KINSMAN - Located on a quiet, tree-shaded street with neighboring churches, the Kinsman Free Public Library has become a well-known and regular stopping location for many people in northeastern Trumbull County.
The library is marking its 100th anniversary this year, and last Sunday hosted an open house with tours, program and musical entertainment to celebrate.
Assistant Library Director Karen Mateer said the library was established in 1913 at the current 6420 Church St. site, a short distance northeast of the Kinsman Center.
Mateer said the building has had updates, additions and remodeling to the original structure in the 1980s, 1990s and in 2000. Those additions have included a new ground-level entrance at the front of the building, and more area which have allowed for shelving space in the main adult section, a meeting room, children's department, director's office, handicapped accessible lift, and basement storage area.
There have been 10 head librarians in the 100 years.
Mateer said library has advanced with the times, adding more technology, a computer center, videos, DVDs, and more materials while highlighting Kinsman history with a history room on the lower level.
Helping the library has been the Friends of the Kinsman Library, who have held fundraisers to cover costs for programs and materials over the years. The Friends are selling a centennial ornament depicting the library on it for the 100-year celebration.
A library history booklet distributed at the celebration was compiled by Gabriel Cole.
Since the late 1800s, libraries were located in the Kinsman Special High School Building. Local philanthropist Frank Banning helped get the library moving forward.
In 1910, Banning contacted Andrew Carnegie of Carnegie Steel Corp., because Carnegie provided money to communities in Ohio and Pennsylvania to advance education, learning and literacy. Plans were begun to construct a library building when Carnegie provided a grant. A local 1-mill levy was passed by residents for the library and architect, CC Thayer of New Castle, Pa., was chosen.
The first library board meeting was held in January 1912, approving plans for the building's construction with ground broken in early 1913 and the structure completed by the end of the year.
Banning died shortly after the groundbreaking. His portrait is in the library, as is a copper plaque recognizing his contributions.