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ASCPL celebrating 140 years

3/6/2014 - South Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Photos courtesy of the Akron-Summit County Public Library
SUMMIT COUNTY — The Akron-Summit County Public Library (ASCPL) is celebrating 140 years of service in 2014. Events recognizing the ASCPL’s anniversary will be scheduled later this year.

In 1869, the Ohio legislature gave cities the ability to create free libraries and to maintain them through taxation. In January 1874, Akron City Council passed an ordinance to create a free public library for the city, and the existing Akron Library Association immediately donated all books and property to the city.

On Feb. 27, 1874, the Board of Trustees of the newly formed Akron Public Library met for the first time, with John Buchtel the first board president. The Akron Public Library officially opened to the public in the Masonic Temple, shown above, at Mill and Howard streets March 1, 1874.

A century later, in 1974, the library became the Akron-Summit County Public Library, incorporating suburban branch libraries into its system. Today, the service area consists of two-thirds of Summit County, with 285,000 cardholders and 18 library locations.

For information on the early days of the ASCPL, visit www.akronlibrary.org/documents/AkronLibrary25Yrs.pdf.

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