WILMINGTON — The “Friends of the Wilmington Public Library” had their first official meeting on May 29, 1979 at the library.
Harold Uible presented the by-laws which, excepting few recommendations, were accepted.
The first elected officers were President Florence Perry, Vice President Patricia Ramsey, Secretary Carmen Graff, and Treasurer Ann Hunt.
The major project was a used book sale, with hard and soft back books selling for 50 cents, and paperbacks 25 cents. Monies collected were used to decorate the library for the Christmas season, and further expanded to donate books to the Prairie View and Quaker Senior Citizens.
Continuing projects were financial assistance to the library’s children’s programs; summer reading programs; and purchasing computers and furniture.
In 1985 the Pauline E. Couden Memorial Fund was established to provide an elevator from the first to second floors, establishing access for the physically handicapped (at that point, the first in the library’s 82 year history).
The year 2004 marked the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Wilmington Public Library, possible through an initial gift of $10,000 plus an additional $2,500 requested by Andrew Carnegie.
This is one of the original 111 Carnegie Libraries in Ohio; 10 of the original buildings have been lost due to various reasons.
Two-hundred people attended that birthday party organized by Friends of the Library chairperson Heidi Thiele and a committee composed of Mary Gray, Ann Hunt, Carolyn Matthews, Helen Schilling, Donna Wilson, and Phyllis Newton.
Eight individuals won the $25 book certificates, chosen from over 1,500 entries. A committee composed of Bill Kinser, Carolyn Matthew, and Tim Titus used some of the money raised to purchase a refrigerator for the library staff.
Open house and prizes
The current members of the Friends of the Library are holding an open house 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday Aug. 7 to celebrate some minor renovations done during the pandemic closure.
Director Joe Knueven will cut the ribbon at 10 a.m. Refreshments will be available as well as lottery tickets for basket drawings. Baskets include wine, South of the Border, chocolate, coffee and books, and maybe a surprise or two.
The drawing will be at 2 p.m. Winners need not be present.