The Kansas Community Memorial Library provides materials and services to help community residents obtain information meeting their formal and informal education and recreational needs. Special emphasis is places on supporting students at all academic levels and on stimulating young children’s interest in and appreciation for reading and learning. Fiction and non-fiction, selected reference books, periodicals and career materials will be the mainstay of the library holdings, but further information request will be met through interlibrary loan cooperation and membership in the Illinois Heartland Library System.
The Kansas Community Memorial Library will fulfill the needs of the community in a comfortable, user-friendly, well-staffed facility. We will strive to keep all resources and electronic technology relevant and up-to-date. The board of trustees and staff will work together to serve the public and to respond to the changing nature of library services.
History of the Kansas Community Memorial Library
The Kansas Community Memorial Library began with the efforts of interested volunteers in December 1932. A tea was held and those attending were asked to donate a book. Memberships were sold for $1.00 and the library opened on the second floor of the Village Hall. In the beginning the library board members took turn keeping the library. The board members served on a rotating basis as librarian, custodian, governing Board, consultants, and “friends group”. Mrs. Margaret Trotter was the first paid librarian. During World War II, local citizens and organizations mad an effort to donate books to the library in “honor” or “memory” of men and women in the armed forces. This great effort is responsible for the “memorial” designation in the library name.
In 1945, Mrs. Horace Tune donated a two-room brick building to be used as a library. A state charter was applied for and issued in June 1945. In November of that year, an election was held to levy a library tax and to select a Library board. The elected was Miss Ita Briscoe, Mr. Z.O. Arbogast, Mrs. E.B. Brown, Mrs. Hayes Hutchins, Mr. O.O. Mitchell and Mrs. Lucile Hutchison. This group formed the first incorporated library in Edgar County. It opened one room of the new building in February 1946, with Mrs. Zella Fitzpatrick as librarian. In 1950, the second room was remodeled and opened with about 5000 volumes. During 1953 the outside of the building was resurfaced to protect it for future generations.
In mid-1960 the Illinois State Library organized “library systems” across Illinois. The creation of the regional library systems across the state linked libraries throughout Illinois. In April 17,1972, the Library joined the Lincoln Trail Library system. This gave the library an unlimited choice of books, films, records, large print books and art prints. In 1976 a book bank was placed in the front of the library so patrons can return materials after the library has closed.
In February of 1997 LTLS launched Ltnet for member libraries and patrons. Then in the spring of the same year, the library slowly entered the information superhighway with E-mail access and Internet Web Browser. Books could now be requested on-line at no long distance cost. The FirstSearch database, used to locate books and journal articles worldwide, is now also available for patrons. The library was also updated with a new handicap accessible ramp so all patrons could enjoy the library.
During the summer of 2004, the library was renovated with the help from a grant from the Illinois State Library. The library was carpeted, painted and new lights were installed. The local boy scouts, under the direction of Caleb Schaffer and The Kansas High School FFA. The renovation project lasted about 3 weeks and improved the library tremendously. A new book drop was installed in 2005 to replace the old one. In 2007, the Kansas Library received a grant from the Illinois State Library to join LLSAP.