Edgewater Library, a little bit of history

Vol. XXIV No. 3 - FALL 2013

By: Robert Remer

The library has historic significance dating back to the 1960s when the Edgewater Community Council was formed to address numerous urban issues, not least of which was the lack of any library, save an occasional visiting bookmobile.

One of ECC’s founding members was Betty Barclay, who persisted in her fight to get our own library, eventually forming Friends of the Edgewater Library after the first, library was built in the 1970s. She and her fellow volunteers organized used book sales, promoted use of the branch, and advocated for better services, after it was clear Edgewater readers had outgrown the first branch.

It took quite a few years before Edgewater could get on the list of candidates for funding a larger replacement. The multi-year persistence of Alderman Mary Ann Smith made that a reality. Along with the financial support secured by our then State Representative, the project became a “go”; and now, as our Alderman, Harry Osterman, proudly emceed the opening ceremonies to a grateful Edgewater.

Twenty-five years earlier, on that same site, on a cold January day, then Alderman Kathy Osterman joined the first meeting of EHS as a founding member. On this recent warm June day, I am certain she was looking down proudly upon her beloved Edgewater.

Helping make the day special was our new Branch Manager, Joanna Hazelden, and her most effective staff, who did an extraordinary job of getting the branch open within just a few short weeks after the building was certified for occupancy.

We look forward to resuming the EHS partnership with our local library and birthplace, with its up to date modern facilities; already we had an overflow crowd at the library’s community room for the encore presentation of Patrick Steffes’ research on lakefront motels.