Greenville Public Library

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Greenville Public Library

Contact Information[edit | edit source]

Address: 520 Sycamore Street, Greenville, OH 45331

Telephone: (937)548-3915

Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday 10 am - 6 pm (currently entrance by appointment)
Directions/Parking Map: From Dayton: I-70 W to St. Rt. 49 N, 49 N turns into Sweitzer Street, Swietzer Street turns into West 4th Street, From West 4th Street turn right onto Sycamore Street. From Indiana: US 27 to US 36 E, 36 E merges with 127 N, Exit via OH 571 W/Martin Street, From Martin Street turn right onto South Broadway, From South Broadway turn left onto West Fifth Street. Parking available on Sycamore Street, West Fifth Street, and in the Memorial Hall Parking lot (entrances located on Central Avenue and West 4th Street).

Description of Collections[edit | edit source]

The Greenville Public Library has variety of materials available to patrons from our Children, Adult, and Young Adult Departments. Circulating collections include: fiction and non-fiction books, board books, large print books, over-size books, audio-books, story-time to go kits, dvd's and bluray discs, music cd's, and magazines. Collections available for in-house usage include: Reference books, Genealogy materials, local yearbooks, puzzles, and newspapers.

Services[edit | edit source]

The Greenville Public Library offers a multitude of services. The Genealogy Department assists patrons with genealogical searches. Newspapers can be searched using the microfilm machines or on (in-house or by subscription). The Greenville Public Library is an Affiliate Library with FamilySearch. The Children's Department offers story times for baby/toddlers and preschool age children. Lego Club occurs once a month. The Young Adult Department offers a YouTube Channel called miscellanYAmandatory which offers teen book reviews. The YA department schedules a variety of programs and events throughout the year. The Adult Department offers a variety of programming throughout the year. Each Department has a Facebook page to connect with the community. Extension Services is an outreach program that delivers materials to home-bound and elderly individuals, nursing homes, and preschools. The Growing Harvest Seed Library is a free resource for patrons to obtain heirloom and open-pollinated seeds to grow at home. The Computer Lab is available to patrons during open hours for research and printing. The library has copying, faxing, scanning, and emailing capabilities. There are links to several databases, e-books, free music, and other resources via the Services page on the library web page.

History[edit | edit source]

[1]On February 22, 1889, Superintendent F. Gillman Cromer started The Free School Library in a room at the East School and maintained it through funds collected from the students providing entertainment for President Washington’s birthday.  By 1894, the library had moved to 118 W. Fifth Street, a building owned by Frank McWhinney, where Josie Ford was librarian and the reference collection was maintained by Henry St. Clair.  Due to the increasing collection it was determined that the community needed a larger facility.

In 1901 the Board of Education, headed by D. L. Gaskill penned a letter to steel industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie to request funds to construct a new library.  Carnegie granted the committee an amount of $15,000 and the city agreed to maintain the library for $1,500 annually.  However, after visiting libraries in Pittsburg, it was determined that the amount would be inadequate and an additional $10,000 was requested of Carnegie.  Carnegie agreed to the additional funding if the city would also increase their upkeep amount to $2,500.  The Carnegie Library’s cornerstone was laid on October 30th, 1901.

W.S Kaufman was the architect and Dennis Dwyer was the contractor hired to create and build the Carnegie Library in Greenville, Ohio.  During the construction process it was found that it would cost closer to $30,000 to complete the library per Kaufman’s design. Rather than have Kaufman alter the design, Henry St. Clair offered to contribute a total of $3,610.50 and the Board of education paid the remaining $2,567 from the library fund.  The finished project came in at a grand total of $31,177.50.

School children formed a line between the building on Fifth Street and the library in order to transfer the books to their new location.  The first book to enter was the bible carried by Miss Lucy Arnold, librarian. The Carnegie Library opened to the public on March 19th, 1903.  The upper level housed the St. Clair Reference Room, the adult’s reading room, the children’s reading room, the stack room, and the librarian’s office. The lower level showcased a public museum, stack room, furnace room, and janitor work room.  Each floor also provided a toilet room.

The Carnegie Library has encountered many changes over the years. By 1946 the library’s collection had grown so exponentially that it was decided to move the public museum to the Garst Home, which became the Garst Museum.  This was also the year that the library received its first bookmobile donated by the American Aggregates Corp. Notably, in 1972, the Carnegie Library name was changed to the Greenville Public Library and it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.  The eighties and nineties brought major renovations including an elevator, finishing the attic to create office space, and designating each floor as Circulation and Reference areas.  By 2007, the Greenville Public Library had again outgrown its space so additional wings were built to the east and west adding more than 4,000 square feet to each floor.  The third floor was also renovated from a large staff work area into a Community Room, a Reception Room, the Staff Lounge, and two offices, one office being the location of the Darke County Center for the Arts.  After sixty-one years and four replacement vehicles, the bookmobile service was also retired this same year.

[2]Between 1883 and 1929, 2,509 Carnegie libraries were built worldwide.  In 2020, The Greenville Public Library is still serving the community in its originally intended capacity.  Standing as a beacon of the importance of knowledge and offering it freely to the public.

Tips for Your Visit[edit | edit source]

Currently, due to Covid-19 precautions, admission to the Greenville Public Library is through appointment only. Please call us to schedule an appointment for any services.

Guides[edit | edit source]

  1. History of Darke County Ohio, V1, Frazer E. Wilson, pb. 1914