Mansfield/Richland County Public Library

Location:

43 W Third StMansfieldOhio44902United States View Map

Employees:

175

Industries:

SIC Codes:

8231

NAICS Codes:

519120

Phone:

(419) 521-3100

Fax:

(419) 521-3129
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Description:

The Mansfield/Richland County Public Library, originally the Mansfield Memorial Library Association, was founded in 1887 by 50 women and was located in the Memorial Building on Park Avenue West in downtown Mansfield. At the turn of the century head librarian Martha Mercer visited New York City to request funds from industrialist Andrew Carnegie to build a new library in Mansfield. Carnegie promised $35,000 to the building project provided that the city of Mansfield furnish a suitable site and pay for the maintenance of the building. In October of the same year the city council passed a $10,000 bond issue for the purchase of the West Third Street site. The original Carnegie library formally opened Saturday evening, December 19, 1908. Approximately 15,000 books lined the library shelves. On May 20, 1951, an open house marked completion of a $122,000 remodeling and enlargement project funded by two bond issues. The automated circulation and public catalog system came on-line in 1986, and is now a second generation system with increased efficiency. This system enables patrons to be more self-sufficient when accessing information and materials. The library expanded once again with funds available from a local bond issue. When the doors opened at the grand opening celebration February 12, 1989, original Carnegie building had doubled in size while still retaining its original structure. In addition to the Main Library, there are eight branch libraries throughout Richland County to provide services to the outlying areas. Plymouth and Bellville branches became affiliated with the Main Library in the 1930's. The land for the Plymouth branch Library was donated by the McIntire family of Plymouth. Mrs John Stambaugh, a 100-year old woman provided in excess of $500.000 to build and furnish the library. In 1986 the Plymouth Branch Library was deeded to the Mansfield Richland County. Service in Lexington began in the 1950's while Butler came into existence in 1971. Ontario and Madison were opened after the 1986 bond issue and Lucas, the seventh branch, was opened in 1990 as a result of community efforts. Crestview branch recently became affiliated with the library system in March 1999. The historical synopsis of the library is best concluded by the mission statement of the library as stated in the long range plan. The purpose of the Mansfield/Richland County Public Library is select, maintain and make available to the public those resources, in a variety of formats, which serve the educational informational, recreational and cultural needs of the public. Today, the Mansfield/Richland County Public Library is broadening it's impact county-wide. Programming in all areas is becoming quite diversified. .

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