an expense of $2,000.

About 1893 the Society sold its building, and with the assistance of
Dr. Murphy, an old member, built the building now occupied. Dr.
Murphy made contributions of books and specimens for a museum, and
filled the art gallery with paintings purchased in Italy. In 1899 he made
a further donation of money amounting to $45,000. In 1900 the gift was
increased to $76,000. At his death in December, 1900, the sum total was
increased to $155,000.

The present estimated wealth of the society is above $200,000. The
annual income is about $6,000. For the purchase of books and period-
icals, $2,000 are set apart; $1,200 for free lectures; $600 for expense


fund; $600 for insurance and repairs; $700 for floating fund, which is
used to fill all deficiencies in other funds.

The number of members is limited to twenty-six. The official board
consists of three trustees, treasurer, librarian, secretary, and auditing
committee. Henry Hansdon, Homer Lichtenberger and H. P. Owen, are
the trustees, C. S. Lichtenberger, treasurer; Arthur Dransfield, librarian,
secretary and superintendent of the building and grounds.

The Library is kept open seven days each week, also Sunday and
Thursday evenings till 9 o'clock.

The Library contains nearly 17,000 volumes, to which the yearly
additions are about 1,200. There are forty-two periodicals on the list
which circulate the same as books. We offer every inducement to the
teachers and pupils of the public schools to use the Library. A good
selection of works on pedagogy, for the teachers, and supplementary
reading for the grades is kept up to date, which is highly appreciated
and well used. Each summer a competent teacher is employed, and a
free art course of eight weeks is held. The librarian is on duty at all
times, his assistant twelve hours each week. Since the organization, in
1838, those holding the office of librarian are: Charles H. White, James
P. Bennett, John C. Wheatcroft, Isabel Miller and Arthur Dransfield.

Arthur Dransfield, Librarian.




The Noblesville Public Library traces its origin to the reading room,
established in 1890, and maintained by the business men of the city.
This room was originally located on the north side of the public square
in rooms donated by Mr. A. H. Lacy for that purpose. Miss Jennie Lacy
had charge of the room for about one year, at the end of which time the
Ladies' Aid Society took charge and through the efforts of Mrs. N. D.
Levinson, Mrs. Susan Moss and others it was kept in existence
though suffering for lack of patronage. Mrs. Knight was appointed
librarian in 1891 and was succeeded at the end of one year by Miss Linsay,
who served until her death in 1895. On October 28, 1895, Mrs. Finlay
assumed the duties of librarian and served until 1900. In 1896 a charter
was secured and the reading room was reorganized under the name of
the Library Association. In the latter part of 1900 the school trustees
took the burden off the hands of the Aid Society and the library was
moved to its present quarters in the new High School building where a
special room had been built for the same, and in September, 1900, the library
was opened under the name of the Noblesville Public Library, with Ray-
mond Aldred as librarian, which position he held for one year. At this
time the Library contained about 1,000 volumes. On September 14, 1901,
Miss Ethel Conner succeeded Mr. Aldred and is the present and only
librarian. Since 1901 the Library has been increased to 2,500 volumes.
From a population of 6,000, the Library has 700 borrowers, and a circu-
lation of 7,500 volumes per year; a daily average of twenty volumes.
The books are loaned exclusively to residents of Noblesville, who may
call for them from Monday to Saturday between the hours of 8:30 a. m.
and 4:30 p. m. About $700, per year is set aside for the maintenance of
the library from which sum the librarian's salary is paid. J. W. Smith,
H. D. Gray and Dr 0. B. Pettijohn constitute the present board of


Lemmonier Library of the University of Notre Dame.

Until 1873 there was no general library at the university for the use
* of the students, although the various societies had more or less exten-
sive collections of books and each of the different colleges a number of
technical works. In that year, however, the president of the university,
Reverend Lemmonier, conceived the plan of uniting all of the smaller
libraries into one that would be generally and easily accessible. This
■ was the beginning of the present efficient library.

It was first known as the * 'College Circulating Library" but after
the death of the Very Reverend Lemmonier, in 1874, its name was
changed at the request of the students, to its present title. In its earli-
est days a specialty was made of the English classics and before the fire
of 1879, an unusually complete collection of them had been made.

In 1879 the Hbrary numbered 10,000 volumes, but in that year it was
almost entirely destroyed by the great fire in which nearly all the univer-
sity buildings were consumed. At the same time about 20,000 volumes
belonging to the Faculty Library were burned. In some respects the
loss was irreparable; for besides many rare books, a number of auto-
graphical letters and ancient manuscripts were lost in that unfortunate
disaster. But the same energy and zeal that made possible the erection
of the new Notre Dame over the ashes of the old within three months,
was shown in the founding of the new library. The Lemmonier Library
today stands as a splendid evidence of deserving success. Until several
years after the fire the only means at the Hbrarian's disposal for obtain-
ing books were the donations made from time to time by the friends of
the university.

Prominent among those who have enriched the library by bequests of
books, money and manuscripts are Rev. President Sorin; Napoleon III.;
Cardinal Newman; Cardinal Barnabo; Rev. J. A. O'Connell; Rev. D. E.
Hudson; Hon W. J. Onahan;C. L. D. ;Col. Elmer Otis; General Rosecrans;
Mrs. M. Rhodius; Archbishop Selon; John Gilmary Shea; Messrs.
E. and W. Arnold, of Washington; and Reverend Arthur Hariland and
Reverend Grogan, both of Philadelphia.

In 1894 the Columbia Library of 3,200 Catholic authors, one of the
features of the World's Fair was merged into the college library.

Some years ago, through the efforts of Rev. President Walsh, an


annuity of $500 was secured from the council and placed at the disposal
of the librarian for the purchase of books. With the impetus thus
given it, the library has developed with gratifying rapidity under the
aid given by Doctor Morrissey, who succeeded President Walsh.

The library building is gothic is design, 130x50 feet and 40 feet in
in height, admirably arranged with regard to the light. The order of
shelving is such that every book is within reach of the visitor without
the use of a ladder. The cases are built against the wall and the upper
tiers made accessible by a gallery around the entire library. Tiers of
cross sections have also been set in the central portion. At each end of
the room is an alcove containing the private library and desk of the
lamented Prof. J. A. Lyons and called in his honor the Lyons alcove.

All the interior wood work of the Library Hall is of polished hard
wood beautifully trimmed with black walnut.

The hall is also the temporary repository for some splendid his-
torical collections and many curios of various kinds, rare manuscripts,
books of vellum, illuminated by the patient toil of monks centuries before
the invention of printing. At present the library numbers 65, 000 volumes.
During twelve hours of the day the library is open to the students. The
care of the library is in the hands of a director and three assistant

The hall is so elaborately fitted up that one is surprised to learn that
the present location is but temporary, yet such is the case, as it is
intended in the near feature to erect an elegant building to be used
exclusively for library purposes. Such, imperfect as it is, is a descrip-
tion of a great and growing factor in the wondrous development of the
University of Notre Dame.

Joseph T. Lantry,


Joyce Public Library,
Notwithstanding our repeated solicitations from the authorities for
historical sketch, we are unable to secure any information concerning
this Library.

Peru Public Library.

In the year 1897, under the direction of the school board and a num-
ber of others, —lovers of books whose names may be forgotten, but
whose work will go on forever — a library was organized in the city of
Peru. After the common struggle attendant upon most beginnings, a
few books and a small room for their keeping were secured.

To the earnest, continued and untiring zeal of Miss Martha G. Shirk,
perhaps more than to any other one person, does the city of Peru owe
the present satisfactory condition of its library; not yet seven years old.
The volumes number 4,714, the current magazines thirty-one. A tax of
one mill on the dollar is allowed the city Library, giving it an income of
about twenty-seven hundred dollars annually.

The Carnegie gift of $25, 000 has made possible a good substantial
two story building, the abiding place of books, pictures and furniture
belonging to the city Library. An average of seventy books are taken
from this building daily and no less than 4,300 names are on the list of
borrowers. People living out of town are allowed the use of books, but
a small fee is charged.

From 8 A. m. to 9 P. M. of each week day and for three hours on
Sunday afternoons this Library is open to the public. Books are not
exchanged on Sunday, but the reading rooms are at the command of
those who care to use them.

The Dewey classification is used and shelves are conveniently ar-
ranged that all who care to may handle the books themselves.

One side of the main room is given to the children. Here are two
large tables; one of little more than kindergarten height, the other
higher, each easily seating a dozen children. At one end of this space
are no less than 1,000 books on shelves that are convenient for the child-
ren. Pictures and statuettes add to the beauty of the place and on a


beam that crosses the ceiling are these words : ' 'This room is under the
protection of the boys and girls of Peru."

The librarians have introduced to the children of our city the "story
hour." This occurs at irregular intervals on Saturday afternoons.
Various friends who have talent in the story telling line have been in-
duced to meet the children either on the lawn in front of the building or
in the assembly room and there to plant seeds in the minds of the boys
and girls that will grow into fruit bearing desire for the study of books.
The large attendance of these children proclaims the popularity of the
story hour.

Much time and strength have been given on the part of the librarians
to the pupils of the pubHc schools, the children in turn learn to look to
the Library for help in much of their school work.

Teachers and Hterary club workers, bible school students and mis-
sionary societies find in the library a never failing source of supply for
information wanted in their various departments of work.

The high school debating class depends largely upon the Library for
its success. The study room of the Library is used by these debaters
more than by any other class of readers. In this room is a book case
filled with reference books on the subject being considered, and changed
as the subject of debate changes. On the walls of this room are beauti-
fully prepared bulletins. In fact, bulletin work is used throughout the
Library. The birthday calendar and the bird calendar in the children's
room and the current events bulletin in the general reading room are
among the many helpful attractions that constantly appeal to the visitor.

The magazine room in the basement is no unimportant feature of
this Library. Here a large collection of the unbound magazines are sys-
tematically arranged and on one side of the room is a collection of dupli-
cates awaiting their shipment to the State Library clearing house for

So long as the Peru house keeper, who harbors the desire to have
more space in her home for new magazines, hears the continual call of
the librarian for old magazines, so long may we be assured that this col-
lection, though constantly depleted, will, like the widow's oil, continue
to fill the given space.

There are three regularly employed persons now in the Library —
two day librarians, whose duties are from 9 A. M. to 6 P. M., and even-
ing librarian from 6 P. M. to 9 P. M.


Miss Martha G. Shirk, the first librarian, had at times during her
five years of service, as her assistants Miss Eleanor Underwood, now
Mrs. K. E. Kenny, Miss Myrtle Elder and Miss Gertrude Thiebaud. Miss
Shirk having given up the work, the force now stands with Miss
Thiebaud as librarian and Miss Elder and Miss Miriam Richer assistants.

The present trustees are Dr. H. P. McDowell, Mr. W. H. Zimmer-
man and Mr. J. A. Faust.

Mrs. E. L. Miller.

Plainfield Public Library.

The Plainfield Public Library is a partial realization of the dreams
and desires of some of the women of Plainfield.

Feeling the need of such an institution in the town, and believing
an honest effort to establish such a means of directing and cultivating
the literary tastes of the young, and satisfying the demands of the old
would be rewarded by success, the Woman's Reading Club of Plainfield
asked the local W. C. T. U. and the Friday Club to enter into an
association for the above purpose. A corporation was formed and a
board of trustees appointed.

With the above organizations as charter members the association
membership was increased by adding the name of any person in the
township who gave a dollar or more in money or books. Donations in
both were solicited with the result that in a short time the library
opened with about 400 volumes and money to buy more.

The opening took place in June, 1901, and work began in a front
room of a private residence, on Main street, with Mrs. Ed. Lawrence as
librarian. She served until the fall of 1903, when her failing health com-
pelled her to resign, and Miss Melissa Carter was elected to that position.
Miss Mayme Snipes is her assistant, and serves in the absence of the
regular librarian.

The Library is classified according to the Dewey classification and

the librarian gives thirty-six hours per week to the general routine of

modem library work, and on Sunday afternoon some member of the

association has charge of the reading room, but no books are loaned.

. The town, which is not incorporated, has a population of about 1,200.


Residents of the town and township have access to the shelves and 473
regular borrowers keep about 3,250 volumes in circulation, per annum,
with an average of eleven per day.

The needs of the academy, high school, public school and clubs of
the town are supplied, and juvenile books are a prominent feature,
although no other special work in this line and no bulletin work are done.

The one per cent tax levy of the township, for the public school
libraries, is expended for that purpose and kept in this library. This,
together with the funds received from entertainments, rummage sales,
public and private donations constitutes the source of funds.

An average of $425 has been expended yearly for all library purposes,
including the buying of an average of 250 volumes per annum, to which
has been donated an average of 100 volumes per annum.

On the reading tables are fourteen magazines and five weekly news-
papers which are much used.

The present board of trustees, who are Dr. J. S. Reagan, Dr. Amos
Carter, Mr. J. F. Cox, Mr. B. W. Anderson, Mrs. T. Hunt, Mrs. Taylor
Reagan and Mrs. W. H. Hiss, feel that a new building is of real
necessity for the accommodation of the growing library, and plans are
being perfected for such a building, which, it is hoped, may be built and
occupied in the spring of 1904.

This building is to be erected by private donations and the library is
expected to be maintained in the future by a special library tax of the

Mrs. a. E. Hunt,


Carnegie Free Library.

The Public Library of Portland, Indiana, was established in January,
1900. A meeting was held at the court house, at which nine directors
were appointed and resolutions were introduced for the incorporation of
Portland Library Association. Miss Elma Bolton was engaged as
librarian, which position she held until the donation was received from
Carnegie, when Miss Nellie Stanley was engaged to take charge until a
trained librarian should come in March, 1902, to reorganize the Library
previous to moving into the new building.

In March, 1901, Mr. Carnegie's offer of $15,000 for the erection of a
new building was accepted, the building being completed and dedicated
September 10, 1902. The new Library building contains a general read-
ing room, children's room, reference room, librarian's room and stack
room, with a basement which contains work room, boiler room and two
other rooms which, when finished, will be used for general assemblies.
The building is heated by hot water and lighted by electricity.

The Library is open to the public every day in the week, but no
books are loaned on Sundays. On all week days, except Saturdays, the
Library is open from 1 :30 p. M. to 9 P. M. ; on Saturdays from 9 A. M. to
9 P. M. ; on Sundays the reading rooms are open from 1 P. M. to 5 P. M.
The Library contains about 1,800 volumes classified according to the
Dewey classification, and is supplied with a card catalogue. The public
has access to the shelves.

Portland has a population of about 5,000. The maintenance fund of
the Library is $1,500 annually, and about 500 volumes are added each
year. The Library receives thirty periodicals and five newspapers.
Books are loaned to borrowers outside of town, but all guarantors' cer-
tificates must be signed by citizens of Portland. At present 789 borrow-
ers are registered, the total circulation for the year 1903 being 10,696,
an average daily circulation of thirty.

The children have been successfully reached through the schools and
bulletin work, and the bulletins have been equally useful in attracting
older people and increasing the circulation of books along certain lines of

The following persons constitute the present board of trustees: Dr.
M. T. Jay, president; 0. S. Whiteman, W. H. Reed, R. H. Hartford,


Public Library of Poseyville.

The Public Library of Poseyville, was established in 1898, the books
Which numbered at that time about 400 volumes, being purchased from
the funds contributed voluntarily by citizens of the town and community.
It was maintained for several years from the sale of memberships and
the proceeds of local entertainments. Until April, 1903, it occupied two
rooms in the opera house building. When the legislature of 1901 passed
the present law relating to public libraries, those interested in the wel-
fare of the Library were quick to see the advantages accruing under
such legislation to libraries of its class and soon took steps to organize
under the law.

The board of trustees of the town made a levy of four cents on the
hundred dollars for library purposes which at the present time provides
about $150 per annum, which amount is sometimes supplemented by the
profits resulting from a lecture course. The Library board as first organ-
ized, and at present, consists of John B. Davis, Mrs. V. P. Bozeman,
Mrs. Joseph R. Haines, Mr. William D. Brown, James S. Jaques, Geo.
J. Waters and Miss Mary Dean.

Last year the town authorities erected a new town building, the
upper story being planned particularly for the use of the Public Library.
Into this new home the Library was moved last April, and Miss Merica
Hoagland, library organizer, spent some days in systematizing and cata-
loguing the books and installing the first librarian. Miss Ottie Sands.

At present eight of the standard periodicals are received regularly.
The town has a population of about 800, and the Library is free to the
inhabitants, but its privileges are extended to residents of the township
Upon the payment of an annual membership fee of $1.00. The Library
is open Wednesday from 7 P. M. to 9 P. M. and Saturday from 2 p. M. to 4
p. M. and from 7 P. M. to 9 P. M. The present librarian is Mr. Roy Stevens,
and his last report, which dates from May, 1903, shows the Library to con-
tain 785 volumes and that during the eight months— from May to Janu-
ary, 1904, there were loaned 816 books to 134 borrowers.




The village of Rensselaer was platted, facing the falls of the Iro-
quois, in 1838, and is the county seat of Jasper county. It was incorpo-
rated as a town in 1858, and as a city in 1896. It now has a population
of 2,800.

The Library interests, since the Maclure distribution, have been
growing with the village, town and city. The trustees did not well care
for the books until 1855. Alfred Thompson, a banker who was chosen as
township trustee, at his ovni expense furnished a case and secured quite
a circulation for the books. Afterwards, Cyrus W. Henkle became
county recorder and took the books into the recorder's office, where they
remained until 1868. In that year Simon P. Thompson, as school exam-
iner, took up a voluntary subscription of $300 which added new books,
and the Iroquois Library was organized. It remained in his law office
for nearly twenty years. The public school began a series of entertain-
ments in 1886, which in three years purchased the Iroquois Library which
became a nucleus for our school Library. A room was set apart and by
entertainments and a tax of one-tenth of of mill on the dollar new books
were added and cared for. There are now in the Library about 2,000
volumes which circulate freely through the medium of the school child-
ren. The school officers and especially our present superintendent, W.
H. Sanders, have taken pains to make the Library useful to the city.

In 1899 there was organized a new union Library, for which a home
was furnished in the new court house. Stock was issued in shares of
five dollars each, and $800 was subscribed. The organization assumed a
county feature and the auditor, clerk and recorder were made ex-officio
directors. This brought to the shelves the county's books, secured a
home and an annual allowance not exceeding $75.

The tov/nship feature made the trustee a member of the book com-

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Online LibraryWilliam Elmer HenryMunicipal and institutional libraries of Indiana. History, condition and management → online text (page 11 of 15)