Pomeroy Carnegie

Saturday found me wandering around Pomeroy for a couple of hours. I was both excited and sad to find this Carnegie Library.

It’s on Second Street, just down from the Courthouse and close to the post office, literally a stone’s throw from all the important things that go on in a county seat.

Like the Carnegie in Xenia that I showed you a couple of days ago, this one is no longer a library. The library outgrew it and built a new one out on Main Street in 1989.

Honestly, I can hardly blame them.

Pomeroy is built on the banks of the mighty Ohio River and this neighborhood feels narrow to me. On one side is the River and the other a hill. There literally was no way to add on to the historic Carnegie and it was too small for modern needs.

Opened in 1914, it’s one of the smaller and more practical Carnegies that I’ve seen in my travels. It fulfilled a real and tangible need in this Appalachian community and served that community well for 75 years.

Today it’s a law firm and seems well cared for, an observation that made my heart happy.

Today, the Meigs County Library System has multiple branches across the county and seems to work at serving the community in innovative ways. You can use your library card to borrow a hotspot for a week. They moved to a virtual program format when the pandemic hit and in-person event no longer permissible. They even are a distribution site for at-home Covid tests.

Plus, like most libraries today, they offer audio books, movies, and access to digital libraries that take readers far beyond the confines of their building’s walls.

People forget – or maybe they just don’t know – that modern libraries offer more than the tangibles than books. In Appalachian communities, they are very much a community center and a hub for free activities and learning for all. For many kids and even some adults, librarians are the first people who encourage them to read, learn and explore.

That stately Carnegie building served its purpose well for 75 years. I can’t help but be sad that change came but I’m glad to see it has a new lease on life while the library system continues to evolve and grow for future generations.

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