By 1961 the library collection had expanded to 153,214 books, pictures, clippings, classical records, and films. There were 403 adult and 330 children new borrowers registered, as well as 160 new rural patrons, part of the 6,027 total registered borrowers. Of the 36,000 books available for loan, about one-third were loaned each month. Librarian Miss Johnson indicated that local patrons read about an average of 12 books per year from the library.
One of those rural patrons may have been me. Until my grandmother's death when I was five, we tended to shop in St. John, where she lived, but after her death, we shopped in Pratt most Saturdays, and I was a regular at the library.
The city provided $10,000, and county provided $7,000, and gifts to the Library added another $308.70. Also included in their budget were fines ($1,011.25), fees ($64.) and charges for lost books ($33.85.) The Library Board Members were: Mrs. Paul Tupper, John H. Calbeck, Eldon Green, Miss Johnson, Dr. Julia Barbee, Miss Flavel Barner, Mrs. Don Brown, John Megaffin, and Jess Kennedy.
(I cannot help but notice as I share this information that many of the ladies are identified by only their last names, or if married, only by their husband's given name instead of their own. That practice drives people trying to search their families' genealogy on the maternal side crazy, but it was very common even into the later decades of the 1900s!)
Today we have the beautiful library pictured at the top of this blog, recently renovated, and located next to the Vernon Filley Art Museum, making joint efforts to celebrate the arts possible!
|Kids at the Pratt Library|