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Marceline Carnegie Library celebrates 100 years

Celebration includes drive-thru party on Nov. 1

Angie Talken

By Angie Talken

On Nov. 1, 1920, the doors to Marceline’s Carnegie Library opened. Since then the library has severed residents of Marceline and surrounding communities through access to a variety of materials and in recent years an increased number of interactive programs and events for patrons of all ages.

Joyce Clapp, the ninth director of the library in its 100 years, said the library had events planned for all of 2020, however, COVID-19 and the shut down of the library from March 18 through the end of April caused the cancellation of many events.

In later 2019, the library did hold several events to kick-off the year if planned celebration. Stroll through the Decades - the first event - was held in October 2019 and featured a dinner and entertainment from each decade over the last 100 years. The Music of Irving Berlin was presented in December by Mela Linn and in January a video presentation was held by Kristine Zauke over the American Women of the Lusitania.

Other crafting events, author visits and more were later canceled. The last event held, just a week before COVID-19 shutdown, was Cooking Through the Decades by Maureen Funkw as held March 10. Funk demonstrated how cooking styles, techniques and even ingredients have changed over the last 100 years, Clapp said. 

Two events shave been rescheduled, including, an author visit from Marceline’s own Warren Cain and Randy Turner, an author and lifelong fan of the Andy Griffith Show will also be at the library in 2021.

Clapp said that the celebration for the library’s 100th year will continue into 2021.

However, from 12 p.m.- 3 p.m., on Sunday, Nov. 1 area residents are encouraged to come to the library for a drive-thru party. Each family will be given a good bag containing information about the library, the city of Marceline and more.

Clapp wanted to remind area residents that library cards are free to anyone living in the Marceline City limits and are $10 a year for anyone living outside the city limits. The library is now open, by appointment, and is also doing subside pick-up. Anyone with an active account can access E-books and a variety of other online programs. Those who do not have a password or do not yet have a library should call the library for assistance. All late fees have been suspended since the COVID-19 shut down in March.

The Marceline Women’s Club Civic League President Sigmund Steiner suggested in March 1917 that the club contact the Carnegie Foundation about securing a grant to build the library. Then in 1919, the City of Marceline received a check from the Carnegie Foundation for $12,500 to build a Carnegie Library. In August of 1920, a book drive saw a donation of 744 books. Then on Nov. 1, 920, the library opened with 1,701 books. By the end of the first year, according to library history provided by Clapp, there were 990 borrowers and 3,204 books in the library.

Flo Cooper Carr was the first library director serving until 1929. Olive McAllister served as director from 1929-1967. In 1967 Thelma Dean became the new director and was replaced by Marjorie Dearing in 1981. In late 1981 Gayle Lyons became director followed by Donna Terrel in 1981,  then five years later Renee Hannibal was hired, followed by Vicky Schaal in 1988. The current director, Clapp was hired in 1990, four days after her high school graduation.