The year 2010 marked a century since the people of Twinsburg dedicated the area’s first public library. The door to the Sam Bissell Memorial Library swung open on May 1, 1910. The locale of this “book nook” was a two-story residence located along the northern side of Public Square. Funding for materials came from donors and patron subscriptions. And for a time, the small structure seemed well-suited for the little library and the little library seemed well-suited for the tiny town.
But as the city grew so did the demands placed on the diminutive library. Eventually, demands for new materials and services outstripped traditional sources of income and additional funding was needed. By the end of the 1920s, the library became tied to the school district and those who supported it. More people meant more books, more books meant more space was needed, and more space meant an inevitable move to a new location.
Little of note happened during the 1930s, ’40s, and ’50s. With resources spread thin for many Americans by the Depression and World War II, activities for many remained close to home. However, statistics during this time frame do show circulation increasing by a factor of twelve, from 5,325 in 1929 to 64,657 in 1966.
By 1963, that fruits of planning and budgeting were reaped and a new building was completed, marking the first time the Twinsburg Library occupied a space specifically designed for the learning and literature its staff strove to provide. For thirty years, staff, students, and the public utilized the services of the library at 9840 Ravenna Road. Classes were taught, meetings were held, the minds and imagination of youths were opened to new possibilities. With the newly completed edifice and the evolution of the Twinsburg Public Library paralleled that of the city. Close-knit and quaint when the first library opened, the city became larger and less rural, evolving into something more akin to other cities and offering similar amenities.
By 1991, after nearly three decades of utilization once again a move and an ever more expansive home were needed for the library. According to census records for Twinsburg the population more than doubled from 1960 and 1990, from roughly four thousand to nearly ten thousand. Few buildings can withstand an increase of that magnitude and so books, fixtures, movies, and music were packed up and relocated. The new building located at 10050 Ravenna Road, opened in 1993 under the leadership of director Karen Tschudy and the Board of Trustees, adding even more space in 2003.
Under the stewardship of director, Laura Leonard, staples of service have been retained while the evolving needs of the patron base have been brought into the twenty-first century: patrons have access to one-on-one personal assistance, a soundproof audio/video studio, a well-equipped computer lab, and a bookmobile acquired in September 2016. Leonard envisioned the bookmobile as a way to, “reach in the community that don’t have easy transportation—some of the people in the township, especially in Pinewood Gardens; some of the people in Reminderville; some of the smaller senior living areas.” Today, the Twinsburg Public Library serves an average of thirty-two thousand patrons per month and strives to do more for a user base with an ever-evolving list of demands.