Public Library of Steubenville and Jefferson County | Home
June 20, 2019 | Branch Locations | Contact Us
Public Library of Steubenville and Jefferson County
Serving Jefferson County, Ohio Since 1899
Find us on Instagram
Pay Fines/Make a Donation My Account

Director's Column

PLSJC Director Alan Hall writes a weekly column discussing library and community news, history, and other interesting subjects.

Mother Duckling or Grande Dame?

By Alan Hall, Director, PLSJ
Publish Date - Sunday, May 3, 2015

Several years ago, a fan of our library system told me that she always viewed the Main Library building as the “Mother Duck” of the system, and all the branch libraries were her ducklings marching along tending to the books.


I thought perhaps she had just finished reading the children’s book, “Make Way for Ducklings” and had connected the cute story of ducklings with the libraries.


More recently, another person told me that she thought the Main Library – Carnegie Building was the “Grande Dame” and the branch libraries were the pearls on the necklace of the great building.


Carnegie libraries have a certain mystique to them, a combination of eclectic architecture and Greek design symbolizing a temple of learning.  Nearly all the buildings have (or had) a stairway leading up to the entrance leading into a high-ceiling lobby and book area.


Many stories of library use take place in one of these Carnegie buildings, adding to the memories of a book selected by the user, or a Children’s program attended at a young age that led to a lifetime of library patronage.


Over my 32 years as Library Director, I have been amazed by the number of people who thought the Carnegie Building had closed, or those who are unaware that the 7 public library buildings in Jefferson County are connected into one library system.


Each of our library buildings is unique in its own way, and it is too bad that you can’t take a tour and see all seven locations.  Maybe I can share some thoughts on an around-the-county library tour!


The Adena Branch Library opened in 1940 as part of the WPA Library Program.  It occupied several locations over the years before closing in 1977 when the Village of Adena could no longer provide the space.


In 1983, the library reopened in the former Adena School building occupying a main floor classroom.  The deterioration of the building caused the library to look for alternative space by the mid-1990s, and it was moved to a building on Hanna Ave. which the library system purchased in 1998 and performed renovations.


Local residents call it the Honeymoon Hotel as the second floor was formerly used by newly married couples as early as the 1890s to establish housekeeping when most area men were employed in the coal mines.


It has later been used for offices, a small store, and later as supplemental space for the parochial school.


As the Adena Branch Library, it today provides an attractive space for the library and like all of our locations has Internet service and library services including connection to the State of Ohio telecommunications services and a database of 90 public libraries in the state.


Fax services, scanning and transmission, and color copying is available, as well as a book collection of over 7,000 items.


Recently, the library system developed neighboring property into a paved parking area, and access to the handicapped access to the building as well as new exterior lighting.


The Adena location draws customers from the village as well as neighboring areas on US 250 in all directions from the Branch.


It is interesting that our Adena Library gets mixed up with the Adena located in Chillicothe, which was the home of Ohio’s first governor, Thomas Worthington.  I have had several calls with state officials confused about why our Adena Library isn’t located in Chillicothe.


So, you can picture Adena as either the little duckling or the pearl on the necklace, but either way it is one of the jewels of our library system.