In the last issue of the newsletter, I talked about the fact that the Peninsula Library is about to celebrate its 75th anniversary. As a result, I received requests to recount the origins of how the library was started.
The year was 1942 and the United States had been engaged in WWII since the prior December. People were casting about to come up with ideas to help morale, give everyone a sense of purpose, and create something positive for the community. In Peninsula, these efforts even extended to the local Girl Scout troop. Among the many mothers who organized and ran the troop were Ruth Roush and Honoré Guilbeau Cooke. One day in conversation, Ruth proposed the idea of what the Girl Scouts could do as a service project that would tackle all three issues. Honoré’s reply, “Why not start a library?” With the help of other mothers like Frena Wilcox and Flora Billings and under the sponsorship of Union Grange #2380, the Girl Scouts threw a party in the old schoolhouse that was by then owned by Boston Township, but used extensively by the Grange. The party, held on Halloween, required that each attendee donate a book as the price of admission. That brilliantly conceived party netted 100 books and $40. The next year, on February 16, the Peninsula Library opened on the second floor of the Peninsula Village Hall. Shelving consisted of boards stretched between cinder blocks. The library was in the Town Hall for two years, moving into the stone Bronson house during 1946. A move to the Boston Township hall lasted from 1947 until 1964. During those years a concerted effort was made to improve the library, add to its collection, and, under the leadership of Bob Bordner, make a case to the Summit County Budget Commission for funding for a permanent location. In September 1964, the Peninsula Library opened in its current location. The additions of the Bordner Wing in 1979 and the Roush Room in 1990 brought the library to its current configuration.
During the upcoming year we will be planning some commemorative and celebratory events to mark this milestone anniversary. A joint effort between the library board, staff, Friends and Foundation will provide the proper opportunities to look both at where we have been and to project where we will be headed in the future.
A great part of the history of the Peninsula Library has always been our close relationship with the community and our patrons. We would like to explore that relationship during our period of celebration. We would like to ask everyone to help us complete the sentence: “I love the Peninsula Library because…..” We want to compile your responses and use them during the upcoming celebration year. Please take a moment to fill in the form below and return it to the staff at the circulation desk. Or you may simply email a response to: firstname.lastname@example.org . We look forward to hearing from you!
Click here to retrieve the I love my library form.