History of the Library

On March 6, 1880, a public meeting was held to discuss establishment of a public library; and in April, the newly-elected trustees rented an upstairs room in A. J. McDonald's new building on North Main Street. Nancy Dewey donated $1000.00 to which was added $1500.00 raised by public subscription.  In October of 1880, the library was opened for use to subscribers for the sum of $100/year.  By December of 1881, the library had 156 members, who borrowed 506 books that month.

in 1895 the library was moved to the downstairs north-east corner room of the Court House and by 1901 had 5687 books on its shelves.  In 1910, the membership fee was abolished and control was given to the Board of Education, which established a free public library. Since December 1935, it has been a school district library. The library moved to the south-east corner room of the Court House in April 1936, where it remained until 1986. During this time, bookmobile service was instituted for outlying areas of the county. Following a nearly half million dollar fundraising campaign, the Cadiz Public Library was renamed the Puskarich Public Library when the new main library building was erected at Cadiz in 1986.

To extend programs and service countywide, the library board established the Clark Branch Library at Freeport in 1991 and the Scio Branch Library in 2001.  The Puskarich Public Library System now offers three full service, automated libraries in Harrison County, plus bookmobile servide to put library service within fifteen minutes of all Harrison County residents. Circulation figures now exceed 175,000, and there are over 9000 regustered patrons. Library service has expanded from book loaning in 1880. Videotapes, audio compact discs, Internet access, fax transmission and receipt are now available at each library. Programming serves preschool through senior citizens. An extensive genealogy department is available, and even the free Harrison County History of Coal Museum is open to the public with guided tours during most library hours.

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