Wilmington Public Library
The Wilmington Public Library is located at 268 N. South Street in Wilmington, Ohio.
In 1899 the George Clinton Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution began a subscription library in two rooms of the First National Bank building. They raised $710 and purchased furniture, shelving, books and periodicals. Minnie Farren was employed as the first librarian. Tickets that gave the purchaser the privileges of library and reading room use for one year could be purchased for $1.00.
Members of the community donated many items and various groups held fundraisers to benefit the library. The Six-and-Twenty Club began their tradition of donating books to the library every year.
The Library Aid Society was organized in March 1900. Members donated funds at the monthly meetings. Books from the State Library of Ohio were loaned on a rotating basis.
In 1903 Andrew Carnegie gave $10,000 for the purpose of building a free public library building, provided the village council should appropriate $1,000 annually toward the support of the library. The construction of the library was completed in 1904.
In 1933 the structure for library funding in Ohio was changed. Funding was to be derived from the Intangible Tax on stocks and bonds to be distributed on a county basis. A flaw of this structure was that the amount of money collected depended upon the number of local residents who owned investments. Areas with a significant tax base did relatively well under this system while areas with a small tax base were under-funded or virtually unfounded by the Intangibles Tax collection.
The Walker Annex was completed in 1938. Bookmobile service began in 1940. In 1961 a bookmobile garage was added to the south side of the building. A second level was added above that to be used as an adult reading room.
In 1979 a Friends of the Library was created. The group supports the library in many ways. There is an annual book sale to raise funds for special projects. The Friends also decorate the library for Christmas, take down the decorations, host special events such as the 100th anniversary celebration in 2004, and assist with other events through the year.
Clinton Massie Branch
In an effort to better serve a broader area of Clinton County, Ohio, the Library opened a branch in the new Clinton-Massie High School in 2004. The branch shares space with the high school library and is open to the public during and after school hours.
The Clinton Massie Branch of Wilmington Public Library of Clinton County, Ohio ceased operations in September 2009, due to a lack of funds. After the passage of the 2010 Tax Levy, the Clinton-Massie Branch was able to reopen and will continue to serve patrons county wide.
A seven member Board of Trustees governs public libraries in Ohio. Four Trustees are appointed by Clinton County Commissioners. Judges of the Clinton County Court of Common Pleas appoints three Trustees. The term of appointment is seven years. The Board is responsible for strategic planning, development of policy and procedures, budgeting and overall governance of the library.
The Director reports to the Board of Trustees and is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the library, human resources management, facility management, and recommending policy changes to the Board.
The Clerk-Treasurer is the Chief Financial Officer and also reports to the Board. The Clerk-Treasurer is legally accountable for the proper maintenance of financial records, bookkeeping procedures, and expenditure of all library funds.
Staff at the Wilmington Public Library includes a four-member reference team and a five-member circulation team. The circulation team is responsible for checking all materials in and out, maintaining items in good condition, assisting patrons in keeping their accounts up-to-date, processing inter-library loan items and many other duties. Besides answering reference questions, directing patrons to books and scheduling public Internet use, members of the reference team also maintain the library’s computer network, order and process all the new materials, and provide children’s programs and services.
The Clinton-Massie staff is made up of a branch manager and two part-time library associates. The manager selects books and other library materials, but the actual ordering, receiving and processing take place at the Main Library.
- Wilmington Public Library website (Background)