Is this an old and timey-wimey library? (Yes, I just made a Doctor Who reference…) Afraid not! Okay, well… it is an OLD library in that it will celebrate its centennial birthday next year and that it’s a registered historical landmark.
Here are some quick facts about the history of the Alvah N. Belding Memorial Library:
- Belding’s first public library was started in 1890 by the Ladies Literary Club.
- The Library has moved to several locations over the years. It was first in a room above a store on West Main Street. However, due to a fire in 1893, the Library was initially destroyed. It moved locations two more times after that – to Connell’s Drug Store, and then, later, to City Hall.
- In 1914, local businessman Byron Brown suggested to Alvah N. Belding that he finance the building of a new Belding City library.
- Construction began on a new Library building in April 1917, and upon Mr. Belding’s insistence, only the best available materials were used for the project: Indiana Bedford cut limestone for the exterior, Spanist tiles for the roof, Vermont Verde antique marble for the interior, etc. The cost to build the Library was $50,000.
- On May 14, 1918, Alvah N. Belding presented the library to the City of Belding in memory of his parents, Hiriam and Mary Wilson Belding.
- The Library is the only building in Belding, built by the Belding family, that is still being used for its original purpose
So, in historical terms, yes, the Library is old. BUT, that doesn’t mean it’s stuck in the Stone Age.
The Library has literally exploded on the digital scene. You’ll find us on Faccebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, and Goodreads. And, obviously, on this blog you’re reading. Not to mention that the Library provides pre-loaded Kindles for check out, full of great books. We also participate in OverDrive, which allows you to borrow books on your personal reading device, and in Zinio, which gives you access to hundreds of digital magazines – all using your library card! We have laptops available for in-library use, and public computers for both adults and kids. And starting this fall, we will have Launchpads – educational tablets pre-loaded with games and apps – for the kiddos to check out! If reading isn’t particularly your thing, we have so much more to provide – bird watching kits, coloring kits, programs, book sales… (And this fall we will be rolling out amazing new offerings and services.)
Seriously, it’s worth it to come inside the building and check it out.
Trust me, I’m The Doctor. (Always wanted to say that.)