Library History

History of the North Webster Community Public Library

Library History

 

In 1978, Suzanne Shock sent a letter to all the organizations in the community, asking if they were interested in having and supporting a township library. The response was overwhelming. Petitions were circulated and 1500 signatures were obtained. These were presented to the town attorney, Robert Reed. Because the population of the township was not 10,000 permanent residents as state law demands for the establishment of a “public library,” an alternate type was required. In September 1978, a joint resolution was passed to establish the North Webster Tippecanoe Township Library Services Authority. An “LSA” is formed by two or more governing authorities in order to provide library service. In North Webster’s case the joint agreement to establish a library was between the town of North Webster and Tippecanoe Township. Until 2005 the North Webster Library functioned as an LSA – the only one in the state that functioned as a “public library.” Matching funds came from the town and township. The beginning budget in 1980 was $12,000. The library operated on this budget for 10 years, ending with an operating budget of $35,600 in 2005.

 

The first building was donated by the Lions Club and was located on the Lion’s Festival grounds. Money was raised by paperback sales, car washes, fish fries, and donations from various civic groups. For two years, work was done on the library, mostly by volunteers. 3000 books were donated by the community. Until 1981, the library was operated by volunteers. In 1988 the library moved across the street to the west end of the township building at 501 W. Washington.

 

In March 2004, the library moved into larger quarters in the north end of the North Webster Community Center and in July of that year became a tax supported public library.  As the library continued to grow, more space was needed to meet the changing needs of our community. A building project began, and the library moved into its own freestanding 20,000 square foot modern facility in July 2020. Our new facility, located at 110 E. North Street directly south of the North Webster Community Center, is designed to serve our community for decades to come.