On 10 September
1948 Lane Public Librarys second branch was opened. Its first
home was downstairs at the Citizens Bank Building at 2531 Pleasant
Avenue. Its collection totaled 3,000 volumes. After a number of years
the Lindenwald branch outgrew its space and new quarters were leased
at 2121 Pleasant Avenue.
was also taking place in bookmobile service. A 1949 report related
that stops that year included 38 villages, nine schools and four camps.
For nearly a quarter of a century (1940 to 1964) the library was directed
by Mrs. Gladys Sepin. Her contributions to the library and community
were more extensive than the establishment of new branches and the
expansion of bookmobile service. She was particularly involved in
childrens programs and in promoting adult education, a forerunner
of todays Continuing Education programs. She was
also active in the Civic Music Series which brought such world-acclaimed
artists as Isaac Stern, Jerome Hines, Robert Merrill, Vladimir Horowitz
and Roberta Peters to the stage of old Hamilton High School.
branch was dedicated 28 December 1966 and continues to serve the Fairfield
community from its original facility at 701 Wessel Drive. It is noteworthy
that the facility was the first building built specifically for a
library in the Hamilton-Fairfield area in 100 years. In 1964 Fairfield
City Council approved the construction of a 4,000 square-foot library
which was then leased to the Lane Public Library Board of Trustees.
Opened during January 1967 with 4,000 volumes, circulation in its
first year topped 55,000 books. A decade later the number of volumes
in the branchs collection had grown to 20,000 and circulation
had nearly tripled.
it was apparent that the Fairfield branch had outgrown its space and
in 1979 Fairfields City Council appropriated $220,000 for a
3,400 square foot addition that provided additional space for shelving,
office space and an all-purpose room. A notable architectural feature
of the addition, although one generally not noticed, is the skylights
in the cathedral ceiling. In addition to enhancing the attractiveness
of the addition, the skylights provide natural lighting. Dedication
of the expansion followed on 27 May 1980.
expansion and growth has continued throughout nearly 30 years in Oxford.
The Oxford branch opened in 1958 in a leased building adjacent to
the landmark water tower in the center of the community. That building
at various times would also become a book store and a bus station.
By 1975 Lane Public Library constructed its own library building at
15 South College Avenue.
an addition was begun at the Oxford branch which would house, in part,
the William E. And Ophia D. Smith Library of Regional History. This
library and archive greatly facilitates historical research in and
of southwest Ohio. The principal address at the additions dedication
on 5 July 1981 was by noted Miami University historian and author,
Dr. Walter Havighurst. His address was titled, Pages from the
Past. The Oxford branchs north wing, which included new
meeting rooms and expanded facilities for adult and juvenile collections,
was completed in 1991.
milestones occurred during the directorship of Edward R. Dax, who
served as associate director and director for 20 years prior to his
retirement on 31 December 1982. Mr. Dax took particular satisfaction
in Lane Public Librarys upgraded facilities. In farewell remarks
he recalled that when he first arrived the Oxford branch was housed
in an old dairy bar while the Lindenwald branch was quartered in an
overheated bank basement. After retirement Mr. and Mrs. Dax moved
to the East to be close to family members and they currently reside
in Saratoga Springs, New York.
Mary Pat Essman began service as Lane Public Librarys sixth
director on 17 January 1983. A native of Wellston in Jackson County,
Ohio, Miss Essman earned her M.L.S. degree from Indiana University
School of Library Science. Her previous positions were with the Mason
Public Library, where she was appointed director in 1980, and the
Beavercreek branch of the Greene County District Library.
the guidance of the trustees and the director, a dedicated staff has
implemented a variety of new services that would have been difficult
to imagine previously. These include such services as Books by Mail,
free informational faxing between branches and access to the Ohio
Public Library Information Network (OPLIN) and the Internet. Dial-in-access
from home and office computer terminals permits off-site utilization
of library resources. Clark Lane desired that libraries be located
in neighborhoods convenient to patrons; technology now enables library
materials to go directly to the reader.
July 1995 Miss Essman has directed the most extensive and complete
renovation in Lane Public Librarys 130-year history. At no time
was the library closed during this project, although significant portions
of the collection were in storage while genealogical and regional
history materials were temporarily housed in the Smith History Room
at the Oxford branch and at a Butler County archival facility in Hamilton.
The rededication ceremonies held in early 1997 brought to a close
an 18-month period of reconstruction.