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Greensburg-Decatur County Public Library
A Brief History

Greensburg Public Library

Thanks to A.M. Willoughby, Mayor of Greensburg in 1901, the town secured a gift from the Andrew Carnegie Foundation for $15,000 for the construction of a Library building — with the provision the citizens would provide the land and support the Library. The site of the R.H. Watson Foundry, a triangular plot of ground bound by Michigan Avenue, Jackson Street and Central Avenue was selected for the site of the new Library at the cost of $6,000.

The Carnegie Library opened January 25, 1905. The cost of the building and all its furnishings was $11,916. The first Library Board President was Will Cumback, the former Lieutenant Governor of Indiana, and the first librarian was Miss Bessie Monfort.

In 1958 the Children’s Room was moved to the basement of the building and the Library was refurbished at the same time. All the furniture was custom made at the Pendleton Reformatory. As part of the refurbishment project, Psi Iota Xi hired Harold Hancock to paint a special mural for the new Children’s area.

In 1967 a new wing was added to the Library and in 1979, a mezzanine was built.

Originally, the Library was only for the use of city residents. However, in 1975 Washington Township contracted with the Library to receive service.

1983 brought about more changes as a contractual agreement between the Library and the County came into being. Thus, in 1984, the Library now served not only the city and Washington Township, but the whole County.

In 1984, the Library Board formulated a long-range plan that envisioned bookmobile service, the opening of a branch Library in the County and the construction of a new building.

In 1990, the Greensburg Public Library purchased 2.6 acres from the Odd Fellows with the intention of constructing a new Library building. On October 4, 1992, the ground breaking was held, and the new building was dedicated on August 29, 1993.

In June 1995, the Library updated with new technology and went online with the Gaylord Galaxy automation system. One of the newer upgrades (2001) provided the Library with a new graphical interface and allows patrons to access what was once the card catalog through the Internet.

In 1996, the Library received its first Internet terminal. Many more were added, and at present, the Library has 14 for patron use.

In 2000, the Library parking lot was expanded, and in the fall of that same year, a major space renovation was completed that allowed for the addition of the Computer Lab.

2005 marked the 100th year the Greensburg Public Library has served the Community.

Bookmobile and Westport Branch

The Library purchased its first Bookmobile in 1985 and the Westport Branch Library opened in 1989. The Branch Library is housed in approximately 1,000 square feet of the Westport Community Building. The Library received a Library Services Construction Act (LSCA) grant to help with the project.

HEAD LIBRARIANS

Bessie Monfort January 24 – September 17, 1905
Frank P. Monfort 1905 – 1920
Ida L. Ewing 1920 – 1929
Margaret Bussel 1929 – 1939
Rose Rankin 1939 – 1948
Martha Samuels 1948 – 1980
Alice Rust 1981 – 1997
Kim Porter 1997 – 2001
Vicki Butz 2001 – 2008
Andrea Ingmire Current