History of the Library

 

 

The Wellsville Carnegie Public Library began when a small group of townspeople established a reading room and lending library in a store front on Main Street. Expenses were met be selling shares, as well as holding rummage sales, suppers and concerts. Some funds were received from donations. The first records for the new library were kept in 1908. By 1910 the library had a collection of 1,535 books.

Property on the corner of Main and Ninth Streets, originally belonging to Gen. James Reilly, was given to the city by the State of Ohio to be used for a public library. In 1916 the mayor appointed a board of trustees to manage the library and to apply to the Carnegie Trust Corporation for funds to build a library. The Carnegie Trust Corporation approved the application and awarded a total of $9,427 for the construction of the building. It was dedicated and opened to the public on November 20, 1917.

While the services offered by the library continued to grow, the building itself remained unchanged. By the early 1980s it was evident that the building was no longer adequate to meet the changing needs of the community. The board began planning for the renovation and expansion of the library.

It was not until 1998 that the plans became a reality. The library received a bequest of $711,000 from the estate of Helen McSweeney Miskall. Construction on the project began July 6, 1998. The new facility was dedicated May 23, 1999. Total cost, including furnishings, was $1,200,000.