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Library History

For more than 79 years, Doyle Public Library has been providing books and learning resources to the community and library district.


We are now forming a "Friends of the Library" group to help us plan for our future.  

Please let us know if you are interested in joining our group of friends. As always, our staff would like to invite your feedback and ideas for our continued improvement of our library. 


Taken from The Journal-News article  - Reprinted with permission

The earliest library incarnation for the town was established in 1941 by Presbyterian pastor Reverend Joseph L. Connolly, who chaired the committee to set up the WPA (Work Projects Administration) library.

With an original consignment of 500 books, the library opened on March 20, 1941, with Mrs. David Shaw, of Gillespie, in charge and Jesse Roberts assisting.  Later on Susan Bannister was chosen by the WPA authorities to take over librarian duties while Roberts stayed on as assistant and caretaker.

For a number of years the library operated as a project for the Community Men's Club.  Written by Kyle Herschelman 2009 (The Journal-News)

Taken from Doyle Memorial Reading Center History written by Dorothy Peters in 1989

Lincolnwood Community Reading Center in Raymond was established at the invitation of Lewis & Clark Library, at Edwardsville, on November 17, 1973.  It was created as a not-for-profit corporation, organized to promote education through reading, with the Raymond-Harvel Kiwanis Club as its Sponsor.

The names "Lincolnwood", and "Community" were used to make the library free to all residents of the Panhandle Unit School District No. 2.  Credit for making this venture possible goes to Rev. Charles Williams, Pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Raymond, who also served as its first president.  Mary Mizera was Vice President, Norman Andrews, Treasurer, and Dorothy Peters, Secretary.  The other members of the board were Veryl Chausse, Rosalie Winhold, Deloris Williams, Raymond Crum, and Hallie Monke.

As a Reading Center, 3,000 books were rented from Lewis & Clark, at $300 per year.  Lewis & Clark delivered them in a book-mobile, and rotated them twice a year.  The brick building at 310 Broad Street consisted of two large rooms and was rented from Attorney Maurice Macy at a token fee of $35 per month.  When his daughter, Maureen Macy Lober inherited the building, rent was never increased.

The official opening was on Jan. 7, 1974 with Nancy Graham serving as Supervisor.  The Raymond Village Board contributed $500 from Revenue Sharing, the Kiwanis Club gave $125, and Veryl Chausse donated $50.  From these funds, furniture, book shelves and supplies were purchased.  The Reading Center was run by ladies of the community, on a volunteer basis.

To celebrate Library Week, the first annual "ABC Fair" (Art, Books and Crafts) was held on April 20, 1974, in the Village Hall in Raymond.

The first Summer Reading Program had an enrollment of thirty children.  That fall, Paige Clark asked permission to form a free "Story Hour" program for pre-school children, to meet on Tuesdays, at 10am.  Sharon Holder assisted Paige.  These three events have become a big part of the activities of the Reading Center.

Rita Todt was hired as librarian in the fall of 1975, and served well in this capacity.  She knew every child in town, and was loved by all of them.

Attorney Gerald Huber handled all legal services for the Reading Center, through 1988 free of charge...a substantial contribution to the library.

On August 11, 1980, Rev. Williams resigned as President, having taken a new position in Hicksville, Ohio.  His tireless efforts, and his meticulous attention to details, paved the way for the successful operation of the Reading Center.

On Oct. 15th, Robert Seifert of Harvel became President.  This year, the ABC Fair moved to a larger location, in the Massa Building, formerly Heid's Drug Store.  The following year, when Massa's occupied their building, the Fair was moved to the American Legion Hall.

On March 31, 1982, Rita Todt passed away suddenly.  Verda Boehler was hired as Librarian, and made many improvements in the Reading Center's services.  She retired on Jan. 31, 1989.

In 1984, it was necessary to ask the villages and townships in the Panhandle District for their support.  No tax money has ever been asked for by the Board.  Money has come from Revenue Sharing.  The Villages of Raymond and Harvel; Putman, Zanesville, Rountree, Harvel and Raymond Townships, all contributed on a share basis.  A book sale was held that year, to dispose of a large number of books copyrighted 1890 to 1905, from the estate of Harry Kennedy, of Litchfield.  Reference books from this collection were placed in the Reading Center.  An aluminum and paper drive was held, and the ABC Fair continued as usual.

In 1985, the location of the Story Hour was moved to the Presbyterian Church, because of overcrowding at the Library and the Village Hall.

In late July, 1986, the Library was redecorated and new carpeting installed.  On August 1, 1986, Frank Doyle, Publisher of the Raymond News, passed away.  He left his home and its contents, at the corner of McElroy and Broad Streets, his automobile, and his stock in the First National Bank of Raymond, to the Lincolnwood Community Reading Center.  On Nov. 1, the contents of the house, which contained many valuable antiques, and his automobile, were sold at auction.

On March 27, 1987, the books and contents of the Reading Center were moved into Frank Doyle's six-room home, as he had envisioned.  Pre-school children were able to attend the Tuesday "Story Hour" in their own library.

On Jan. 13, 1988, the present officers were seated:  Janice Horberg, President; Helen Brown, Vice President; Cheryl McClelland, Secretary; and Dorothy Peters, Treasurer.  At this meeting, the legal paper work was completed, re-naming the facility "Doyle Memorial Reading Center", to honor Frank B. Doyle who made the dream come true.

In the past two years, 100 children enrolled in the Summer Reading Programs.  In 1988, The Reading Center's "Story Hour" went to three sessions, conducted by Glenda Herman and Julie Rosenthal.

With the investment of the funds left by Mr. Doyle, its future is secure, and has been enhanced by a generous bequest from the late Mae Seward Sorrells of Raymond.

Doyle Memorial Reading Center is a valuable asset to the community, and has been achieved through the cooperation, hard work, and generosity of many, many civic-minded people.  Submitted by Dorothy Peters 5/22/89

Taken from The Journal-News article - Reprinted with permission

In the early 1990s, the Lewis and Clark library System informed the community that it planned to phase out the reading center by 1995.

As a result of this, the community overwhelmingly voted in the March 1994 election to establish the Doyle Public Library District, retaining the name in tribute to the library's greatest benefactor.

In 1997, the Doyle Public Library moved to its current home, a quaint but beautiful building at 109 S. O'Bannon Street in Raymond.

Under the care of our diligent staff, Doyle Public Library now offers more than 12 million books and resources of all genres for all ages, and adds new books every day to our local collection, through the SHARE program.  You are encouraged to participate in our monthly Book Club (second Monday of month, 5-6 pm); S.T.E.A.M. Stars Story Hour program (third Saturday of the month, 11-noon); Summer Reading Program (be sure to sign up right away!); Teen Incentives; our tutoring and special needs program entitled, Read. Learn. Excel., after school; and our always available Community Career Center; among other programs and activities aimed at Community and Family literacy and reading interests.