On January 1, 1914, a new building at the corner of Front and Walnut streets on the downtown Harrisburg riverfront opened its doors. The former garden of Sara Haldeman Haly had been converted into the Harrisburg Public Library.
According to reports, more than 4,000 people flocked to the new library on its opening day, and 686 people registered as readers so they could take advantage of the free services and materials offered at this new location.
"This record of use leaves no room for doubt of the need of a public library in the community, nor the readiness of the public to make use of its resources," writes inaugural Librarian Alice Eaton in her October 1916 report of library activities.
One hundred years later, the same statement remains true.
The riverfront location, along with the seven other libraries that now comprise the Dauphin County Library System, welcomed more than 771,000 visitors in 2012 and lent more than 1.25 million items to its 119,430 cardholders.
Join us as we celebrate 100-year history of continuous public library service in Dauphin County, remember the past, and look forward to the future.
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