HOBART In the age of Kindles and e-books, the Hobart Public Library is still going strong celebrating 100 years of serving the community.
The original Hobart Public Library was founded shortly after the town of Hobart was established in 1901. Within a few weeks of the settlers arriving in the area, it was erected and operating. At the time, billionaire Andrew Carnegie was donating money across the country to establish libraries, especially in smaller communities. Bob Shaw, a member of the library board of trustees, said the town first applied for a grant in 1903 to put up their own Carnegie library.
Applied for Carnegie grant
"They were denied the first time for some reason," he said. "We don't really know specifically why. In some of the narrative about the early Carnegie libraries, a lot of people applied and a lot of applications were put in. Some of them didn't have the full support of the community. Others didn't have property to build on and things like that."
Eight years later, the town re-applied for the Carnegie grant and was approved for $9,000. This time, land near the courthouse had been donated and the town had raised money to pool along with the grant. Within months, construction began on the Carnegie building. The completion date and time is foggy, and Shaw isn't quite sure when the library officially opened for the first time.
"The history is pretty exact, and then it gets kind of confusing," he said. "Some newspaper accounts at the time report the building being completed the first of September in 1912. Then there's another account that the grand opening was the first of October. Then there's another that the books were first circulated on October 15. So we know the year is accurate, but in terms of the actual date, we're not sure."