History of the Library

1864 | Charles Arthur Ely, son of Elyria's founder, died and left a Will establishing a public library for Elyria and the vicinity.

1870 | The library began operation with 2,000 books. Fines were five cents per day, which remained until 2003.

1873 | The building was destroyed by fire and rebuilt. The new building was built on a site held by Loomis Camera.

1901 | Electric lights and ceiling fans were added to the facility.

1908 | A telephone and typewriter were added to the library.

1915 | The first Children's Librarian was hired.

1929 | The Broad Street building sold for $60,000, and the Dr. Reefy house was purchased for $30,000. An addition was built onto the house to accommodate more library materials.

1948 | The library became a charter member of the first cooperative film circuit in the U.S.

1967 | The Main Library opened on Washington Avenue.

1979 | The Friends of the Elyria Public Library was established.

1985 | The Bookmobile started service throughout the Elyria and Keystone areas.

1987 | The Keystone School District and the Village of Lagrange requested to be officially defined as part of the library's service area along with the Elyria School District.

1992 | The Washington Avenue Library was renovated. Ground was broken for the newly designed West River Library.

1994 | West River Library opened.

1999 | The New Bookmobile was on the road.

2003 | The Keystone -LaGrange Community Library opened. The Audio/Visual Department at Central Library was moved to the first floor.

2006 | The Branch at Neighborhood Center moved to Hamilton School in partnership with Lorain County Community Action Agency Head Start Program and Elyria City Schools. It was re-named the South Branch Library.

2008 | North Branch Library was opened in the new Barbara and Mike Bass Library/Community Resource Center on the campus of Lorain County Community College. This partnership of an academic library and the public library is the first of its kind in the state of Ohio.