Book club shares memories of Plain City library

Staff report

The Plain City Book Club met at the Plain City Historical Society on Feb. 8 with president Rosemary Anderson as hostess.

Because co-hostess Karen Kile Vance was ill, Bernie Vance made an appealing cherry cheesecake to go along with Anderson’s decorations of gorgeous antique valentines on each table. These valentines from the 1930s were from her step-grandmother, Zelda Bidwell, a longtime favorite teacher at Plain City School.

Anderson opened the meeting with history of the Plain City Historical Society, which began in 1982 with Joe Hofbauer and Donna Dunmire as chief historians. In 2006 the society moved to the present building beside and owned by Security Bank. This large, two-room space allowed for collections of Jonathan Alder Schools, businesses and genealogy research. There is an extensive cemetery collection. Union County also provided cemetery books for the society. Anderson is currently working on a Plain City bicentennial book for 2018.

Fourteen members answered the roll by giving their first memories of The Plain City Library. Jane Taylor, longtime librarian (1946-1975), was often mentioned. She reserved books for students, knowing their interests and just seemed to adopt each child that entered the library. The orange biography books were a favorite memory and are still on the shelves today. Kathy Cosgray mentioned the library having wooden puzzles to take home. Anderson shared that when puzzles came back missing parts, her father made new pieces.

Plain City Public Library Director Chris Long was the guest speaker for the evening. Long presented members with a list of library milestones.

In 1944, the Book Club devoted many hours and resources to provide a public library. Marjorie George and Mildred Allgyer were leaders in this endeavor. In 1945 the Plain City Public Library entered into the state’s public library system as an independent organization and was designated as a school district public library. It was located on North Chillicothe and Main streets but moved to 245 W. Main St. in 1962.

After a bequest from Richard Watson in 1971, the library was able to purchase land and build in 1980 where the present library stands today at 305 W. Main St. In 1995, a bequest from Dorothy Grace Taggert allowed an expansion of the library, built in 1996. In 2002 the library purchased two lots located west of the library where a community garden was installed.

Around 2009 the state began to seriously cut library funding. The Plain City community passed a levy and two successful renewals. The library has used technology to further its sources for patrons with the Central Library Consortium. Free downloads of audio books, eBooks, and music for your computer or cellphone are available.

The fastest growing print collection presently are chapter books; a much desired genre for today’s youth. A recent grant will allow the library to purchase a small vehicle and other new equipment, including: book photo scanner, 3D printer and virtual reality equipment.

“While the library has changed it has stayed the same in that it has provided a source of learning from 1945 to 2017,” a spokesperson said. “The Book Club can be proud to have started this lasting organization that is a wonderful service to the community.”

Members present were: Rosemary Anderson, Miriam Beachy, Judy Bodenbender, Kathy Cosgray, Pat Edington, Kelly Hicks, Zetabarbara Holcombe, Carol Karrer, Audrey Kise, Carol Krieg, Janet Nicol, Sue Anne Pieroni, Jerry Smith and Judy Minshall Vowell.

Submitted by Miriam Beachy, recording secretary.

Staff report