LINDEN — The county’s newest century-old public building will be on full display Tuesday as officials and board members host an open house to mark the milestone.
The Linden Public Library, built May 22, 1922, will welcome visitors of all backgrounds to the library Tuesday, with or without library cards.
The event was set up by Library Director Kathie Watkins and her staff — Alice McCloud and Amy King — who will be on hand Tuesday to provide tours, refreshments and Linden memorabilia of all kinds.
“It’s going to be open from 5-7 p.m. We’re gong to have punch and cookies, and I have about 50 yard signs that we’ve made up, that say ‘100 Years of Reading,’ or ‘Love the Linden Library,’ so I’m going to give those out to people who want them,” Watkins said. “We’re also going to have photo albums laid out, and just a lot of historical things that we have found over the years for people to look at.”
The Linden Public Library has been a community center for Linden since its inception in 1915, Watkins said. From reading programs to children’s events, the local library at the northern end of the county has been there for its residents.
“We’ve always tried to do community service. One time we picked five people that we thought had given a lot to the town, and we had the kids make care packages, and we took them cookies and cards, and I mean one lady, she just cried, she was so excited she was chosen,” Watkins said. “We would collect things and take them to the veterans home; we’re just very community minded. We do good service and we do it well.”
The staff has earned several awards over the years. Watkins recalled a time in 2017 when they won the Hoosier Heartland State Bank Shared Value Award as the best nonprofit in Montgomery County.
Up against the Mountie Missions and the Trinity Missions, Watkins said she’ll never forget the experience.
“We were in the top three for votes. [The bank] contacted me and he told me, ‘you guys have been nominated, you’re one of the top three for this award.’ It was $5,000 award, and a trophy and our picture. I was like, ‘cool!’” Watkins said. “We have it very prominently displayed here in the library.”
Serving as the only public computer provider in Linden, the library supports education for all, she added. The library has even caught the attention of Valero Renewable Fuels at Linden, which regularly pledges donations as thanks for all the work the library does for the community.
Linda Forbes and Curtis Broadstreet are just a couple of the many names to grace the halls of the library since it first opened 100 years ago. Current leaders, along with Watkins, McCloud and King, include board members Christopher Hudson, Steve Burkle, Moina Buckles, Mary Broadstreet, Jolinda Brunton, Hannah Olin and newcomer Dale Waltz.
The open house for the Linden Public Library is set for 5 p.m. Tuesday at the library, 102 S. Main St., Linden. For more information, call 765-339-4239 or visit lindenpl.org. More can also be found via social media at facebook.com/LindenCarnegiePublicLibrary.
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