Library History

1901 – Group of earnest citizens of Bellefontaine were organized into the Board of Managers of the Bellefontaine Free Public Library. First library opened in the H. H. Good Building. Miss Lydia Canby, to whom goes the credit for organizing the Board of Managers donated a number of books to start the venture. Library Managers were forbidden to raise money by taxation therefore the group held ice cream socials and programs of dramatic and musical nature to raise the funds to maintain the library. Circulation during October was 1,503 with 764 cardholders and 1,009 persons visited the library.

1902 – A letter from Andrew Carnegie promising a sum of money for construction and furnishings of a library building was promised providing the Board could raise ten percent of the amount of the grant to maintain the library building.

1903 – Library Board of Managers tendered control of the library to the Bellefontaine Board of Education. A tax levy of .5 of a mill was carried with the school levy to finance the library until 1937. The amount of the revenue was $1,400 per year when it was first instituted.

1904 – Library was moved into two rooms on the first floor of the telephone building.

1905 – Library was moved into the new Carnegie building which was constructed for a bid of $11,720 after receiving a grant of $14,000 from Mr. Carnegie. Balance of $35.73 remained in the treasury after construction. Due to lack of funds for maintenance the library was closed for two periods of several weeks.

1932 – In September the library was closed and reopened in December.

1933 – In April the Library was closed again and reopened in September.

1937 – State code was revised, libraries became eligible for State Aid from the intangible tax. The library received about $13,000 per year from this source which is apportioned by the County Budget Commission composed of the county auditor, treasurer and prosecuting attorney.

1939 – Branches were opened in DeGraff, West Liberty and West Mansfield.

1948 – Became the Logan County District Library and library trustees were appointed by the Common Pleas Judge and the County Commissioners for a term of seven years. Statistics for library: 15,000 volumes; $13,956.00 in treasury and 28,512 people served.

1949 – Rushsylvania Branch was opened was opened for service to the community. Board adopted branch library policies.

1950 – Total volumes in library – 19,335 (13,662 adult & 5,673 juvenile); circulation total for main library – 39,008 and 22,245 branches with overall total – 61,253.

1952 – Another branch at East Liberty was opened.

1954 – Station wagon automobile was purchased for delivery of books to and from the branches. Circulation topped 100,000 mark for the first time.

1957 – Lakeview Branch was opened for service to the community. Gaylord Charging System went into effect.

1958 – First National Library was observed.

1959 – A bookmobile was purchased through a grant from the Ohio State Library and services were offered countywide. Board of Trustees accepted Trusteeship of the Susie Parker Scholarship Memorial Fund.

1960 – Total circulation 180,568 items.

1961 – First Story Hour session once a week for ages five to eight was offered with fifty children attending the first meeting. Circulation rose to 200,922.

1963 – Library board purchased the Wylie property located to the south of the library for $14,000 through a bank loan with three and one-half percent interest rate.

1971 – Joined the Western Ohio Regional Library Development System. Purchased the Traul property located to the east of the library for $15,000.

1973 – Hired a children’s librarian. Open house was held to give public a chance to view the remodeling and opening of the children’s department located in the basement area.

1975 – Discontinued the bookmobile service to help curtail operating expenses.

1977 – Library plans to add an addition to the present Carnegie building and an architect was hired. Logan County Commissioner granted the library $150,000 from the William Kauffman for the addition   ; said monies paid form the General Revenue Sharing Code 2-13. $15,000 for furniture was realized via public donations.

1978 – First official Summer Reading Program and Listening Club Program for the children with Mrs. Nancy

1979 – Open house held for the dedication of the new 4,663 square foot addition.

1980 – Homebound delivery service was offered to people who cannot get to the library.

1981 – Pre-school storytimes offered at branches.

1984 – First full-time clerk-treasurer was hired.

1986 – Funding changed to Library and Local Government Support Fund. This law sets aside 6.3% of the state personal income tax for the Library and Local Government Support Fund. The Main library added hours open to the public and branch library hours were extended to be open twenty hours per week.

1987 – WORLDS membership was dropped and the library joined NORWELD (Northwest Library District) a regional library system.

1988 – Circulation topped the 300,000 mark. Board of Trustees hired a building consultant to develop a library service plan and building program. Trustees are exploring the possibilities of building an addition to the library.

1989 – A parking lot east of the Library was purchased from Colonial Federal to provide thirty additional spaces.

1990 – In the month of January four records were established: overall circulation totaled 31,791 for the month, one’s month’s circulation at the main library 25,178, one day’s circulation at the main library 1,638 and one month’s circulation at the West Liberty Branch 1,913 – overall circulation for the year was 332,997 – a 44% increase over ten years ago and a 20% increase over 5 years ago. Installed a fully automated system for the retrieval and printing of magazine articles. Implemented a “Tales for Tots” program for two year old and their caregivers.

1991 – Purchased land in the 220 block of North Main Street to build a new main library facility. The Carnegie building was sold to the Logan County Commissioners to be used for county offices. Applied for a LSCA Title II Grant and was not successful. Hired the architectural firm of Feytag & Associates to design the new main facility. West Liberty Branch set a circulation record for the year – 20,200 items. The annual circulation was over 355,000 – an increase of 6.75 percent over 1990.

1992 – The main library broke a circulation record in the month of February with 25,893 items recorded. The public reference computer was updated to include Compton’s Multimedia Electronic Encyclopedia in conjunction with PC USA, PC Globe, Electronic PDR, Time Magazine, Grolier’s Electronic Encyclopedia and Automap. Applied again for the LSCA Title II grant and was awarded $281,778.00 to go towards construction cost for new facility. LLGSF Funds frozen for a two-year period.

1993 – Set a one-day’s circulation of 2,000. Broke ground for the new main facility at 220 North Main Street. Mr. A. E. Knowlton donated $400,000 in memory of his parents to the Logan County District Library Foundation to help construct the new main library. The main library building will be known as the Knowlton Library.

1994 – The main library moved into the new 17,500 square foot facility in November located at 220 North Main Street. The library was closed for one month for the move. Special areas include the Acusport Community Room, a computer lab, quite study/typing room, group study room, local history room and a storytime room. Family and Craft Nights began along with Family Entertainment programs.

1995 – The main library operated from the new Knowlton Library for the first full year. 4,157 titles and 6,259 volumes were added to the book collection during the year. The main library showed a gain of 17,253 items over 1994 and an overall gain of 11,236 for the system was reported. Circulation statistics showed an increased of 25% over ten years ago. The computer lab was popular with 2,115 users and 1,347 patrons used the local history room. The in-house reference was the largest ever with 26,571 question asked. The Children’s center gave 431 programs throughout the year with 13,218 attendance overall.

1997 – Patron can access the Internet through OPLIN (the Ohio Public Library Information Network) along with several exclusive databases including Archives USA, EBSCOhost, Electric Library, Novelist, Ohio Capital Connection, Ohio Historical Society, OH!Kids, and SIRS Researcher Discoverer.

1998 – The Library card catalog was replaced with an online computerized database (SIRSI) of the library’s collection.

1999 – The Library website ( allows patrons to access the online catalog from the convenience of their home computer through the Internet. The main library’s circulation was computerized.

2000 – Branch libraries circulation was computerized.

2001 – Celebrated 100th anniversary, 1901-2001. Recipient of a grant for computers from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation valued over $50,000. Remodeled the Rushsylvania Branch.  A record circulation, 22,811 items, was set for the Summer Reading Program.

2002 – Purchased the Dean & Barry Paint Store located north of the main library building (112 North Main Street) from Vernon & Louise Weber for $160,000.00.

2003 – Web browser, iBistro, was added to SIRSI. DVDs were added to the collection. A Magnifier was donated by the Lions Club of Logan County in honor of Richard Pettit a former deputy district governor for the Lions Club.    Fax service was added to the branch libraries. Began patron classes, Technology Tuesdays. Computer and scanner was added in the Genealogy/Local History room at the main library. Celebrated Ohio Bicentennial

2004 – Celebrated 10 years of service from the Knowlton Building. Purchased PC Reservation, print management and filtering software. Lakeview Branch was remodeled. Record circulation day at the main library with 2,238 items

2005 – Installed a wireless network for the main library. Record circulation day was set at the main library with 2,392 items circulated.

2006 - Installed  wireless access at all branch locations, integrated patron-place MORE (ILL) requests, Sunday movies, Logan County Oral History Project began and offered USB drives for sale to patrons.

2007 - Expanded Teen Café to twice a month.   Began coffee service to patrons at the main library in January.  Eleven Early Literacy Station computers were added to the system.  Wilma Ferguson, Clerk Treasurer for 13 ½ years retired December 31.  New Fiscal Officer, Stacy Sandy, was hired on December 3 as her replacement.

2008 - Effective January 2008 the LLGSF is funded through 2.22% of the state’s general tax revenue. The new funding source broadens the base of library funding to all General Revenue tax revenues, not just personal income tax.  Won 1st Place Award for the OLC  Northwest Chapter Conference for outstanding programming “Give A Shout” for “Where in Logan County is Rita Book?.”  Added  fifteen laptops for a  wireless laptop learning lab for staff and patron usage.

2009 – Began distributing baby packets titled "Raise a Reader” to all babies born at Mary Rutan Hospital throughout the year.  Mrs. Nancy Kuta, Children’s Librarian, retired on April 30 with 31 years of service.  The Board of Trustees named the storytime room in her honor - “Mrs. Nancy’s Storytime Room."  Judith Headings, Young Adult Librarian, also retired with 26 years of service to the library system.  Due to the decline in library funding, the Board of Trustees enacted a hiring freeze , 25% reduction of hours open at branch libraries and 12% reduction of hours open at the main library.  The Public Library Fund was reduced from 2.22% to 1.97%.

2010 - The Library Board of Trustees formally changed the library system name to Logan County Libraries. In cooperation with the Ohio Historical Society in Columbus, 12 public libraries across nine Northwest Ohio counties, including the Logan County Libraries & The Logan County Historical Society are partnering to implement a regional document digitization project. The following new programming events were implemented: Teen Summer Book Club, Wee Workouts, Sibling StoryTime, Books 'n' Babies. The DeGraff Branch Library relocated to 122 S. Main Street in DeGraff. Lakeview Branch Library was expanded into the former Lakeview Police Department office. Blu Ray discs & gaming circuits were offered to patrons. Netbooks were purchased through a NORWELD matching grant opportunity for five library locations. A new library website was launched and created a library Facebook page.

2011 - Joined the Ohio eBook Project offering Digital Downloads through Overdrive. Partnered with Logan County Emergency Management Services to offer monthly "U Preparedness" seminars. Public Library Funding was reduced by 6.5% monthly in August following the passage of the Governor's biennial budget. Patron computer training classes offered at the Lakeview & West Liberty branches. Internet Filtering Assistance Program grant was received through the State Library of Ohio

2012 - Due to decreased funding, the East Liberty Branch was closed & services were merged with the West Mansfield Branch location. Touch screen Early Literacy Stations were installed at the Knowlton Library through a donation from the Library Foundation. This also included ELF Reading & Reference (a free child safe web browser for kids ages 2-10), Speakaboos (digital storybooks) & Encyclopedia Britannica for Kids. The Logan County Libraries joined the SEO Consortium (Serving Every Ohioan) after receiving an LSTA grant for $21,664.00 through the State Library of Ohio. The AcuSport Community Room was remodeled with a generous donation of $10,000.00 from the AcuSport Corporation & Loren M. Berry Foundation. Remodeled the Lakeview Branch & installed new shelving in the children's area through donations from an Eagle Scout project by Noah Brandt.

2013 - All branches received touch screen Early Literacy Stations. Many digital & mobile services were added: texting & mobile app for KnowItNow, catalog app added to the Library's Facebook page, SEO & OverDrive merged catalogs to become, added Freegal, a free & legal music download service, a new mobile version of the library website went live on May 1 & Tumblebooks Jr. (ebooks designed for kids grades 3-6) was added.

2014 - Digital magazines were added to the library collection with Zinio. An unfortunate water line break at the Knowlton Library during a very cold, windy winter caused flooding in the computer lab & local history room closing the library four days for repairs.  A mobile app called Bookmyne was made available for patrons to utilize our catalog & access their library accounts on the go.  The boilers & pumps at the Knowlton Library were replaced as well as outside lighting fixtures to receive energy savings & rebates.

2015 - The air conditioner unit was replaced at the Main Library. The Logan County Memories was added to online access.  A Twitter account was established for the Library system. 

2016 - Chromebooks were purchased to replace the public laptop lab.  As a result of the “Restore the PLF” campaign, the Ohio General Assembly decided to restore some funding to the Public Library Fund. The legislature temporarily increased the PLF from 1.66% to 1.7% for the Fiscal Year 2016-2017.

2017 - Enterprise enhancements were added to the online catalog. 

2018 - The Ohio General Assembly voted to minimize the originally proposed reduction in the Public Library Fund and temporarily set it at 1.68% of the General Revenue Fund for Fiscal Year 2018-2019.  A Memorandum of Understanding was formed with the Logan County Department of Job & Family Services Ohio Means Jobs and the Local Area & Workforce Development Board to share communication and coordination of respective services to enhance the quality and quantity of employment and training resources and services to job seekers, unemployed, and under-employed individuals.  First FaceBook Live events!  Very successful open house for the Hispanic Community with over 65 attending along with coordinating a 12 week English classes for the group.

2019 - Celebrated 80 years for branch locations in DeGraff, West Mansfield, and West Liberty. Celebrated 25 years at the Knowlton Library. Received 3 LSTA grants from the State Library for Celebrating Ohio Book Awards & Authors in the amount of $1,498 and $3,050 for Hispanic books and $1,500 for the Summer Reading Program. A new customized mobile app for Logan County Libraries was created. Governor DeWine had signed Ohio’s fiscal year 2020-2012 operating budget into law setting the Public Library Fund at 1.7% of the state’s General Revenue Fund. Repaved the Main Library patron parking lot.

2020 - Replaced copy machines & patron printer at Main & branch locations with all new machines. Replaced wireless printing with ePRINTit. A new roof and spouting project was completed at the Main Library. New touchless monitor & document scanner were replaced. All locations had emergency closing on March 16 due to COVID-19 pandemic.

      COVID-19 dates (closure, curbside, open to patrons)

  • March 16 – closed to public (staff cleaning, shelf reading, odd jobs etc.) (Curb service for HOLDS)
  • March 23 – May 4 – closed to public and staff (staff worked from home) – STAY AT HOME ORDER
  • April – Director, Fiscal Officer, Adult Services Manager & Janitorial worked in Library
  • May 4 – Managers, Branch Librarians, and few other staff back inside Library to work
  • May 11 – Rest of the staff back inside Library to work (still closed to public)
  • May 13 – Curb service to patrons in all locations (reduced hours at all locations)
  • June 10 – Computers 1-hour appointment & copies & faxes by appointment for patrons
  • July 6 – Open for limited 30 minutes library service (patron browsing, pick up holds, continue curb service)

2021 – Reduced hours at all locations due to Covid-19 continued. A patron touchless self-checkout kiosk was installed at the Main Library. HoldIT lockers were installed at the Main Library entrance for contactless patron pick up. Curbside service continued and a NEW offering for Click and Collect at Curbside. Paying with a credit or debit card through Square service for patrons was offered. The first week of April extended hours open at the Main Library on Monday-Thursday 10am-7pm & Saturdays 10am-2pm and in June extended the hours open to 9am-7pm Monday-Thursday, Fridays 9am-4pm & Saturdays 9am-1pm. Hope Justice was hired as the new Youth Services Manager in July. Celebrate 120 years of Logan County Library service-1901-2021! Resumed Story Time at teh Main Library outdoors in Brown Park. Library Trustees surprised Director Judith Goodrich celebrating over 50 years of service to Logan County Libraries and her upcoming retirement in 2022. The Community Room was renamed to Judith Goodrich Community Room at the Main Library.

2022 – Began circulating Wi-Fi Hotspots. In-person programming resumed at all locations. The Board Room at the Knowlton Library was renamed the Barnwell Board Room in honor of Library Trustee Robert Barnwell for his 32 years of service on the Library Board of Trustees. Longtime Director Judith Goodrich retired on July 31,2022 and Beverly Arlequeeuw was hired as the new Director on July 6, 2022.