Description of Original Library

The library facility has two floors with the main library collection on the first floor that included an office, an adult section, children’s section, two restrooms, and janitor’s room. The second floor had a community room with a kitchenette. There was a mechanical room attached and a parking lot in the rear of the building. In the front of the library there was a large lawn with trees, shrubbery, flag pole, and walks leading to the front doors. The contractors who created the library were: Architect – Charles P. Grow, General Contractor – Ralph Switzer; Plumbing, Heating, & Air Conditioning – Ralph Maxwell; Electrical – Thomas Kennedy.

After the dedication, the library building was just that a building with no stacks, office equipment, or books. Joanne Karpinski and Emily Luton, who were graduates of Union High School and Clarion State Teachers College with degrees in library science, were given the task of filling the library with proper furniture, equipment, books, and supplies. In September 16, 1968, the library opened in operation with Maxine Rumbaugh as the first librarian. The first year the library was open each evening from 7 – 9 p.m. and Saturdays from 1 – 4 p.m. The library was open for 13 hours each week for 90 days a year. The collection contained 1,800 adult books, 200 children’s books, and 38 periodicals. Maxine was assisted by volunteers from the Friends of the Library and was the only paid employee besides the janitor until November 1, 1975, when the Board of Trustees hired Julie Gatesman, who had just graduated with a Masters of Library Science from Clarion University. In 1978, the Board of Trustees established Julie Gatesman as Director of the Eccles-Lesher Memorial Library and Maxine Rumbaugh as Librarian.

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