Fayette's Normal Memorial Library celebrates 40th 09.26.2007

Written by David Green.

Fayette’s Normal Memorial Library passed a milestone in 2007: More than half of its existence has been spent in the building on Eagle Street.

The building is now 40 years old and an open house is planned Saturday in celebration.

From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. during the Fall Festival, the library will welcome guests to stop in for refreshments and commemorative gifts during a birthday celebration.

A library was started in 1931 as a memorial to the former college, Fayette Nfayette.library.exterior.jpgormal University. Alumni of the school donated $2,000 to buy books and Normal Memorial Library was formed.

 It first operated as a “free association library,” meaning there was no connection with any governmental unit. That lasted for a few years, but uncertain finances led the board to align the organization with the state library system and receive funds through tax receipts.

At that time—the early 1940s—the library became a school district public library, a designation the facility still has today. From its inception, the library was housed inside the school.

In 1964, Fayette citizens endorsed a plan to build a library separate from the school. Voters approved a five-year 1.25-mill levy to raise $50,000 for a new structure. An individual pledged $10,000 and planning began. In May 1965,  the library board learned that a federal grant of nearly $37,000 was approved, enabling a larger design costing $84,000.

The Eagle Street property just down the street from the school was purchased from Franklin Roosa and construction got underway for a facility that would include a main reading room, a work room, a community room and a small kitchen facility.fayette.library.computers.jpg

The facility was dedicated Jan. 8, 1967.

The first major change to the building came after about 20 years, said library director Sue Schaffner. The community room proved popular with residents, but the library was experiencing growth.

“As usage grew, we needed more room,” she said.

The timing was right to convert the community room into a children’s library because the Fayette Opera House had recently been restored and space was available there for community events.

This paved the way for the start of story hour and special programs for youngsters, both after school, in the evenings and during the summer.

The next big change for library operations came in 1996 when the circulation process switched from stamping cards in the back of books to an automated system.

Other service changes include delivery of materials to homebound residents, alignment with the State Library of Ohio’s Know It Now homework assistance program, and the availability of video, audio and DVD materials.

Registered patrons number 1,688 adults and 1,200 juveniles. Circulation reached about 67,000 last year.

Staff Members

Sue Schaffner, director
Sally Canfield, assistant director
Susan Stuckey, technical services
Denise Jensen, children’s librarian
Veronica Molina, library assistant
Lydia Raines, library assistant
Library aide, Jerry Miller

 

Board Members

Ruth Hutchison, president
Michael Figgins, vice president
Debra Rupp, secretary
Irene Fether, clerk
Kathleen Fix, trustee
Dee Ferguson, trustee
Vickie Cox, trustee
Sarah Schrock, trustee
  • Front.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016