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History of WCPL

History of the Warsaw Community Public Library

In 1855, McClure Workingmen's Institute created a library that served the working men of the town.  In 1858, the county's first library was established in a three-story brick house at the southwest corner of Market and Detroit streets.  In 1885, books formerly belonging to the McClure and County Libraries were turned over to the Warsaw Public Library and were housed in the old Center Ward School Building.

In 1915, The Warsaw City Council passed a resolution to take over the library in Center Ward and the first Library Board was appointed.  In 1916, a Carnegie grant of $15,000 was received and in 1917, a 6,134 square feet building was constructed.  This edifice contained 5,000 books and served 12,800 people.  In the 1960's, it became apparent that the Library needed to be updated.  The name was changed to Warsaw Community Public Library and an addition of 8,833 square feet was built.

This building served the public well for nearly twenty years.  Additional parking spaces and a meeting room were added in 1981.  In 1985, Koster and Associates was hired to determine the community's library needs.  The existing structure was determined to be extremely inadequate and an expansion was recommended.  A house adjacent to Library property was acquired as a gift in 1986.  The following year, 1987, the Masonic Temple property was donated to the Library for future growth.

The Library Trustees realized that enlargement of the facilities was now inevitable; so, in 1990, InterDesign Group was hired as the Library's architect.  By the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Library, in 1992, the public meeting room closed due to limited public access.  Construction on the present, 41,000 square feet facility was started in August 1996.  The Grand Opening for the new building was held September 13, 1998. 



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