History

In 1951, a $57,000 bond issue was passed to build a $50,000 library and equip the building with shelves, furniture and accessories. Ground was broken in early summer of 1952, and the official dedication was held on March 21, 1953. 5000 books had been donated by the time the library opened. The library’s first flag was donated by the Woman’s Club of South Beloit. By the year 1967, a much needed addition was being planned due to overcrowding and extensive library use. The new addition costing $56,000 was dedicated on March 16, 1975. That was great in 1975, but here we are now and we are once again bursting at the seams. With the addition of computers, videos, books-on-cd we are out of space.

In 1988 libraries needed to comply with the American Disability Act, which involved making your library handicapped accessible. With a grant, we constructed a ramp, restrooms, water fountain, door handles, signage, etc. handicapped accessible. The grant covered 80% of the cost of the ramp with the library paying 20%. The total cost was $55,000.

In 2002, we received a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. From the grant we received four computers, a printer and a content server for the library. Approximately 200+ patrons a month take advantage of this service.

LIBRARIANS
The first librarian was Miss Elizabeth Ogan. The first President of the South Beloit Public Library Board was Dallas Busey with associate members: W.W. Weirick, Secretary: Norman Boss; Mrs. Robert Smith; Mrs. Jack Warden; Herman Rice; Maynard Cook; E.E. Earl and Charles French. Mr. John Evans was assistant librarian.

Our second librarian was Miss Clara Devor in August, 1953. Mrs. Dorothy Brady began her library career as assistant in September, 1953. On March 19, 1963 Miss Clara Devor died after serving the community for 10 years. Both Miss Devor and her mother remembered the library in their wills. They left a sizable amount of money to the library in an endowment fund from which we can use only the interest and it’s only to be used to buy books. Mrs. Dora Mih became head librarian September 3, 1963. In August 1965 she went to the Janesville Public Library.

September 15, 1965 Mrs Cathryn Hayes became librarian. She is known for her love of the library and her attractive displays and programs for the children which she enjoyed immensely and the history of South
Beloit. Mrs. Hayes retired in 1976.

Eunice Marks became librarian in 1976, retiring after 26 years of employment, 10 of those years as head librarian. On January 2nd, 1986 Mrs. Alice Targo became the librarian. She was previously head librarian at the Winnebago Public Library. Mrs. Targo died in 1990.

Victoria Cogswell became librarian in 1991 leaving in 1993 to take a position at the Beloit Public Library.

Ortus Dunbar replaced Ms. Cogswell on May 31, 1993 as head librarian and retired November 14, 2013. She started her career In the library in 1976.

Doreen Dalman became the head librarian on April 1, 2014. She previously worked at the Beloit College and also the Beloit Public Library.

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