MIDDLEPORT — Carnegie Library has a new “Mini-Me.”
Earlier this week, members of the Middleport Community Association donated to the Middleport Carnegie Library a “Cat’s Meow,” or a wood miniature model of a local building. Other Cat’s Meows done in the Middleport area in the past have included the local post office and one of Middleport’s former schools. This model is also called a Cat’s Meow because a cat can be seen in each of the miniatures created. In this case, the cat can be seen on the front steps of the library.
The library earned its Carnegie name in the early 1900s. According to historical documents, In 1908, the Middleport Board of Education appointed a group of seven people to serve as a library board. The new board was charged with acquiring both books and funds. An “entertainment” and book reception was held at Coe’s Opera House, with a book being the price of admission. Several more benefits were held and produced a profit of $131.83, which paid the expenses until the board of education granted the library board a total of $357.64 for the yearly expenses.
The library board soon began corresponding with the Carnegie Foundation and with land purchased from the VanDuyn family, the Middleport Carnegie Library was completed in 1912 and is still serving the people of Middleport.
When the Pomeroy, Middleport and Rutland school districts combined in 1966, the libraries became one administrative unit known as the Meigs Local School District Library. In 1980, the library became a county district library known as the Meigs County District Public Library. The state government changed the way libraries were funded in 1986, giving libraries a portion of the state income tax instead of the local intangible tax.
A formula was built into the funding that allowed small underfunded libraries to receive a larger share of the money to equalize the funding with the libraries in the more affluent communities. As a result, the library system began to grow for the first time in many years. With the collection growing and the services expanding, the Pomeroy Library soon outgrew the Carnegie Building.
In September 1989, the Pomeroy Library moved to its present location at 216 W. Main St. A major renovation and expansion was completed in 2003. Another major renovation is set to be complete in May 2016.
Those present from the association were Ron Miller, Michael and Debbie Gerlach, Texanna Wehrung and Linda Myers. Representing the library was Chelsea Poole, who serves as the assistant director.
Both parties said they were excited about the donation to the library, which is still in use after all these years.
“I think it’s great that (the library) is obviously being used every day,” Poole said. “We have all these computers in here, but it’s still the old building and the original ceiling.”
The groups planned to put the Cat’s Meow on top of a bookcase near a window for all to see.