Friday, January 21, 2011

The Dewey Dexcimal System and The Library

Since the beginning of time documents and fact finding have been an important part in preserving our education and history. From ancient tablets to the new technology of today, people will rely on many sources to do their research. Much of this was done as a desire to pass on information.

Most of us are familiar with the Dewey Decimal system used in our libraries today. Melvil Dewey came up with the system in 1876.

For years the library as well as the librarian have been looked upon as an educational tool. As the importance of education grew to graduate levels the need for more sophisticated libraries also grew. Libraries soon became part of universities everywhere. What an asset to any school, college or church.

The Licking County Public Library came to be many years ago under a different name.  About 1871 the Ladies Circulating Library started operation, however in 1880 made its home in the Courthouse. On March 16th 1908 some of the same ladies took part in persuading the Newark city Council for a public library. These ladies were part of a group called Monday Talks Club which according to Dan Fleming (Reference Librarian and the Licking County Library) was one of the oldest clubs at the time.

With only $50 designated to pay a librarian, the future of the library looked dim. Later that same year, the Auditorium Theater (then called the Soldier and Sailors' Memorial Building) allowed the library to use one room. 
One founding members of Monday Talks was Florence King and her father had donated land for the Soldier and Sailors Memorial.  Another founding member of Monday Talks was Martha Wright and she also  founded "the Ladies Circulating Library." This group donated 400 volumes to the public library.
Most funding came from donations and fundraisers except the salary for the first librarian, Abagail Gabriel and that was paid by the city. One hundred and five West Church street would house the library next and that was in 1920. In 1930 the library became even more popular do to the Great Depression and in 1938 believe it or not the first bookmobile took to the streets. The library was once again moved this time to 88 West Church St, this was in 1950.
Hopefully everyone has visited the library that is now located at 101 West Main Street. With many computers available, a reference library, videos and a children's area it is quite a busy place just about anytime you stop by.
Inside the Licking County Library on the second floor is housed the Licking County Genealogical library. 
The LCGS has marriage and death records, Licking county atlas, family files, books on family history, many donated by people doing their own family research or left by their estates. Census records, obituaries, cemetery records, county history and much much more. To appreciate what the Licking County Public library and the Licking County Genealogical Society as well as the Licking County Historical Society has -  one must check it out for themselves. The Licking County Historical Alliance (a group of Licking County historical societies, The Works, Dawes and LCGS) all have great resources available to the public. It is the desire of  these organizations to preserve our history and provide education of the past as well as keeping our heritage alive.

In today's society one would be lead to believe that the library is no longer as valuable.
However, that is not the case at all. Many libraries today have computers available to those who don't have access to one at home, not to mention the ink it would take to print out articles to refer back to. Libraries today are often not only full of hands on information but also provide a relaxing, quite atmosphere to do your pleasure readying or studying. Many also provide study rooms, conference rooms and programs for all walks of life. As through all of time the library is still the best place to go for research. As many of us have found out the computer is also a very important tool for our education and research purposes but you can't find everything on the world wide web, sometimes you still have to hit the pavement and head to your local library.

Licking County Public Library – Dan Fleming
Licking County Genealogical Library

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