History

 

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

Henderson Library is part of:

CLEVNET: A consortium of 46 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.

ICAN (Independently Cooperating Ashtabula Network): The Henderson Library also collaborates with 5 other Ashtabula County Libraries that include Andover, Conneaut, Harbor-Topky, Kingsville, and Rock Creek, who are all part of the CLEVNET consortium.

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 the Citizen's Library.  The Citizen's Library of Jefferson was established  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 Griggs Corners to the library association. The new library building, built as a memorial to their parents, was dedicated on November 1, 1972. The Henderson Memorial Public Library completed an interior renovation of the building in 2012 for their 40th anniversary. In 2018 the library installed a new HVAC system that has enhanced savings in utility bills and has provided a new delivery area that is more ergonomic and safe for staff.

The library has a small staff of 8 part-time employees and 3 full time employees with 1 MLIS degreed librarian; the adult reference librarian. The Henderson Library has 9 board members who are elected to four year terms by members of the Henderson Library Association. The Henderson Library Association is composed of community members over the age of 18 who hold a valid Henderson Library card  and participate in the board election.

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 the ability to borrow materials from the CLEVNET library system.

The Henderson Library also provides digital media via the HOOPLA app and Overdrive's LIBBY app to her patrons.

The Henderson Library offers 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, scanning, laminating, notary service, and Wi-Fi Hotspots.

In 2016 the Henderson Library Board and the JES School Board entered a partnership to provide consistent library services to the students at JES, reaching over 600 children.

The Henderson Memorial Public Library receives financial funding through the Public Library Fund from the State of Ohio, local taxes, and the Henderson Foundation.