The Meigs County District Public Library has a long history of service to the people of Meigs County. In 1898, eight interested citizens formed the Pomeroy Library Association and opened the first free public library in Meigs County on Sept. 15, 1900. The Library now operates in four locations: Pomeroy, Middleport, Racine and eastern Meigs County.
The first library in Pomeroy was located in the Samuel Wyllis Pomeroy house, and then later occupied rooms on the upper floors of several buildings in Pomeroy, eventually moving to an upper room in the City Hall. It was during this time that funds became available through the Carnegie Foundation, established by Andrew Carnegie to help small towns across America build libraries. The town supplied the lot and its citizens pledged one-tenth of one percent of its tax revenue. The Foundation provided the rest. The Pomeroy Carnegie Library was completed on Jan. 19, 1914. This building housed the Pomeroy Library for the next seventy-five years.
In 1908, the Middleport Board of Education appointed a group of seven people to serve as a library board. The new board was charged with acquiring both books and funds. An “entertainment” and book reception was held at Coe’s Opera House, with a book being the price of admission. Several more benefits were held and produced a profit of $131.83, which paid the expenses until the Board of Education granted the Library Board a total of $357.64 for the yearly expenses. The Library Board soon began corresponding with the Carnegie Foundation and with land purchased from the VanDuyn family, the Middleport Carnegie Library was completed in 1912 and is still serving the people of Middleport.
When the Pomeroy, Middleport and Rutland School Districts combined in 1966, the libraries became one administrative unit known as the Meigs Local School District Library. In 1980, the library became a county district library known as the Meigs County District Public Library. The state government changed the way libraries were funded in 1986, giving libraries a portion of the state income tax, instead of the local intangible tax. A formula was built into the funding that allowed small underfunded libraries to receive a larger share of the money to equalize the funding with the libraries in the more affluent communities. As a result, our library system began to grow for the first time in many years. With the collection growing and the services expanding, the Pomeroy Library soon outgrew the Carnegie Building. In September of 1989, the Pomeroy Library moved to its present location at 216 W. Main St. A major renovation and expansion was completed in 2003.
Library services continued to expand with the opening of the Racine Public Library in 1997. The unusual building is a renovated carriage house located on the former Tyree property. The attractive library and grounds have proven to be an asset to the village of Racine.
In August of 1998, our newest branch library was opened in the Eastern Elementary School, serving as both a school library for the students and a full-service public library for the citizens of eastern Meigs County. This very successful combined-use library is the result of much planning and cooperation between the Eastern School Board and the Meigs County Library Board.