Arcadia still benefits from Carnegie library

There are a number of Carnegie library buildings in Nebraska. In Arcadia, there's one that's original and still in operation.

"There were 69 of them built in the state," Arcadia librarian Terri Pierson said. "The cornerstone of the library in Arcadia was laid in 1917." You can find these buildings in many communities. For example, there's one in Loup City that is now an office. Many of the buildings did not last as libraries over the years, but the one in Arcadia is still very much original. "The wood floors are here, all of the window casings on the windows are original, a lot of the furniture, the tables and chairs are original, and we've got a hat rack umbrella stand that is original," Pierson said. "There's even a waste paper basket that is original, and the center desk is original. We also have the original blueprints." Pierson says the building cost about $8,000 when it was built.

Pierson says some new steps were added to to exterior front of the building to improve safety and accessibility. The library has been used in a number of ways over the years. Classes were held in the library when the local school had a fire. "They've held class reunions here, and it has been used for various clubs," Pierson said. The community uses it in a number of ways today, and children benefit from the library through a summer reading program.

Pierson says she enjoys working at the library. "I love books, but I also enjoy people coming in and visiting and I enjoy meeting the public," Pierson said.