Fulton County

 

Fulton County Libraries

In 2015, all of the library systems in Fulton County will have been in existence for 100 years. The materials and services provided by these libraries have grown tremendously. In the early twentieth century, hundreds of volumes of books were donated by community members to the establishment of the Akron Carnegie Public Library, Rochester Carnegie Community Library, and Kewanna Carnegie Public Library.

Funds that support the Akron Carnegie Pub. Library
  • Walter D. Waechter and Grace C. Fites Waechter and Family Fund

Akron Carnegie Public Library
Reverend M. H. Krause led other Akron residents in the quest to establish the Akron Carnegie Library. In 1914, over 700 people gathered to watch the laying of the cornerstone of the library. With 1,306 books on the shelves, the library opened in October of 1915 under the direction of Librarian Edna Wilhoit.

A unique and remarkable aspect of the Akron Library is the service of employee Velma Bright. Miss Bright was an employee of the library for 69 years, and for 60 of those years she served as the director. Current Librarian, Janet Hawley, reflected on Miss Bright’s service by stating, “To work at any job for 70 years is incredible. We owe a lot to her. She was a fighter for the library.”

A well-known program that has developed at the Akron Library is the Summer Reading Program. Each summer, children and adults commit to reading several books throughout the season. The program involves prizes and rewards for accomplishing a reading goal. There has been an increase in community involvement with this program over the years. The Summer Reading Program has become a way to encourage reading.

The Akron Library has brought the community together since the original concrete was laid. Seeing the community involvement with the library today is just one of the Akron Library’s accomplishments.

Funds that support the Fulton County Public Library
  • Fulton County Public Library Fund
  • Friends of the Fulton Cnty Public Lib. Fund
  • Katherine J. Belcher Fund for the Benefit of the Fulton County Public Library

Fulton County Public Library
The Rochester Carnegie Community Library was the first library in Fulton County to be built and funded by Carnegie funds. Iva Etta Sullivan was the first librarian when the building was finished in 1907. She cared for the original 500 volumes of books.

As the library continued to grow, it grew to serve more and more residents in the county. In 1921, the Rochester Library System also served five townships outside of Rochester. In 1967, the Fulton Library was built and in 1970, the Aubbee Library was built in Leiters Ford. Both of these branches are a part of the Rochester Library System today.

In 2009, the Fulton County Public Library joined Evergreen Indiana. This program allows library members to borrow materials and books from any other Evergreen library in Indiana and has enabled Fulton County residents to be involved with all three library systems in the county.

The Fulton County Public library started with just a small collection of books, and now it offers so much more to the community.  Many helpful classes and programs at the library have become part of the library experience. During the week, community members can come to the library and check out books, games, movies, and other materials and can participate in classes such as knitting, watercolors, art experiences, book clubs, technology classes, and other programs.

Kewanna-Union Township Public Library
The Kewanna Carnegie Library became a central spot for communication and information in Kewanna when it was built in 1914. Even though Kewanna can be considered a small community, it still has a lot of history. Kewanna librarians have tried to capture and maintain this history in the library. Current Kewanna Librarian Charlie Rude said, “I have tried to maintain Kewanna’s history and display it. This library has a little bit of museum quality to it.”

Start a legacy and create a fund that supports the Kewanna-Union Township Library!

There are many unique features to the Kewanna Library. Several Carnegie libraries were built in the early 1900s, but the stage located in the basement set Kewanna apart. Having a stage for performances and shows has encouraged even more of the community to visit the library. Another unique feature is that the entire collection of The Observer newspaper can be found in the historical section. These newspapers date back to the 1930s.

An expansion to the Kewanna Library was completed in 2011, which doubled the size of the library. The expansion has made room for a children’s and youth book section, space for a preschool class to meet, and additional space to meet with others.

Kewanna takes pride in its library and the role it plays in the community. The library is not just a place to find books, but it is a place to remember history and share it with one another.