Part 1 of this centennial compilation by Amy Harper can be found here.
The book and magazine collection wasn’t the only thing that had increased by 1901. The number of readers was also steadily growing. So the reading room moved to a larger room in the same building; the rent increased to $10 per month, with the building’s owner, Ms. DeNormandie, contributing $3 of that amount, and the librarian’s salary also increased, from $5 to $8 per month.
The reading room was an acknowledged success. “….the Social Culture Club are doing a work they may well be proud of,” wrote Mary Ellis Tucker in her 1901 report to the community.
“Many people conceed [sic] it to be the very best work done in any place, of course, outside the churches and schools.”
It was a good work and deserving of special attention, in the view of the Social Culture Club, which decided in 1901 that the library needed an association of its own to maintain and support it. And so it was that the Yellow Springs Library Association came into being. Mrs. Mary E. Lehow, who led the effort to establish the Association, served as its first president.
The membership of the new association were almost identical to that of the Social Culture Club. Indeed, until 1905, when the Social Culture Club merged with the Library Association, it was routine practice for the Library Association to convene its meetings immediately following adjournment of Social Culture Club meetings.
Membership in the Library Association, however, was not limited to club members, and others in the community also joined. Village Council didn’t join the Association, but it became a supporting partner of the library in 1902, when it made a small contribution to the Association. Village government has continued to be “sympathetic and generous and faithful” in its support of the library throughout the years. Today, the Village owns and maintains the building in which the library is housed.
By 1903, the library had again outgrown its room in the DeNormandie Building, so it moved across the street to a “pleasant double room” over what is now the Little Art Theatre. Miss Adalia Little, one of the original members of the Social Culture Club, became the librarian. Other librarians in those early years included Miss Juanita Weaver, Mrs. C. L. Carr, O. E. Carr and Mrs. Herman Schnurer.
Village government’s support of the library helped ease the financial burden somewhat, but the operating expenses still taxed to the limit the young Library Association. It nourished the library during those years with funds derived primarily from donations and from benefits of all sorts: lectures, musicales, dinners, Halloween Carnivals (from 1915-1941) and, of course, bake sales. “….the amount of food consumed in support of this worthy cause must have been enormous,” said Mrs. John Birch in 1935. “If all those cakes, pies, and loaves of homemade bread had been placed end to end, I am sure they would have reached several miles.”