When three Olathe women started the Ladies Reading Circle in 1883, the seeds of a premier library system were planted. Those three women were Mrs. John P. St. John, Mrs. M.V.B. Parker, and Mrs. R.E. Stevenson. Their legacy and the Ladies Reading Circle are still active today.
Six years later, at a cost of $2, the Ladies Reading Circle obtained the loan of 50 books from the Kansas State Library for a six-month period. The collection was established in Mrs. H.C. Livermore's home and borrowers were required to return the books within one week, but the Library was heading for a permanent home.
On August 2, 1909, the Olathe City Council appointed a twelve-member library board and passed a 4/10th mill property tax to fund library operations. As a result, the city was able to secure $10,000 from Andrew Carnegie's municipal library program to erect a facility.
One hundred-years later, the Olathe Public Library is celebrating with two birthday parties, one on July 31st between 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. at the downtown library on Park Street and the second at the Indian Creek Branch Library on Black Bob Road from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on August 7th.
The popular musical group, the DooDads and magician Devin Henderson will perform at both events. Refreshments will be served and commemorative gifts will be given while supplies last.
In addition, the Friends of the Public Library will host a used book sale from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on August 7th at the Indian Creek branch. The sale will continue from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on August 8th.
For more information about the library or its history, visit the library's website at www.olathelibrary.org.