The Westfield Washington Public Library has been a valuable asset for more than 100 years and continually strives to provide quality services, materials and facilities that fulfill the educational, informational, technological, cultural and recreational needs of all its patrons.
In 2009 WWPL was ranked 7th in the state out of 239 Indiana public libraries and first in its population category of 47 libraries by Hennen’s American Public Library Ratings, which reviews libraries according to 15 factors focusing on circulation, staffing, materials, reference service and funding levels.
The library has over 150,000 items including, adult and juvenile books, magazines, audiobooks, music CDs, DVDs and VHS, as well as CD-ROMs. New materials are continually added to the collection, which offers the best in popular fiction and non-fiction and up to date reference resources. Use of the library’s materials and facilities has increased every year, with an average circulation of more than 40,000 print and Audio/Visual materials each month.
Books that are not in the collection and are not being considered for purchase may be requested from another library in the Evergreen system or through interlibrary loan.
Information & Reference Services
The IRS department offers a variety of programs, classes and materials. There are two book discussion groups that meet once a month as well as an online book club accessible anytime. The outreach program serves two local retirement communities and the homebound. The literacy program offers English as a Second Language (ESL) for all ages with skilled tutors and convenient class meeting times.
The Children’s Department offers a child-friendly environment with child-friendly employees ready to match kids with books and much more. Many programs are available for newborns to teens. There is also a special Learning Center that provides a special collection for teachers and parents, as well as a Homeschool Liaison who provides assistance and resources for families who homeschool. Stories, games and other learning tools are offered at the five computer stations in the library as well as online from the TumbleBooks database.
A separate YA collection is provided for teens that offers a selection of materials written especially for young adults, including fiction, nonfiction, graphic novels, audiobooks, and magazines. The library’s teen area offers study rooms and comfortable seating for hanging out with friends after school. Special programming is facilitated by a librarian dedicated to their needs. The teens also have their own Teen Advisory Group (TAG), video game tournaments, and an Anime Manga Club. The Teen Librarian and TAG members work together to plan interesting programs and select material to add to the YA collection.
With something for everyone in the family, the Audio Visual department offers a wide variety of media for entertainment and educational purposes. There are non-fiction titles which cover everything from self-help, exercise instruction and documentaries. These, along with new releases, classic favorites, and television series are offered on Blu-ray and/or DVD. Also available are music CDs, Playaways and audiobooks for your listening pleasure, as well as Wii games to keep your mind and body active. We have eBooks in a variety of formats compatible with Nooks, Kindles, iPads, and other digital devices.
In 1856 Westfield received a library grant from the William McClure family. To receive the grant a community had to have at least 100 books, a reading room, and a lecture room. The library died out during the Civil War, but returned to life in 1883. In 1901 it was housed in a small storeroom.
In 1911, through a Carnegie grant, the first Hamilton County Carnegie library building was opened at 104 West Main Street and by 1917 an addition was necessary as the book collection had grown to 3,000 volumes. The same 3,268 square foot building in 1983 housed 19,000 library items and had a circulation of 2,200 items per month, surpassing the structure’s capability. At this time the Hamilton County area was identified as one of the fastest growing area of Indiana.
In 1978 library officials elected to acquire a site and construct a new library rather than expanding the old site. The new library, located at 333 West Hoover Street, was opened in October of 1983 with an area of 11, 680 square feet; it’s construction and site allowed for future expansion. The new building included such features as children’s story pit, a periodical area, a meeting room, and the Sumner History Room. It was located on a wooded 3 acre site with a parking area that accommodated 24 cars.
Although the building was planned to have sufficient space for the next 20 years the expanded growth of the community fired a remodeling and expansion project in the early 1990’s. The new library was finished in 1995 and now has more than 26,000 square feet.
The Sumner History Room is named for Joe C. Sumner, a lifelong resident of Westfield. On his death, Mr. Sumner bequeathed a very generous donation to the Westfield Public Library. This allowed the Board to purchase ground from the school board for the move from the Carnegie Library on Main Street to West Hoover Street.
When the new library opened in 1983, the Board of Trustees of the Westfield Public Library named the Indiana history and genealogy area, the Joe C. Sumner History Room. Mr. Sumner collected material relating to his ancestry and the development of the Westfield community. He hoped that his research could be preserved and that additional materials could be secured to enable others to carry on his work. With the expansion and renovation of the library in 1995, Mr. Sumner’s collection is now a living memorial to a generous friend.
The Sumner History Room contains:
- Books about Indiana
- Biographies of famous Hoosiers
- Genealogy records
- Westfield High School yearbooks
- Indiana vertical file
- Indian artifacts found in the Village Farms area donated by Ralph Wilfong