Waynedale’s First Library
In 1928 Nobles Homestore acquired an Allen County Public Library Depository. As the picture shows it was squeezed into a corner. If you wished to sit, you sat as my Dad, Edgar B. Noble Sr. did, on incoming groceries, or on parcel post drop-off items. If you were lucky you may sit on a 100lb. bag of Michigan Great Northern Beans. This venture wasn’t much but it was a start to see if the small population would use a library. The acceptance was so great that Dad built another room to the back of the store. The high windows, seen in the picture, shut out any distraction and added much light. Branch library supervisory people went all out. This was a full-fledged reading room with fashionable light oak tables and chairs.
The public responded well and came from great distances. Regulars coming every 3 or 4 days included: McNamaras, Slaters, Boyds, Mettings, Mays, Pribbles, McCormicks, Wedlers, Lees, Ploughs, Princes, Kellers, Shanenbergs, and many many more I can’t remember. The 1933 Grand Opening celebrated library services from 1931 to 1933. The reading room operated under the guidance of the librarian, my mother, Mrs. Dorothy Noble, until 1939 when it was transferred to the Waynedale School. Neighbors were filled with thanks for the 8 years of services. The wage was $10.00 per month.
The library branch located at Waynedale School operated from 1943 through 1955 under the guidance of Lela Green. In 1970 it was opened at 2615 Lower Huntington Road thanks to Peoples Bank and Trust (now Bank 1). The librarian at this location was Kent Lauer and the first customer was Barbara Sieminsky. Steve Fortriede replaced Kent Lauer and was assisted by Fred Krueger. In 1971 the ground was broken for the present building that opened in 1972, remodeled in 1989, and re-opened on January 2, 1990.
Libraries are not exempt from being the victim of jokes. In the early 1930’s, three telephones in our store were not enough. We had to have a phone in the library to free the grocery phones. Pranksters were considerate enough not to use the business phone with such jokes as this one.
A youth caller would call in and ask, “Do you have Prince Albert (pipe tobacco) in a can?” The clerk would knowingly go along. “Yes,” she would answer. The caller would say, “Let him out.”