History

 

Henderson Memorial Public Library is a small, rural library located in Jefferson, Ohio, the seat of Ashtabula County. We serve approximately 5,500 people, including the village of Jefferson and several outlying rural townships.

Henderson Library is part of:

CLEVNET: A consortium of 43 library systems across 12 different counties with 12 million items and approximately 1 million customers in Northeast Ohio, CLEVNET allows you access to the vast collections of every participating library.

Henderson Library also collaborates with 5 other Ashtabula County Libraries through ICAN (Independly Cooperating Ashtabula Network).  These libraries include: Andover, Conneaut, Harbor-Topky, Kingsville, and Rock Creek, who are all part of CLEVNET.

There is a written record dated August 2, 1817 of the first library in Jefferson.  This library was known as "The Jefferson Public Library." Later the books of this library were turned over to Citizen's Library.  The Citizen's Library of Jefferson was estabilished  in 1883 by the Women's Christian Temperance Union. It was housed on the first floor of the Town Hall in Southwest corner. The library was sustained by contributions of books and money from several local organizations. By 1898, the library had outgrown its space and was moved to the new Fire Hall Building. Up until 1934, representatives of the library board appeared before the Town Council to request funds for operation. After that year, the library joined the County Library Association and opened its doors to all county residents so that they were eligible to receive funding from tax income.

In 1966, the library board recommended that the library be housed in its own separate building. When Lloyd C. Henderson died in 1968, he bequeathed his estate of nearly 1/4 million in investments, securities and real estate to his sister, Ora. His will provided that should Miss Henderson refuse the assets, they were to go to the Citizen’s Public Library Association of Jefferson for the construction and maintenance of a new library building.

Ora Henderson renounced her right to the assets on April 23, 1969 and transferred her share of land in Kansas and other land at Grigg’s Corners to the library association. The new library building, built as a memorial to their parents, was dedicated on November 1, 1972.

We have a small staff of 7 part-time employees and 4 full time employees with 2 degreed librarians; the director and the adult reference librarian. We have 9 board members who are elected to four year terms by members of the Henderson Library Association. The Henderson Library Association is composed of local residents who pay a small annual fee to support the library and participate in the board election.

Our in-house collection consists of about 50,000 materials including books, DVDs, and audio recordings designed to serve the needs and interests of the Jefferson community. This collection is greatly enhanced by our ability to borrow materials from the CLEVNET library system.

We offer a variety of educational and entertaining programs for children and adults, 13 public computer stations, free computer classes, public meeting space and many other essential services such as photocopying, faxing, and laminating.

Henderson Library also receives financial support from the Henderson Library Foundation.