Fairmount Public Library History, 1921- Present



The Fairmount Public Library was organized May 3, 1921.


The library was not open to the public until May, 1923 after 750 books and $11.50 were donated by the community as a result of a book shower conducted by the existing board.  A room was secured at 105 West Washington Street, in the Citizen’s Exchange Bank, 102 S. Washington St. in Fairmount.


Having outgrown the one room quarters which the library had occupied, the residence property (circa 1890) belonging to Dr. L.D. Holliday was purchased for $3000.  Money derived from the will of Mrs. Rebecca Handwick, bequeathing one third of her estate to the library Board, made the purchase of this property possible.  The new address for the Library is 205 S. Main St.


The Queen Anne porch was removed from the front of the building and replaced with a 3-step entrance.


Fairmount Township joined the Fairmount Public Library.



The Library dedicated a newly revamped Children’s room with a Christmas party. This formally offered a special section for children to go and find reading materials, reference materials and videos for their reading levels.


The Library purchased its first computer workstation with Internet connection.


The Fairmount Round Robins awarded the Library a grant to purchase another computer workstation.  The Library now had a network. The Bill Gates Foundation awarded the Library 4 computer workstations, a laser printer and a content server, increasing the Library’s online services to the public.


With a grant from the Community Foundation and matching funds from the Fairmount Round Robins, the Library constructed a lighted informational sign to enhance the library’s presence in the community.


The Fairmount Public Library website is created. The Friends of the Library group was formed in December.  They will be responsible for fundraising efforts to help bring library programs to the community.


With grants from the Fairmount Round Robins and the Community Foundation, computer and printer upgrades were put into place.  This took another step towards the completion of our automation catalog and circulation system process.


Fairmount Public Library has added an automation program for circulating materials to its patrons.

May 3, 2006:  The Friends hosted an 85th anninversary open house in honor of receiving its library charter from the state.  Over 30 people mingled at the event.


After years of struggling with the two front doors, the Library has installed a new single door to make entrance easier.

Dec. 2007:  After applying a second time, the Libray was awarded a Community Focus Fund Grant from the state.  Totalling $380,000 with a matching fund of $45,000 from us, this will purchase the neighboring Winslow building and laundromat and renovate the space for the library.   This move will give the Library over 6,000 square feet of space.


Purchase of the Winslow Building is completed on April 14.

April 18: construction began on the new building and was completed around October.

October: The library saw the close of the old Library building to the public and the move into the new Library.


November 3:  New Library is open for business.

November 23:  Dedication of the new Library Building at 217 S. Main St. The old building is now being referred to as the Library Annex, 205 S. Main. A record for the most new library cards given out is set:  60 for the month of November.

November 11:  A Heroes’ Tree was set up where community members could honor past and present soldiers.

December:  An Angel’s tree (gift tags for needy children at Christmas) was set up to assist Helping Hands.


February and March saw AARP set up in the Library Annex to offer Seniors and low-income families tax assistance.

February: The library also saw the beginning of a knitting class.  They continue to meet weekly every Wednesday at 7pm for beginners and advanced knitters.  The Knitting class no longer meets at the Library, but at Sheila Spaulding’s Knit ‘n Pirl store in the country.

The Friends Book Discussion meeting re-start in the new Library building.  Held monthly on Tuesdays at 6:00pm, various topics and authors are discussed.  The discussions are open to the public.

The Jr. Friends group has officially disbanded.  Funding that was raised during their year of operation will be spent on teen materials.

July:  The Minnestrista Theatre troop came and performed a “Captain Hook” play as part of the Summer Reading program activities.

November:  Celebrating 1 year in our new building. Over 200 new library cards have been given out.  Over 20,000 visitors were counted in the Library’s first year of operation  in the new building.


April 28, 2010:   The Library and the Friends of the Library hosted Hoosier photographer, John Bower as he showcased various photgraphic scenes of Indiana.  The program was titled “Capturing the Soul of Indiana -A Celebration of Our Overlooked Cultural Heritage.”  Around 30 people attended.

August 4, 2010:  Local resident Cathy Shouse, in collaboration with the Fairmount Historical Museum and other local contributors published IMAGES OF AMERICA: FAIRMOUNT; A PICTORIAL HISTORY book.  The Library and the Friends of the Library hosted a book signing where 75 people attended.  Old cars owned by Marcus Winslow and John Selby were on display in the Library’s parking lot.  Viewing was limited as a rain storm began.



APRIL 2011:  Computer classes were offered on Wednesdays from 10:30-11:30am.  Classes covered basics and tried to customize skills to what the patron needed.

May 3, 1921: May 3, 2011:  Fairmount Public Library celebrated its 90th birthday with cake, scrap books of past milestones and library events during an evening open house.

Summer Reading, 2011:  Using the ONE WORLD, MANY STORIES theme, the program participants were entertained and informed by 3 special guests:  Susie Presswood, native of Germany, Ronald McDonald, and Raul Kapriez, native of the Philippines.

October,2011:  INDIANA WILD presented a Halloween safety tips and animal program.  The following animals visited the Library:  a chinchilla; a skunk; an alligator (10 months old); a opossum; a python; and a fruit bat.  Treats were given out to all children.


June, 2012:   Minnestrista Players performed the play:  ONE DESTINY:  the assassination of Abraham Lincoln at Ford’s Theatre.  Sponsored by the Friends of the Library.

Summer Reading, 2012:  Bluffton author Kayleen Reusser talked to the children about writing her books and getting published in local newspapers and through publishing houses.
INDIANA WILD came back with hissing cockroaches; Rex rabbit, an older alligator; brown/white skunk; a tortoise and a fruit bat who plays with teddy bears.

August, 2012:  The Fairmount Lion’s Club donated a flagpole.  The Board of Trustees chose the parking lot as its new location to stem its use as a “turn-around.”  Boulders  for perimeter protection were donated by the Navillus Aggregates company, Jonesboro.    This will be a work-in-progress with the Board working on a plan for a park-like setting.


Magician C.R. Ryan and son Braden entertained during the Summer Reading program.

Masonry work was done on the Library building back wall (adjoining the rental back yard).


Magician C.R. Ryan and son Braden returned to entertain during the Summer Reading program.

Masonry work was done on the Library building back garage wall and Annex foundation.

The Library has a new website design and address, courtesy of students from an Illinois University.  The new website is located at fairmountlibrary.net.


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