Peabody Township Carnegie Library will celebrate a century of service to the Peabody community this year. To mark the occasion, the library board and staff will have several events during 2014 to encourage residents to come and see not only the historic building, but also the library’s leap into serving the community as needs and technology move ahead.
The first event will be an open house from 9 a.m. to noon on April 12. The public is invited to attend and see the many technology upgrades and learn the history of the Carnegie building.
“We will be serving homemade cinnamon rolls compliments of the family of Orlene Scrivner, who was an avid reader and library supporter,” librarian Rodger Charles said. “We hope to have a presentation on the history of the building and we want to show off the improvements we have made and share our plans for the future.”
Charles also will offer a tutorial to library patrons interested in learning how to access the new archives of Peabody newspapers on their home computers. Transfer of the old newspapers dating to the late 1800s was made possible by a gift from Warren Taylor in memory of his parents, Adele and Harold Taylor.
“We also are anxious to show off the expanded kitchen area that includes, for the first time in 100 years, hot water,” he said. “Some seemingly simple additions have made the basement area a popular place for meetings, baby showers, and programs. It is seeing a lot more use now and we think it is a great asset for the community.”
The library board is also launching an effort to purchase “100 Books for 100 Years.”
“We are hoping to raise enough money to purchase 100 children’s books,” he said. “This will be at least a year long project. We hope to finish it in 2014, but it may go on longer. While the library is planning to move forward with technology in the children’s area, we also want to upgrade the books and encourage them to keep reading.”
Charles said the library board is planning events for Memorial Day, July 4th, and later in the year.
“The events will give people a chance to visit, see, and learn about the library,” he said. “We hope the community will watch for upcoming events and come celebrate with us.”
Charles said Peabody has had a library for 140 years, but the Carnegie Library building is 100 years old. The first library now serves as the Peabody Museum. The building and original contents were donated in 1874 by F.H. Peabody, the Santa Fe Railroad vice president for whom the town is named.
“Ours is the first free library in the state of Kansas,” Charles said. “We have never charged for services. Other libraries charged a fee in the early days to check out books and provide other assistance to users, but we never have.”
Charles said the library board and regular users of the library are excited about the changes that have been made and those that are planned for the future.
“April 12th is a Saturday and we hope to draw many people to our open house,” he said. “But we welcome visitors anytime.”
The library is open on 9 a.m. to noon and from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday. It is closed Sunday and Monday.