The Mercer County District Library has been serving the communities of Mercer County for over 100 years. The first library was started by the Shakespearian Club in 1899. With help from the Carnegie foundation a Carnegie library was built in 1907. In 1968, a new larger facility was built on the former site of the Carnegie Library. In 1994 the Mercer County District Library completed an addition and renovation to better serve the communities. Over the years the Mercer County District Library has extended its service area by opening branches in Mendon, St. Henry, and Chickasaw. All three branches have also completed expansions and/or renovations within the last 10 years. In 1990, the library began the process of automating the library’s collection and by 1997, the library was completely automated. The automation of the library was only the beginning of the technological presence in today’s library. In 2015 a set of renovations were completed that updated the look and feel of both the adult and children’s libraries.
Historic Timeline (1899-1999)
October 27, 1899 – The Shakespeare Club established the first library in Celina. It was located in the township room of the Jefferson Township Hall. Hours of operation were 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm every Saturday evening.
January 6, 1904 – The Mercer County Library Association was formed in order to purchase land, erect a building, and maintain a library in Celina. The library was designated a School District Library, with trustees appointed by the Board of Education.
January 1, 1907 – Due to a gift of $12,000 from Andrew Carnegie the Celina Carnegie Library was dedicated.
September 8, 1959 – The children’s department in the library basement and the mezzanine area in the adult section of the library were opened to the public. This remodeling was possible due to the financial assistance of the Celina Lions Club.
October 21, 1960 – The Celina Public Library became the Mercer County District Library.
April 15, 1968 – Mrs. Minnie Dwyer donated $50,000 toward the construction of a new library.
May 1, 1969 – Construction of the new library began.
May 20, 1970 – The Dwyer-Mercer County Library was opened.
July 26, 1970 – Dedication ceremonies were held for new building.
April 11, 1975 – Community members seek to open Branch Library in St. Henry.
April 9, 1976 – Official steps taken to assist St. Henry group to establish Granville Twp. Branch Library
September 10, 1976 – St. Henry Granville Twp Branch Library begins lending books.
December 8, 1978 – Survey of Mendon area to open Branch Library.
September 14, 1979 – Mendon-Union Friends offer land.
May 12, 1980 – Mendon-Union Branch Library opens.
September 11, 1981 – Property purchased for new St. Henry Branch Library.
October 8, 1982 – Construction of St. Henry Branch Library.
May 15, 1983 – New St. Henry Granville Twp Branch Library building opens.
November 11, 1983 – Property accepted as gift from Village of Chickasaw for Branch Library.
December 9, 1983 – Genealogy area established within Main Library
March 15, 1985 – New Zahn-Marion Twp. Branch Library opens
May 13, 1986 – Property adjacent to Main Library donated by Parker and Margaret Snyder.
October 21, 1988 – First steps taken towards automating library’s collection with the purchase of Bibliofile.
September 11, 1992 – Genealogy librarian hired.
April 9, 1993 – Library addition begins at Main Library.
September 10, 1993 – Implementation of Integrated Library Automation System from Gaylord Bros.
June 12, 1994 – Main Library addition completed.
July 11, 1996 – Join OPLIN (Ohio Public Library Information Network) gaining high speed internet access.
January 21, 1999 – Addition to the St. Henry Granville Twp Branch Library begins.
September 9, 1999 – Purchase lot for Zahn-Marion Twp Branch Library addition.
February 20, 2002 – Zahn-Marion Twp. Branch Library addition begins.