Louisville Public Library

700 Lincoln Avenue
Louisville, OH 44641



Louisville Public Library has a rich history of service to its community. In April of 1935, by invitation of the Louisville Board of Education, it was decided to open the school library to the general public of the school district. The library was then housed in one room on the south side of the present Middle School building. The Board of Education donated the equipment and financed the transition period before a budget was established. Arwilda Wilson served as the first librarian.

In the early years, the library was open only during school hours and closed during the summer months. Miss Wilson spent the summer cataloging and supervising a W.P.A. book repair project. The Library Board voted to keep the library open all summer in 1937. Further expansion of library hours began with the implementation of evening hours during the 1940's. In the mid 1950's, the Board approved further increases in open hours to include five hours on Saturdays and two additional evenings per week.
Due to increased holdings and circulation, a new facility was planned for the library, funded through a 1964 bond issue. The present site, at 700 Lincoln Ave., constructed on land owned by the Board of Education, was dedicated in October of 1969. The new building included separate areas for reference, children's, audio visual and technical services departments, as well as space for a collection of juvenile books maintained for classroom use. The library housed 54,000 volumes in 1969.

The last three decades have brought many changes for the library, including the addition of videocassettes and compact discs, popular newspapers and magazines, and membership in the Mideastern Ohio Library Organization library cooperative. In 1981, a CLSI automated circulation system was installed, linking the library electronically with Stark County District Library and four other libraries in three counties. Betsy Ketchum joined the library staff as Director in 1987. In 1995, the card catalog was automated under Dynix, allowing patrons to search the collection electronically for the first time. OPLIN, the Ohio Public Library Information Network, brought the Internet to patrons of Louisville in 1997 with computer access to the World Wide Web.

Louisville Public Library has held an important position in the community since it began in 1935. This tradition of providing the materials and services required by a changing society continues to this day.

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