Waverly Public Library

291 North Pearl Street
Waverly, IL 62692

217-435-2051

History:

The Waverly Gazette of February 24, 1870, contained a suggestion from the editor, Mr. Abbott, concerning a Reading Room and Circulating Library where everyone would be welcome, and expressed the hope something would be done in the near future to correct this oversight.

Mr. C.J. Salter suggested the following plan: "Select a large room in a central location, furnish seats, stands for papers, and cases for books; form yourselves into an association taking the caption to this article, Reading Room and Circulating Library, for a title. Let everyone be a member and entitled to vote by paying five dollars and an annual tax of one dollar and fifty cents for a share, transferrable if he or she wishes to leave the place. Every shareholder entitled to the privilege of reading the papers and books, and taking to his or her home one volume book every week. The room to be opened every day except Sunday, from nine to eleven a.m. and from two to five p.m. A committee of five to select the books and papers and no book or paper admitted without th approval of the majority of the committee."

The suggestion of Mr. Salter must have met with the general approval , and an effort made to establish a public reading room. Reference material is scarce concerning the struggle of the community to make the library a success between the years of 1870 and 1880.

The original Public Library in Waverly was established in December, 1880. It was know as the Waverly Association. This was not tax supported, but was financed by donations, entertainments, fees for readers' cards and Kings' Daughters. The first record of circulation of books was January 15, 1881.

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