The Bern Community Library was established in 1990 after 50 years of desiring to have a library. The Kansas State Library was consulted on April 12,1989 when Roy Bird suggested we contact the Northeast Kansas Library System. With the help of Lois Adriance and Glen Plaisted from the system a community meeting was held July 13, 1989. Another meeting with local libraries was held March 6, 1990 with the help of the Home Improvement Club. A Summer Reading Program was first established in June 1990. On August 7, 1990 Voters voted (106 to 55) to establish a Bern/Washington Township Library.

The Better Homes Unit and the Home Improvement Club, in 1991, acquired the future library building, an old unoccupied building located on Main Street, Bern.
The Washington Township Board, Steve Hartter, Leroy Meyer, and J.R. Hanni, appointed the first Bern Community Library Board on July 10,1991; members consisting of Board Chair Anne Moser, Vice Chair Gary Lortscher, Secretary Wilma Perkins, Treasurer Laurie Wilson, and member Gary Bradley. On July 31,1991 the Bern Community Library Board signed a Resolution and Petition for admission to a Regional System of Cooperating Libraries being the Northeast Kansas Library System. This resolution and petition was approved August 8, 1991 by the System Board and was approved by the State Library Advisory Commission on September 27,1991.The Mission statement, approved July 11, 1994 for the Bern Community Library states: The Bern Community Library is created to provide materials and services to help the community residents in their pursuit of recreational, educational, cultural, and professional needs of striving to stimulate and enlighten users of the library.

On March 3, 1995 the library installed the Follett Software for the Library/Media center and was tested at site on March 20,1995. Microsoft Windows 3.11 was installed September 28,1995 and joined the Information Network of Kansas November 21,1995.

With some tax revenues, an anonymous donation of $10,000 and many other contributions, fund raisers ranging from basketball “Shoot for Reading” to “The Antique Tractor Pull” with Nebraska, the library building was completely renovated with the formal open house being May 27,1995.

100_0003.JPG The first Library Director and Assistant Librarian were hired January 1, 1996; Julia Dawdy, Library Director, (Shown) and Marsha Korber, Assistant Librarian.

Julia gave us 10 years of excellent service before retiring in January 2006.

Leave a Reply