Library District # 1, Doniphan County enables people of all ages to improve their quality of life by providing information and enrichment through traditional resources and new technology.
At a 1971 SLK (Seekers of Light and Knowledge) meeting, a Federated Women's Club in Troy, an individual asked to purchase three historical books from the private library of the club. It was tabled because the group was hoping for a public library
someday and those books could be part of that collection. Letters were written asking how to achieve this.
Library Election Day, April 3, 1973, put the hope of ending the fact that Doniphan County was the only county in Kansas without a public library service, to a vote. The issue failed by 1/10th of the vote! Books were being donated with no library to hold them.
Pat Freund, Atchison Librarian, approached one of SLK's most library-devoted members, Joan Paulich, who had never given up. A new plan was developed, a new campaign launched, a tremendous amount of effort again expended. The State Library commission was moved to give us one more chance, and awarded $18,000 in May of 1974 for this project. A Community Library Association was chartered May 31, 1974. Volunteers gave hundreds of hours to get the Library running and by June it was going well with Story Hours and a Summer Reading Program.
In November of 1974 the first branch was placed in White Cloud. A target date for a new vote was the April 1975 general election. The vote would be to create a Library District including 7 of the 9 townships (all but Wayne and Wolf River.) Branches were established in Wathena, Highland and Elwood in January of 1975.
April 1, 1975, brought out a resounding YES vote, 2 to 1 for the birth of Doniphan Library District No. 1. The County Clerk called a Library Organization Meeting for April 30, 1975, at which the first Board was elected. It consisted of Co-chairpersons, Joan Oyerly and Mary Beth Elder; Secretary, Kay Bascom; Treasurer, Eugene Eisiminger; Buildings and Grounds, Paul Dittemore; Public Relations, Jack Gray and Ida Robinson. Joan Paulich was established as Head Librarian and Donna Chance became the librarian for Wathena and Elwood branches. Many of the volunteers continued to help.
A grant from the Kansas State Library Commission of $27,250, kept the Library operating till the first taxes could be levied.
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