Monday, October 24, 2011

1909 Library, Easton, Pennsylvania

[LIB2707] - The Easton Library Company was formed in 1811 when 100 shares of stock were sold to the public. Shareholders then supported the Library with yearly subscription fees. Only subscribers could borrow books. Within four years the Company could afford to pay a librarian $1.50 each month and to begin construction of a building on land donated by Samuel Sitgreaves. That red brick building still stands at the corner of North Second and Church Streets. For 90 years it served as the public library, located across the street from Easton's secondary school. At the time of the Civil War, the Company extended borrowers' status to students enrolled in the high school. In 1895 the Library Association was formed for the purpose of creating a library funded by the school board open to all residents of the city. The reorganization took place in 1901. The Library's new status allowed Easton's citizens to apply to Andrew Carnegie for a library building grant. Carnegie was so impressed with their plans that he donated $50,000 for a new building if the residents would supply the land and get the municipality to agree to continue to fund the Library's operating expenses. [Website]

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