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JCPL Library Timeline

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1855 - Library Founded in Rensselaer, Indiana

In 1855 two libraries existed in Rensselaer, a Township Library and the Mechanics and Laboring Men’s Library. Later these two merged into one library. The early library was housed in various rooms of the courthouse until 1904 when a Carnegie grant was obtained

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1903 - Andrew Carnegie Grant and Cornerstone Laying

1903 in Rensselaer, IN

From Miss Ida Millikin's presentation to the Rotary Club - November 29, 1932 (as appeared in the December 16, 1932 newspaper article):

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1905 - Formal Opening of the Carnegie Library

September 4, 1905 in Rensselaer, IN The Carnegie Library building served as the headquarters of the library system from 1905 until 1992 when the present 17,000 square foot building was constructed.

1960 - Bookmobile Service for Wheatfield and DeMotte

In the 1960's, a bookmobile began servicing the Wheatfield and DeMotte areas through a contractual agreement with the Rensselaer Library. In 1972, bookmobile service ended, but contractual service with Rensselaer continued.

1966 - DeMotte Branch Library Opens

August 15, 1966

From the Kankakee Valley Post - August 11, 1966, Volume XXXVI, by Gerald Kenning

"Through the efforts of the DeMotte Business and Professional Women's Club, local contractors and the Jasper County Library, a branch library wil be opened in DeMotte Monday.

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1968 - DeMotte Library Moves to New Location

February 1968 in DeMotte, IN

From the Kankakee Valley Post - January 4, 1968

The DeMotte Branch Library, housed in the Kankakee Valley Post building since it opened in the fall of 1966, will move to their new location in downtown DeMotte sometimes this month.

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1973 - Wheatfield Library Opened

1973 in Wheatfield, Indiana

The Wheatfield Library opened on January 15, 1973, in the former River School, a 900 square foot, one-room schoolhouse.

1978 - DeMotte Library Opens in Former Catholic Church Building

October 9, 1978 in DeMotte, Indiana

From Kankakee Valley Post-News - 1978, by Allen Essex

After some delays in furniture delivery and moving, the DeMotte Public Library opened its doors Tuesday, October 9th.

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1978 - Jasper County Public Library System Formed

The Jasper County Public Library system was formed in 1978 with the merger of the Rensselaer, Wheatfield and DeMotte Libraries.

1986 New Wheatfield Library Building

1986 in Wheatfield, IN

In 1982, the Jasper County Library Board decieded the 900 square foot schoolhouse was no longer adequate to serve the needs of the community. In 1986, a new facility opened with 6,200 square feet of space.

1992 New Rensselaer Library Building Opens

1992 in Rensselaer, Indiana

In 1992, a new 17,000 square foot building opened its doors in Rensselaer. The one-level structure is fully accessible and designed for future expansion and technological advances.

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1993 - Newly Expanded DeMotte Library Building Dedication Ceremony

Held 17 April 1993 in DeMotte, Indiana

From Kankakee Valley Post-News - April 22, 1993, by Janet Mauck

"'We dedicate this library to the people of Jasper County with the expectation it will serve them well for many years to come.'

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2005 - New Wheatfield Library Building Opened

In 2005, having outgrown the 1986 building, we moved into a newly constructed 14,900 square foot building on Bierma Street, within sight of State Road 10.

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