The Williamsburg Community Library began as a dream of several local leaders, Kenneth Messick, Dennis Norton, Charles Gilkey, Sam Schnider, Jim Reedy, and Cliff McCurdy. It became a reality in December, 1983. There have been many private contributions of money and books donated to the library in addition to the moneys budgeted for library services by the Williamsburg City Council. All library staff, the director, and governing board efforts are volunteer.
The Library had its grand opening in 1985 with several shelves of books in Williamsburg City Hall. By 1987, needing more space, the library expanded to the former storage area and city jail with volunteers doing the remodeling.
The library spent most of its budget the first few years on children's books. Many other books were donated, including, for three years, all books not sold at the Ottawa Library Skunk Run Book Sale. In 1990, the library started a video section and in 2005 an audio C.D. section.. Artist Randall Bennett (1975 Williamsburg High School graduate) donated the copyrighted logo (see front) for use on stationery, postcards, note pads, bookmarks, book bags, calendars, and t-shirts. The first librarian, Donita McMillan, was appointed in 1984. Directing library services since 1986 has been Eloise Bennett with the assistance of library staff and under the supervision of the Board of Directors.
Planning and fund raising, including memorial donations, for the construction of a new library building gained momentum each year. By 2004 the building fund had reached $85,000 and was the basis for seeking a Community Development Block Grant from the Kansas Department of Commerce. On February 1, 2005, Williamsburg Mayor Charles Gilkey received notification from Governor Kathleen Sebelius that the city of Williamsburg was awarded a KAN-STEP Grant (CDBG Grant) for $371,005. This comprised 60% of construction costs. The remaining 40% is provided by library funds and the labor value of the work of the USD # 287 school vocational housebuilding class taught by Troy Ifland and many community volunteers.
Williamsburg Community Library is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media