A brief history of Morgan County Public Library
The Morgan County Public Library began in 1906, when Andrew Carnegie donated $12,500 for the construction of the Martinsville Public Library. While his donation was sufficient to cover the expenses of a brick building to house the library, Martinsville city officials determined that limestone should be used in place of brick for the “Artesian City.” After selling bonds, city officials were able to generate the additional $2,400 required to construct the building with Bedford limestone.
Until 1971 the library served only the citizens of Martinsville and Washington Township, but in that year, the library merged with the Bookmobile service to become the Morgan County Contractual Library, serving all areas of the county except Brown Township (Mooresville). In 1976, the library changed names again, and became the Morgan County Public Library.
When it celebrated its “Grand Opening” in September of 1908, the library had a collection of 1,500 books. A building addition in 1990 nearly quadrupled the size of the original building and after a second expansion and renovation in 2020, the Main Library is now 28,700 square feet and houses over 100,000 volumes, as well as a large selection of books on CD, movies, an extensive genealogy collection, magazines and computers for public use. Our electronic collection also offers downloadable eBooks, audiobooks, movies, television shows, magazines, graphic novels, music, and databases.
After the bookmobile service was discontinued in 1995, the library began operation of part-time ‘mini-branches’ at multiple locations around the county. Although a few of them have changed from their original locations, we continue to operate ‘minis’ in the towns of Brooklyn, Eminence and Morgantown today.
In 1998, the first first full-time, full service branch was opened in a former bank building near the intersection of State Road 144 and State Road 37. Originally named the NorthEast Branch, it was re-named the Waverly Branch in 2009. An addition in 2010 nearly doubled the size of the Waverly Branch.
The population of the Monrovia area underwent considerable growth in the early 2000s, so the Library Board decided to replace the Monrovia Mini-Branch with another full-service location. Land was purchased from the Monroe-Gregg Schools, and the Monrovia Branch library opened its doors in August of 2008.
In 2009, the Library became part of the Evergreen Indiana consortium which allows patrons access to over 8 million items and over 125 libraries state-wide.