History of the Library
In the early 1900s, Andrew Carnegie donated $50,000 to build Anderson Public Library at the corner of Tenth and Jackson streets. The city's only Neo-classical structure (completed in 1905) includes extraordinary craftsmanship such as oak fireplaces, a stained glass rotunda, classic columns, marble stairway, and special lighting.
In the late 1980s, the Library Board of Trustees recognized the need for more space and for anticipated growth of services, so they selected a Sears & Roebuck building (former site of the Main Street School) with 95,000 square feet at 12th Street and Central Avenue. Following extensive renovation, the building opened in 1987. APL serves more than a thousand people each day and offers more than a quarter of a million resources.
|From 1879, when the Anderson Library was first incorporated, to 1905, the library had several homes. The 2nd Floor of the Masonic Temple, where this picture was taken, was the last before moving into the Carnegie Building.||The Carnegie Building, constructed in 1905 with a $50,000 gift from Andrew Carnegie, was APL's home for 82 years. The lot at 10th and Jackson was a gift from the city, which originally intended to build a city building there.|
|Beginning in the late 1920's, the Library gave a series of popular programs designed to promote Children's Reading. The plays, all about a mythical kingdom called Bookland, had costumes and scenery made by staff and scripts written by librarian Margaret Wade||Young and old, rich and poor were invited to use the library and its riches. These young ladies searching the Children's Book shelves were obviously dressed up for a trip downtown.|
|1933 graduates of the library's Vacation Reading Club demonstrate the continued popularity of the library's special programming for children.||A 1940's renovation of the Children's area was featured in a national library publication and shows up well in the 1940's Christmas party for Children.|
|In 1955, library service took to the roads with the purchase of our first bookmobile.||In 1955, festive events marked the 50th anniversary of the Carnegie Building. Here 1940's era librarian Lois Ringo Heraty congratulates head librarian Ethel Albright on a successful celebration.|
|In January 1969, the library board hired David Bucove to replace Ethel Albright. He would stay 23 years and lead the library through profound changes, including the remodeling of the Sears Building for the library's new home.||Among the innovative services initiated by the library in the 1970's was the Outreach Bookmobile Service, which focused on senior citizens and the physically handicapped. A bookmobile fitted with a wheelchair lift allowed persons with mobility problems access to a large variety of books and programming.|
|By the 1980's, the Carnegie Building was crowded with books, audio-visual items, furniture and people, but creative staff didn't allow lack of space to keep them from adding new services.||The library’s third floor area was converted to meeting room space during a renovation in the late 1990s. The area also became the new home for the Friends of Anderson Public Library, allowing more room for bustling book sales like the one pictured here.|
|Beth Oljace (left) stands by as a guest thumbs through old library memorabilia. Oljace prepared multiple displays featuring historical library materials at APL’s centennial celebration in April 2005.|
|Carnegie Library 1905-1987
The Anderson Center for the Arts 1998-Present
|Main Street School 1888-1944|
|Sears & Roebuck 1947-1983||Anderson Public Library 1987-Present|
|Anderson Public Library, 2017|