Services available at three locations:
Huntington Main Library255 West Park Drive Huntington, Indiana Phone: 260-356-0824 Fax: 260-356-3073
Hours of OperationMon – Thu: 9 am – 8 pm Fri & Sat: 9 am – 5 pm Sun: closed
Markle Branch197 East Morse Street Markle, Indiana Voice and Fax: 260-758-3332
Hours of OperationMon – Fri: 1 pm – 7 pm Sat: 9 am – Noon Sun: closed
The first effort to organize a library in the City of Huntington occurred in 1874, and was called the Public School Library Association. It consisted of Life Members and Yearly Members. The Life Membership fee was $12.00, and the yearly membership feel was $2.00. Mr. James Baldwin, superintendent of the city schools, was the first President. The original Central School Building gave space for the books that constituted the Library, which in a short time possessed over 1,200 volumes, many of which had belonged to the famous Mechanics’ and Working Men’s Library established by William McClure, who founded the New Harmony Library in Indiana.
The first Librarian was Miss Melinda M. Embree, a teacher in the public schools. Her successor was Miss Eliza A. Collins, who was an enthusiastic and active worker. Mr. James Roche, a brother of John Roche, was the next librarian, and he was followed by Miss Mary Hawley.
In 1889, the Library was reorganized according to Indiana state law, which transformed the Library into a free library, thus reaching more people in the community. Miss Maggie C. Dailey was the first Librarian to serve under the new law, holding her position until 1898. She was succeeded by Miss Lyle Harter.
In December of 1901, the School Board of Huntington received a letter from Mr. Andrew Carnegie, offering $25,000 for the erection of a Library building. In January of 1902, the Board formally accepted Mr. Carnegie’s offer. After much debate, a site was selected and building began. The Carnegie building was opened to the public on February 21, 1903. It marked the first time a library in Huntington was provided with separate facilities and recognized as an individual institution. The Carnegie library contained about 8,300 volumes when it opened.
A lot of things have changed since 1903 – the two librarians who staffed the City Free Library in 1903 never could have predicted the range of equipment and services that the Library would need to provide to modern patrons. Through the years, trends have come and gone. Our Library’s first audiovisual materials – stereographic slides and Victrola records – have given way to Blu-Ray and eBooks. An online catalog has replaced traditional card catalogs, which, in turn, replaced simple lists of titles and authors. Lyle Harter and Winifred Ticer could not have predicted the invention of the computer, nor could they have imagined the services we are able to provide today because of the digital revolution.
However, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Our number-one priority is still providing outstanding library services to our patrons, although we have many, many more materials to go around than we did in 1903! And as always, our librarians and other staff members are ready to make book recommendations, answer reference questions, and assist you in any way they can!
In every workplace or institution, there are activities that take place outside the public view. It is these activities that allow our library to continue running smoothly, and are necessary to make our public services available. We are proud of the librarians and staff who perform these tasks on a daily basis, often without public recognition and thanks.
- Staff members select library materials using trade literature, professional reviews, and patron recommendations, while keeping the library’s existing collection in mind. Each item we purchase is selected according to our community’s particular needs.
- New items are cataloged before being placed on the shelves for patron use. Cataloging allows patrons and staff to find materials quickly and allows staff to keep track of which materials the library has in its collections, and which materials need to be added.
- Spine labels and inventory controls are placed on items so that they can be easily found or re-shelved by call number, and protective covers or cases are applied to protect library materials from the wear and tear of daily use.
- Returned books are inspected for damage and necessary repairs are made. Torn spines and pages are repaired by library staff in-house, as are lightly scratched audiovisual items. Books with more severe problems are sent away to be rebound.
- The janitorial staff makes our library buildings pleasant and safe places to be. Bathrooms, reading areas, and lobbies are regularly cleaned. Carpets are routinely vacuumed. Necessary repairs and maintenance tasks are completed quickly and efficiently, keeping the library buildings in working order. Outside, walkways are cleared of snow and ice, and gardens are maintained through the changing seasons.
- The library’s computers and network are managed and maintained to ensure that our Internet and other computer services remain available to patrons. Copiers, printers, computers, and other electronics are cleaned and maintained to keep them in smooth working condition.
- Drop boxes are emptied, and returned books are reshelved regularly.
- Library materials are transferred between the Main Library and the Markle Branch at patron request and to refresh the collections at both library locations.