Historic Shelbyville Public Library


SHELBYVILLE, Ill. (WAND) - In the early 1900s, the city of Shelbyville received a grant from Andrew Carnegie to build the library that still stands today.

Monica Cameron, the library's director says, "There was a women's club, and they had heard that Andrew Carnegie was giving money to cities for libraries. Unfortunately, at the time, they didn't think Shelbyville qualified since our population was so low." However, the women applied for the grant anyway and got it. Community members were so excited about the library, they decided to donate money to double the grant. Cameron says the community helped make the library a strong, sound structure, and that is why it is still standing today.

Some of the features in the building are still the original features like the circulation desk and the desk and chairs in the reading room. 

The library has around 40,000 items to give everyone something to be interested in. Cameron says she is proud of how the library continues to serve the community nearly a century later. She says there are computers and printing services, which many community members use.

The employees of the library truly love their job because of how much they get to help serve the community. Cameron recalls a conversation with her mother after being hired as director. She says, "When i was young, I was an introvert, and this was my favorite place to go, but when I sassed my mom, she would ground me from here. And when I got hired, I called my mom and said you can't ever ground me from the library again."

One employee who has worked with children at the library for 35 years says she could not imagine not working there. Nancy Wallace, the Children's Librarian, says, "I love the opportunity, to spend with people's children. Now I've been here for so many years I've had children in story hour, and now I have those people's children in story hour, so it's really kind of neat."

The library is hoping to continue updating and being a part of the community for many years to come.

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