Who We Are and Mission Statement
History of the Hope Welty Public Library
A Library was organized by the Cerro Gordo Library Association in 1892, with rooms in a building in the main business block. Owing to rent and other expense, it was moved to the Methodist Church and then finally discontinued.
In 1930 another public library was started under the sponsorship of the Woman’s Club. The books were largely donations from those interested.
It was held in the frame building back of the grade school. In 1935 a tax was levied and the present system was established. The first directors were Marge Grove, Ethel Dobson, Lena Dobson, Mary Landis, Faye Wolff and Gladys Robinson.
Miss Hope Welty was the first librarian and it was mostly through her efforts that a library was established. She, with the help of her former piano pupils; sorted and cataloged the books. Miss Welty received a salary of $20.00 a month.
After the death of Hope Welty on July 24, 1935 the Library Board in co-operation with the Woman’s Club decided to name the library Hope Welty Township Library in her honor, as it was through her efforts that the library was started.
The library was in the Scout Hall in the 200 block of East Wait Street until 1957, when the board purchased and moved into the building at 116 East Wait Street.
The library became a member of the Rolling Prairie Library System in 1966, making it possible for the local library to offer a wider variety of reading materials, fiction and non-fiction to it’s readers. Other services included loans of records, magazines, framed prints, films, film strips and slides.
In 1987-88 Hope Welty Township Library constructed a new building at 100 South Madison Street, with room for expansion if necessary.
The library became Hope Welty Public Library District in 1989.
The library joined the digital age by becoming part of Library On The Go in June of 2011. This allows our patrons to check out e-books, videos, audiobooks and more electronically.
Since the merger of the library systems of Illinois, Hope Welty Public Library now is a member of Illinois Heartland Library System as of July 1, 2011.
The mission of the Hope Welty Public Library is to provide educational, informational, cultural, and recreational resources and services to all ages of people in the Hope Welty Public Library. The library will provide access to the universe of information, and especially that information which is of immediate relevance and interest to the community it serves. The library seeks to accomplish its mission through prudent management and development of its resources, and by providing access to materials and services to meet the present and future needs of the community it serves. In this effort, the Hope Welty Public Library cooperates with other libraries, and with other educational, and governmental institutions. Special emphasis is placed on current popular materials. The library serves as a learning center and educational center for all residents of the community.