The Ladoga Clark Township Public Library came into existence because citizens of the community desired it. In 1902, Mrs. Mabel Werts had at her home a few boxes of books from the State Library. By 1911, there were 500 books, which were kept in the telephone office. Interested and public-spirited ladies volunteered their services. They were Mrs. Mabel Werts, Mrs. Dulcenia Myers, Mrs. Edith Graybill, and Mrs. Opal Davis.
The Ladoga Woman’s Literary Circle appointed a committee of Mrs. Prudy Foster, Mrs. Norris Stoner and Miss Bertha Ashby to find out how to establish a public library.
As a result of the work done by this committee, a meeting was held May 5, 1919. It was decided to establish a library.
The first meeting of the library board was held at the home of Mrs. Opal Davis, May 26, 1919. The first officers were elected: Robert W. Marks, president; E.N. Stoner, vice-president; Mrs. Opal Davis, secretary. Other members were: Mrs. Mabel Werts, Mrs. Prudy Foster, Mrs. Hattie Byrd and John Harshbarger. The Caleb Anderson house was purchased for a library building. The house was 85 years old and stood on Main Street. The librarian was a volunteer without salary. Miss Bertha Ashby served until 1923 when she resigned to become city librarian at Bloomington.
Such was the start, when in October of 1919; the small library was open for service to the public. Six years later, it was found that more room was an absolute necessity. The income of the library was not sufficient to meet the expense of improvement. The public donated the money and an addition was completed which more than doubled the floor space.
As the years went on, it was found that the building was inadequate to handle the books and the public. In August 1966, with Mr. Harmon Rogers as president of the Library Board, a building survey was started. It was found that the Cumulative Building Fund was sufficient to complete a new building. Architect plans were selected for a Colonial-type brick library.
The new library was completed in August 1967. The books were moved into the building in early fall and it was again opened to the public. The furnishing and landscaping were purchased with the generous funds left to the library by the will of Mrs. Gertrude Brann Dodd.
In 1992 a new addition was built onto the existing building. The new addition was made possible through the generous bequest of Maude (Long) Neff. At the time the room was added it was used as a community room/local history/genealogy collection as well as a reference section. Now the room is used as a community room and houses the children’s collection. The local history, genealogy and reference sections are now housed in the main room of the library.
The library has proudly served the community for more than 100 years, and the public continues to use and support the library. The library offers many avenues of outreach to home-bound patrons, as well as services community organizations, such as Fuzzy-Bear Pre-school, Historical Old Normal, and Ladoga Elementary school.
The librarians through the years have been: Bertha Ashby, Mary Foxworthy, Elizabeth Carmichael, Bertha Boone, Ruth Harshbarger Buser, Carolyn Cross, Ann Petty, Ken Kreisher, Wanda Bennett and currently, Debbie Clapp.