Library celebrates 200 years in Jefferson County, Indiana

Library celebrates 200 years in Jefferson County, Indiana
Jefferson County Public Library, in Madison, Indiana, turns 200 years old this week. (Source: Rachael Krause/WAVE 3 News)
Celebrations at the library on the big day included cake! (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Celebrations at the library on the big day included cake! (Source: WAVE 3 News)

MADISON, IN (WAVE) - There was a big birthday Wednesday in Jefferson County, Indiana.

The Jefferson County Public Library was founded 200 years ago -- on April 18, 1818 -- by a group of 25 men in a tavern blocks away from where the library currently sits. It's the oldest public library in the state and the northwest territory.

People came out Wednesday afternoon to celebrate the two centuries worth of knowledge shared in the community, complete with a birthday cake.

The library has evolved since its start as a subscription service in the county, to its place in the community now, connecting people to genealogy help, children's programs and modern day research tools.

The library staff said this bicentennial is more than just a date in the history books.

"To look at the past and the group that actually got together and saw Madison as a center of culture and education and knowledge, and for them to have the foresight that a library would be important when this was just a frontier area is outstanding to me," Ann Inman, the Jefferson County, Indiana library coordinator, said.

Both the Hanover and Madison public library locations held community events for the bicentennial Wednesday afternoon. But this isn't the end of those celebrations. The library will be bringing in guest authors this month, and throughout the year, to continue the significance of the bicentennial year round.

For a schedule of events, visit the library's website. There is a link at the beginning of this story.

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