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By Carmen Ensinger
This coming Saturday, Dec. 18, from 10 a.m. to noon, the Greenfield Public Library will be celebrating their 31st anniversary of the “new” library with a reception and basket raffle.
“Last December we had planned to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the library, but as you all know, COVID changed those plans,” Library Board President Amy Turpin said. “But, we still want to celebrate this milestone, even if it is a year late.”
Turpin said they would love to see past board members, employees, Friends of the Library members, those who helped plan and construct the building, past and current city council members and officials and all of those in the community who support the library.
The library has a long and illustrious history in Greenfield. The Greenfield Public Library was established way back in 1914.
“The Greenfield Women’s Club was largely responsible for collecting donations of money and materials,” Turpin said. “The library rented a room above what was, at that time, the First National Bank, and then later rented a second room.”
Even this second room couldn’t accommodate the large collection of books that were coming in.
“The book collection outgrew this space and in 1943, a commercial building was donated to the city for use as a library,” Turpin said. “Then, the Library Board made a decision to build a new library. Mary Hill Downard donated the land to the city and a groundbreaking ceremony took place on May 1, 1990.”
On Dec.14 and 15 of that same year, the library was moved.
“Greenfield Elementary School students formed a human chain and passed the books from the old library a block away to the new library,” Turpin said. “Greenfield High School students came to move the heavier items.”
Many people in the community donated many hours of their time to make it all happen.
“On May 1, 1994, there was a note burning ceremony,” Turpin said. “The debt of over $100,000 was paid off by donations, memorials and all kinds of fundraisers. The support of the community has been, and continues to be the greatest asset of the Greenfield Public Library.”
As a way to say thank you to the community and businesses who have been so generous over the years, the library has created their own basket to raffle off. This basket contains more than $600 worth of gift certificates and branded items from local businesses. The Board of Trustees purchased gift certificates or merchandise from local businesses. Though a few businesses choose to donate gift certificates or merchandise.
“We want to encourage shopping locally and thank the businesses and individuals who have supported us,” Turpin said. “As a way of giving back and encouraging patronage of local businesses, this very special basket is part of our 2021 Christmas raffle. It is our way of saying thank you to all of those who are faithful and loyal to our little library.”
Raffle winners will be chosen at noon.