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"A library is not a luxury but one of the necessities of life." - Henry Ward Beecher
The original Public Library in Waverly was established in December of 1880. It was known as the Waverly Association. The first record of circulation of books was January 15, 1881. In 1911, a movement was started by Miss Estelle Harris for the establishment of a Carnegie Public Library. Miss Harris arranged for a representative from the Illinois State Library Assosication to come to Waverly and explain the procedure for securing funds for a building for a Carnegie Library. The representative stated that Mr. Carnegie would donate the $4500 for the building (providing the City Council would vote to raise at least 10% of that amount each year thereafter for its support). Petitions were circulated and signed by a sufficient number of citizens and were presented to City Council, who voted favorably. The building was completed April 14, 1913. According to the Waverly Journal of July 4, 1913, the formal opening of the building was held from 2:30 pm to 9:30 pm on Saturday, June 28, 1913. Rev. P.H. Aldrich, pastor of the Baptist Church, become the first librarian, and held that position until August 1, 1914. For a few weeks, Miss Goldia Cline acted as librarian while her sister, Miss Myra Cline, attended summer school for librarians at the University of Illinois. Upon completion, Miss Myra Cline became librarian, holding the position until February 30, 1918, and was succeeded by Miss Goldia Cline.
Outside of Waverly, there are only two other public libraries in Morgan County, Jacksonville and Meredosia, with only Waverly and Jacksonville being Carnegie libraries. In 1962, the board approved needed repairs and added improvements to the building by laying a new floor covering, installing a new gas furnace, new fluorescent lighting, and completed the modernization effort with air conditioning, making the library a comfortable place winter or summer to enjoy reading. In 1966, a new roof was put on and on July 1, 1967, Miss Goldia Cline retired after 53 years of devoted service to the library and community. On August 1, 1964. Mrs. Melvin Deatherage (Ermadean) had been appointed assistant librarian, and at the retirement of Miss Cline, became librarian. Mrs. Deatherage retired August 1, 1982 and Kay Miner becam librarian.
Several years ago, it became apparent that lack of space for materials and programs was a critical problem. A gift from Wemple State Bank proved to be the spark necessary to begin a new wing. This project was completed and an open house was held August 24, 1980. The new addition to the front of the Library was started the last week in April, 1980. It doubled the space in the Library. Two rest rooms and a new reading room on ground level were added. The basement was converted into a children's library. In August of 1993, Kay Miner retired and Julie Samaras became Librarian.
NOTE: this information was made available by Julie Samaras at the Waverly Public Library, located at 291 North Peral Street in Waverly, Illinois, 62692, taken fropm the pages of "History of Waverly, Illinois 1836 - 1986".
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take to get a library card?
Come to the Waverly Public Library for a library card. The librarian will be able to supply you with a new library card the same day you apply.
Does the Library have a story hour for children?
At this time, the Library does not host "story time" for children. We do offer a "Summer Reading Program". Information will be posted at the Library very soon.
What are the hours for the library?
The library is open Tuesday through Friday from 1:00 pm until 6:00 pm, except on Wednesday the library is open until 7:00 pm. Saturday hours are 9:00 am until 12:00 pm.
What is the phone number for the Library?