In 1900, Mrs. John Richards, Mrs. Will Richards and a Mrs. Duncan organized a library via a corporation housed on the southeast corner of the square. Grace Bedell Billings, the little girl who wrote to Abe Lincoln about growing whiskers, was the first librarian.
During the depression years, the library was located upstairs in the city auditorium and was sponsored by civic organizations, chiefly the Lion's Club. Nina Ballance and Bernice Briggs were librarians and were paid with government funds through a program similar to the Work Projects Administration (WPA). The library closed when the WPA was discontinued. During these halcyon days, with no television., entertainment options were scarce and a typical Saturday could see 40 patrons.
In 1969, with the nearest library 13 miles away, the Delphos Women's Club began dreaming of a library to make books available to children for summer reading. In the spring of 1970, Mrs. Bernice Rice donated space in a building she owned, hoping for an opportunity to exhibit her collections, locating the library again on the southeast corner of the square.
Although Club members cleaned and set up the collections for display, and books were donated, the building proved unsatisfactory, so the library committee asked the City Council for help. They offered the old stage in the City Auditorium. The Lion's Club donated metal shelving and many volunteer hours by the Delphos Women's Club were spent cataloging and placing books. Initially, 300 were books held by the library, today there are over 5,400 titles.
By the fall of 1988, the library was outgrowing its space and efforts began to raise funds for the renovation of the old bank building(and former Delphos Republican offices) on the north side of the square for use as the City Library and community meeting room. The Lions Club International Foundation Fund awarded the City of Delphos a $11,025 grant to match the $11,000 the local chapter of the Lion's Club had raised by holding a consignment auction. Lion's Club members donated labor to the renovation effort which was completed in April 1989, and dedicated April 16th, 1989 with over 110 guests gathered for the occasion.
Other than donations by private individuals and organizations (e.g. the Delphos Women's Club), the library has received funds from the state Central Kansas Library System (CKLS), City mil levy, and grants.
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