In 2019, the Charlotte Community Library will celebrate its 125th birthday. The library was established on November 19, 1894. The book collection was originally housed above the E.T. Church grocery store, which is thought to have been located at 119 S. Cochran, a building most recently occupied by the Dragonfly Boutique. The library was moved several times over the next decade until, in 1903, the city secured a $12,000 grant from the Andrew Carnegie Endowment to construct a permanent library building at the corner of North Cochran and Harris Streets. At the time, the 1845 courthouse stood on the property but it was relocated next door to Dr. H.B. Coles’ yard and used as a garage, and then later moved to property near Bennett Park.

The new building housed the library collection for the next 80 years and many long-time Charlotte residents still recall fond memories of their time spent there. The stone building still stands today, now the home of Charlotte Plaza Floral and Crusty’s Bagels.

By 1986, the Carnegie building no longer provided adequate space for the library’s expanding collection and public programs. At this time, the Charlotte Library Project, Inc. was formed to search for a new location and procure funding for a larger library. The old Felpausch Food Center on Bostwick Street was identified, purchased on a land contract, and renovated over the next eight years. In September 1994, the Charlotte Public Library moved to its present location at 226 S. Bostwick.

Jim Oliver, Library Director, said of the upcoming anniversary, “It is wonderful that the library has been part of the Charlotte community for so long! It is proof that the library is part of a great area that cares about reading and appreciates the important services we offer for children, teens, and adults. We want everyone to use the library, to take advantage of everything we offer from print books, to electronic books, to computer access, to programs for all ages.”  

A number of events will be held over the coming year to celebrate the 125th Anniversary, beginning with a “Read 125 Books” challenge for adults, running from December 2018 through November 19, 2019.  For every 25 adult or young adult books read, a prize will be awarded.  Fill out the “125 Books Reading Log,” available at the library, to track your reading.  Read any adult or young adult book that interests you or choose a book from the “125 Staff Picks” booklist you can obtain at the library. Those who complete the challenge will be entered in a drawing to win a $125 Barnes & Noble gift certificate.

Throughout 2019, a pictorial timeline of historic library and community milestones will be unfolding and on display inside the building.  Stop by to view some of the many changes that occurred over the past 125 years.

Watch the newspaper and social media for announcements of more 2019 celebration events.  You can follow the library on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Article submitted by Charlotte Community