And the groundwork for many of today’s more successful library programs began with the opening of the present facility Aug. 29, 1993.
Less than three years after opening, the library had internet access to go alongside its mountains of physical reading materials. The computer lab saw a significant expansion after a 2000 renovation, and recent additions, such as the implementation of the Evergreen system, have only added to the information available to library visitors. The Evergreen system, Lori Durbin explained, allows users to access books at other libraries that are also enrolled in the program. Card members can have their desired book or movie sent to their hometown library through a sharing system, vastly opening up the number of items available to users of all libraries taking part in the program.
These advances would have been the stuff of science fiction in the time of Bessie Monfort, a young woman who took the position of head librarian at the Andrew Carnegie Public Library in January 1905. Bessie died unexpectedly that September, so her father, Frank P. Monfort, assumed her duties for the next 15 years.
In the nine decades since, there have been only eight individuals to serve in the same position.
Today, Andrea Ingmire is the director of the Greensburg-Decatur County Public Library. Joined by a staff consisting of Lori Durbin, Children’s Librarian Jill Pratt, Assistant Children’s Librarian Laura Jo Tebbe, Reference Specialist Vanessa Martin, Reference Librarian Lori Osting, Computer Lab Supervisor Kay Wessel, Computer Systems Technician Keith Kaffenberger, Outreach Librarian Amy Kuhns, Bookmobile Driver/Librarian Deb Smith, and longtime bookkeeper Steve Brown, today’s library associates work to carry on a legacy of learning and a public service they hold in high regard.
“We’re trying our best to provide the public with everything they want and need,” Durbin told the Daily News Thursday. “Everyone here is so passionate about what they do.”