|Batesville Memorial Public Library|
The Batesville Town Board first approached the idea of building a library in Batesville in January 1905. The Board discussed the idea at the January 9 meeting and passed a resolution to approach the Carnegie Foundation for funds to build it on February 27, 1905. The Carnegie Foundation offered ten thousand dollars on condition that the town commit ten percent of that amount annually for the upkeep of the library. This effort failed, as did others later. By 1913, the Carnegie funds in Indiana ran out.
|Historic Travel Guide to Ripley County, Indiana|
The effort to establish a new library in Batesville flared into life once again on February 23, 1928. Miss Hazel Warren, representing the Indiana State Library gave a presentation to interested Batesville citizens at the High School. Her talk, "How to Organize a Public Library" outlined different procedures a community may follow in establishing a library. In 1928, Batesville still utilized the Public Library Service, offered by the State Library. Under this system, the Indiana State Library would send a lot of books to a community for the community to use for three months. At the end of that term, the books returned to the State Library, who would then send out another lot of books. Miss Warren stated that Batesville was the largest town in Indiana still using the Public Library Service. She also noted that there were ten townships in Ripley County with no access to a library. Following this meeting, the Parents and Teachers Association began holding meetings during the remainder of 1928. The following year, a group of citizens met at the Memorial Building on April 10, 1929 to discuss plans.
Finally, in 1933, the reading public of Batesville succeeded in establishing a library. The modest beginning of the library consisted of one room at the new grade school building on Mulberry Street. The library would occupy these modest digs until 1938, when room became available in the basement of the Memorial Building on Main Street. Library patrons and staff continued an ongoing campaign to obtain more space for the library. This almost happened in 1945, when three rooms on the top floor of the Memorial Building became available. The new librarian, Haze Andreas, lobbied city officials heavily for the space; however, they gave the space to the Girl Scouts instead. At about this time, Head Librarian Andreas began compiling annual reports to use to try to justify the need for more space. Meanwhile, she made do by having the shop class at the high school build more bookshelves and came up with ingenious ideas to better utilize the space she had. Her first report, in 1945, noted that the library contained 2300 books, had 246 cardholders and was open only ten and a half hours per week.
The Girl Scouts moved into their new home at the corner of Pearl and Mulberry Street, leaving the top three rooms in the Memorial Building vacant again in 1948. This time Andreas was successful. She gained access to these rooms and engineered the move to this more spacious area. Local businesses donated furniture for the expanded library, which would serve the Batesville public until 1974. Mrs. Andreas initiated a number of programs designed to increase library usage. These efforts included a children's story hour, reading clubs and poster contests. The effort succeeded and by the late 1960's the library again needed more space.
Batesville Memorial Public Library
The John A Hillenbrand family donated a tract of land located between Walnut Street, Schrader Street, Elm Street and Hillenbrand Avenue for a new library in 1974. The land had served as the Hillenbrand family home. Hazel Andreas, still serving as head librarian, engineered another move, to the new Batesville Memorial Public Library, which was dedicated on October 20, 1974. Mrs. Andreas retired the following February, after serving as head librarian for thirty years.
George C. and Margaret Hillenbrand Wing
By 1988, the library needed more room, so they constructed an addition that almost doubled the size of the facility. This new George C. and Margaret Hillenbrand Wing was dedicated on October 2, 1988. In 2003, the Library acquired the Cinergy office building on Boehringer Street. They allowed the Batesville Area Historical Society to use the building, now called the Library Annex, as a museum until 2007, when the BAHS moved to its current museum on George Street. The library uses the Annex to host various events and programs. Other services offered by the library include public computers, wireless internet access; meeting rooms and of course, books to read. Visitors will also find DVD's magazines, special collections and newspapers. The library also has an extensive genealogy room for local families to use to research their family trees.
Batesville Memorial Public Library
131 North Walnut Street
Batesville, IN 47006-4897