About Us

The Blair Public Library is funded through city tax dollars from the citizens of the city of Blair. To supplement the budget the library applies for federal and state grants and aid and receives gifts from civic groups and individuals. The Blair Public Library receives no county funding.

 

History

The Blair Public Library traces its roots back to 1877 when a group of Blair women formed the “Ladies Library Association”. Members donated books that included classics, history, travel, and fiction. The first books were kept in private homes. Later the collection was moved to a room in the Pierce Building and Mrs. Carrie Wiseman was hired as the first librarian. She managed a collection of some 300 volumes. The library was open on Saturdays and books were loaned through the purchase of a $1.00 yearly membership or five cents per week. The librarian was paid 50 cents per week and given an annual membership ticket.

The Blair Public library Association was formed on January 19, 1880. In 1886 the collection grew to over 600 volumes and the library was moved to a room above the Castetter Bank and then later to the Washington County Courthouse. In 1913, the library was moved to the City Hall and placed under the management of the Monday Afternoon Club.

In 1915, Miss Edith Schmahling was hired as librarian. The Monday Afternoon Club paid her salary. Her salary was 50 cents per session, which was held three times per week. During the year, discussions were held about establishing a free public library and it was decided to turn the matter over to the city. A city ordinance was passed which made it a free city library and initiated a two-mill levy for its support. The January 1916 monthly report showed a book circulation report of 416, salary paid of $6.15 to the librarian, and expenses of 10 cents.

In 1916 the citizens of Blair voted 227 to 148 to accept a donation of $10,000.00 from Andrew Carnegie. Lots were purchased and the new library building was erected. On October 6, 1916 a special ceremony was held at the library. The ceremony included a flag raising ceremony by the Women’s Relief corps, music by the Blair Band, speeches, and punch served by the domestic science girls. Miss Mae MacQuarrie was hired as librarian in 1916 and served 43 years as librarian until June 1959.

On Monday, July 23, 1973 the library building caught on fire. An electrical fire apparently started between the ceiling of the basement level and the main floor of the building. It was decided that the damage was extensive and the insurance money would be used to build a new library. The present library was dedicated on November 28, 1976. The 6,400-library building was built with a projected growth of 10 years.

Online Library Catalog

Hours, Etc.

Blair Public Library & Technology Center 2233 Civic Drive Blair, Nebraska   68008 (402) 426-3617 (402) 426-3633 (fax) mail@BlairPublicLibrary.com OPEN TO THE PUBLIC Monday-Thursday 10:00 – 8:00 Friday-Saturday 10:00 – 6:00 Sunday Closed

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Library Staff

Gayle Roberts Library Director   Wendy Lukert Adult/Teen/Children’s Programming   Chris Paxson Library Assistant     Celeste Lux Library Assistant/Interlibrary Loan Assistant                 Connie Hagedorn Technical Services Librarian

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Computers

About the Computers Public libraries have a long tradition of making information resources available to all. Continuing that tradition, the library provides public access to computer workstations and to the internet.  Wireless service is also available. Access to Online Library Card Catalog Public Internet Access Microsoft Office is available Card Catalog Computers One computer is …

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Library Board

Library Board The Blair Public library board consists of five members. The Mayor of Blair appoints the Library Board members. The Board serves in an advisory capacity representing the community to oversee policy and preserve community standards. Members of the Library Board include: Pam Realph, Chair Beth Clarke, Secretary Nancy Gabby Craig Folkers Martin Rump …

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FAQs

Library Cards How do Blair residents get Library cards? All citizens residing in the city limits of Blair, Nebraska are eligible to apply for a Blair Public Library card at no cost. You must present proof of current address when you apply. This identification may be a driver’s license, or a postmarked letter delivered to …

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Policies

Circulation Collection Development Computer/Internet Conduct Confidentiality of Patron Information Interlibrary Loan Public Services Strategic 5 Year Plan Vision/Mission

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Strategic Plan

  STRATEGIC PLAN – BLAIR PUBLIC LIBRARY BLAIR, NE 2016-2019   Approved by the Library Board April, 2016   Strategic Plan The Blair Public Library’s staff, patrons, Library Board, Library Foundation and the Friends of the Library group contributed to the formation of this strategic plan.  This plan is to be reviewed annually by the Library …

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Vision/Mission

. Vision Statement: The Blair Public Library is the integral physical and virtual gateway by which our broad and diverse community may access information, congregate to freely exchange ideas, celebrate all forms of literacy and cultural growth in a leisurely yet lively atmosphere.   Mission Statement The Blair Public Library is committed to meeting the …

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