Community History

A Brief History of the Kingsville Public Library 


The earliest record of a Kingsville Library is dated 1885; however, a small library existed in the Kingsville Academy prior to that date and in the Centralized High School beginning in 1872. After the Civil War, a small library was maintained in a home on Priest Street with books purchased with the remaining funds collected to help widows and orphans of soldiers lost in the Civil War.

The Linnean Literary Society of Kingsville established the first reading room of what was to become our present library. The Society met in 1885 to change its name to the Kingsville Library Association, form a board of directors and establish the library bylaws. The Association was incorporated by August, 1886. Grant Blodgett was Association member taking the first turn as librarian. With his leadership over the next ten years, funds were raised for the library by holding lectures, ice cream socials and events in the park.

By 1894, enough donations had been received to build the first library building on the north side of the West Main Street on a lot donated by Mrs. F. M. Parrish. The new "Kingsville Free Reading Room" was opened to the public in September, 1894. This original building is still in use as the children's room of the present library. The unique onion dome window is reported to have been designed from a sketch of a New England building drawn by Miss Bonita Himrod, an Academy student and the daughter of the Kingsville physician.

The Library Association made the request to become a School District Library to the school board in 1911, thus qualifying the library to receive state funds. Seven trustees were appointed by the school board to be the governing body of the library.

With school board approval granted in 1918, the library was moved to its present Academy Street location on a lot next door to the brick Kingsville Centralized School. When the school building was destroyed by fire in 1927, the old school lot to the north of the library was purchased by Helen Barret Montgomery, an American social reformer, educator, and writer. She Donated the land to the library for its future growth.

During World War 2, the library could be open only a few afternoons a week and was forced to reduce those meager hours during the winter when coal was in short supply and the room could not be heated.

As the township population continued to increase, the library increased in importance. Space for books and library tasks was always at premium. With the help of town citizens who furnished materials and labor at reduced costs, the library built a back room and attic on the east end of the building and remodeled the interior, enlarging the reading room by removing a partition that created a small back work room for the librarian. The new addition was soon used to hold books as the collection increased.

The next addition was added in 1965, a narrow extension on the north side of the building which eliminated the windows and door on that side of the original building. This small addition was immediately filled to capacity and books were again shelved in the back room and up in the attic. It took another 15 years to collect the funds needed for an addition because once a plan was selected and bid, the cost had inflated to such an extent that new plans had to be drawn and more funds secured. After three revisions, a large 40 ft. by 40 ft. addition was added in 1985 to the northside. The contribution of a large estate permitted the addition of another 26 ft. by 44 ft. room in 1990, the present size of the library today.

Today, the library consists of just under 5,000 sq. ft. devoted to public use, holds approximately 38,000 items is a member of the CLEVNET consortium offering 3.6 million items, and continues to serve as a School District Library for the Buckeye Local School District. The legal service area includes Kingsville Township, North Kingsville Village and portions of Sheffield and Monroe Townships within the Buckeye School District. The library staff is renowned for being friendly and providing excellent customer service. 


The Kingsville Public Library serves as a welcoming community resource center with exemplary customer service. We seek to nurture the quest for lifelong learning and to engage the community through dynamic services for all ages. 




As a key partner in education the Kingsville Public Library will enrich the community by providing a comprehensive collection, educational programs, and access to technology as well as the human record.