Wednesday, October 14, 2015

100 Years of the Collinsville Library

Very few things - especially nowadays - last one hundred years.

The Collinsville Library was founded by a group of women from the Collinsville Study Club (which is now the Collinsville Woman's Club) on October 15th, 1915. Before the Library found its current home (which it has had since 1937), it had a number of temporary homes: City Hall, the Henry Stumpf House and the Miner's Institute. Before the Library's temporary homes, the ladies from the Collinsville Study Club pulled books around Collinsville in wagons. Patrons are always amazed when we mention that, and - quite frankly - we're still amazed and inspired by the very dedication and determination of those women.

Of course, the times have changed since 1915. We don't have to pull books around town in wagons anymore (thank goodness!); you can pull up an eBook on your phone in a matter of a thirty seconds or so. Likewise, we're not scribbling this note down on paper tonight; we're typing this message in "The Cloud" on a contraption that wouldn’t have even been thought of in 1915.

However, on this eve of the Collinsville Library's 100th Birthday, there are a few things that haven't changed.

First and foremost, our Staff members, Board members and volunteers are awesome. They work tirelessly behind-the-counter and behind-the-scenes to make the Library a positive environment for everybody. Many of them put in countless hours beyond the building's day-to-day operations to ensure that our programs, collections, equipment and procedures are top-notch.

Another aspect that hasn't changed is our patrons. Sure, their needs may be different than they were one hundred years ago, but they are still the biggest factor in why we do what we do. I think it's safe to say that nothing that Staff members and volunteers do would be worth it if it weren't for the hundreds of patrons (literally) that come in the doors each and every day. From the bottom of our hearts: "Thank you" for helping us make it last.

We don’t know what the key to longevity is, but if we had to come up with a magic formula for it, it’d include a long list of hard-working individuals (such as 'Mabelle' and 'Myrtis' and 'Irving' and 'Florence' and 'Barb' among others) who have had a lot of heart, creativity, passion and foresight.

Very few things - especially nowadays - last one hundred years (really, how many things are even around for ten years anymore?!), but we are both blessed and proud to be one of them.

Here’s to the next one hundred.

Thank you.