In 1928 Noble’s Home Store made room in a corner and acquired an Allen County Public Library depository. As the picture shows you were squeezed in a corner. If you wished to sit and read, you could sit on in-coming groceries, a 100-pound sack of Michigan Great Northern Beans, or parcel post drop-off items.
The demand for reading became so great that the owner, Edgar B. Noble added a room to the back of the store for library use only. The high windows shut out any distraction and added light. 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: McNamara, Slater, Boyd, Metting, May, Pribble, McCormick, Wedler, Lee, Ploughe, Prince, Keller and the Shanenberg families.
The first library, located in Noble’s Home Store was on McArthur Drive. It served the Waynedale area in 1931 under the supervision of Ed Noble’s wife, librarian Mrs. Dorothy Noble, until 1939 when it was transferred to the Waynedale School, near the corner of Old Trail Road (then, Indianapolis Road) and McArthur Drive. Dorothy’s wage was $10.00 per month.
The school branch library operated from 1943 through 1955 under the guidance of Lela Green. From 1955-1972 the Waynedale library was located on Lower Huntington Road. In 1970, the Waynedale branch library moved further east to 2615 Lower Huntington Road and was under the direction of Kent Lauer. In 1971 the ground was bought for the present building, which opened in 1972 and remodeled in 1989. In 2004 expansion of the library began and was completed in 2005 with an addition of 4800 square feet.
Libraries were not exempt from being the victim of jokes. In the early 1930s three telephones were not enough in the grocery store, so the Noble’s added a phone in the library. Pranksters were often caught using the library phone with such jokes as this one.
A caller phones in and asks, “Do you have Prince Albert (pipe tobacco) in a can?”
The clerk knowingly goes along. “Yes!”
“Let him out!”