Marion Carnegie Library was opened to the public in 1916. It has undergone several renovations in the 92 years since, including a major expansion in 1997 that added 12,000 square feet. The library's collection now exceeds 70,000 items, there are 8,000 registered borrowers and it averages more than 120,000 visitors each year.
The library has an automated circulation system as well as multi-media workstations and Internet capability. There is a public meeting room with computer workstations. A full-service coffee bar is located on the main floor. Marion is located in Williamson County in southern Illinois at the intersection of Illinois Route 13 and Interstate 57.
The library stands on the site of the former "Grandma Cline" residence. This property was acquired in 1914 for the sum of $5,003.17 from Sarelda Cline and her heirs. The building was constructed in 1915 with a grant of $18,000 from the Andrew Carnegie Foundation.
Clifford Shopbell of Evansville, IN, designed the building, which was constructed by Robert Sparks of Marion. It was opened to the public on February 29, 1916 with 1,162 volumes and 680 borrowers. Marie Williams Roberts was the first librarian. Mark Woodley was the first president of the board of trustees.
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