Lansing Public Library was begun in 1936 when it was housed in an office provided by the telephone company in the old Lansing Bank Building with books furnished by the Works Project Administration (W.P.A.). Mrs. Chapman was the first librarian. The library was soon moved to the old Star Store where the rent was $8.00 per month. The library board frequently had to hold a fund-raiser to get enough money to pay the rent. In 1938 the library was moved to the old pump house on Chicago Avenue which was remodeled and furnished by the Village.
In May 1941, the people of Lansing decided to make their library a tax supported institution, as it still is. Mrs. Frieda Brandon was appointed librarian. One of her duties was to see that the new oil stove was filled on weekends so the fire would not go out.
In early 1946, Mrs. Winifred Edwards was appointed librarian. The building was cold and dark or hot and dark depending on the season, because there were no storm windows, and only brick walls. The two light fixtures were so inadequate that one needed a flashlight to find most of the books. In 1950 the building was refurbished, automatic oil heat and new windows, which opened top and bottom, were installed.
In 1954, land at the corner of Ridge Road and Chicago Avenue was purchased from the Methodist Church. A referendum was held in 1956 in which the Citizens of Lansing voted to build a new building, which is now the Village Hall. When Mrs. Edwards retired in June 1966, Mrs. Joanne C. Jensen was appointed librarian.
In 1967 Lansing Library joined the newly organized Suburban Library System.
In 1970 it became evident that the Village needed a larger library building to house the growing collection which now numbered 25,000 volumes. When the Indiana Avenue School was torn down, the ideal piece of land became available. The present 30,000 square foot library building, named for Lewis O. Flom, the long-time Board President, was completed, and dedicated in 1976, an exciting added event in the bicentennial year. The library began circulating its books on SWAN, the library system's computer consortium.
Mrs. Jensen retired in 1990, and Janice C. Bojda was hired to be Library Director. During her time at the library, the collections continued to grow, and a much needed new roof was put on the building.
When Ms. Bojda resigned in 1995, the Board of Trustees hired the present Library Director, William D. Babcock. Early in his tenure the library was recarpeted, the Reference Department was moved to its present location, the computerized catalog was added, and the new awnings were installed. Filtered internet access was made available to the public in the spring of 2000.
Lansing Public Library has over 90,000 books including 7,000 large print books, Consumer Guides, Business Reference, How-to, and more
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Tuesday, May 24, 2022 at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time
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