The mission of the Brooke-Gould Memorial Library is to provide the people of our community with the broadest possible access to books and other materials and technology to meet their informational, educational, cultural, and leisure needs. We also provide our patrons with information about our community, such as current events, important issues, local organizations, and community services.
301 N. Barron St., Eaton, OH 45320
Phone: (937) 456-4331 Fax: (937) 456-4774 TTY/TDD: (937)456-6804
Monday - Thursday: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Friday - Saturday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Eaton Library Society was incorporated by the State of Ohio in January, 1815. Shareholders were: James I. Nisbet, Alexander C. Lanier, Philip Helm and James Crawford. Meetings were held at Alex. Lanier's home located on the northeast corner of Main and Cherry Streets. There is no further knowledge as to its function or length of existence.
The first attempt to establish a circulating library in Eaton was made by the Research Society in 1899. Members contributed their own books as a nucleus and books were lent to those who purchased memberships in the association.
The following year the Eaton Public Library Association was incorporated and the library located in a room of the St. Clair Building (formerly located on the southwest corner of Main and Barron Streets). The library was open on Saturdays to members only.
In 1901 the village authorized .5 mill for library purposes for the general public. The library was moved to a building at the northwest corner of Main and Maple Streets. The hours were expanded to two days a week for use by members and by persons resident in Eaton and "certified by a landowner to be a proper person."
Mrs. Lida Griswold was employed as the first permanent librarian in 1901. She was the victim of a shocking tragedy on July 8, 1909. According to the newspaper, Harry Rife, a rejected suitor, accosted her in the library, shot her to death in front of her son and then attempted suicide. He was convicted of murder and died in the electric chair in 1910.
In 1906 the Association Board turned over control and ownership of the books and assets to the trustees of the Eaton Public Library, a village board. That year the board rejected an offer by Andrew Carnegie and chose to remodel the Eidson home at 301 N. Barron Street. The library moved upstairs and the village water department downstairs.
In 1955 the library moved into a newly remodeled downstairs when the water department moved to the village office building.
On December 15, 1959 the Board of Trustees resolved to transfer all property to the newly formed Preble County District Library. Eaton Librarian, Selma Dusenberry became the first district/head librarian.
In that year the Eaton Public Library owned 5,428 volumes and had a circulation of 23,454 items.
In 1973 the Brooke-Gould Trust, local contributions and Federal library construction money funded the demolition of the Eidson house and the construction of the Brooke-Gould Memorial Library.
Ten years later the Trust again funded an addition making the building 9.700 sq. feet and providing a meeting room, garage and expanded District Office space.
When the District Office moved in February 1996, the addition was converted into a story hour room and expanded reference department.
Librarians include: Mrs. Lida Griswold 1901-1909, Bertha Hubbell 1909-1921, Miss Josephine Hunt 1922-1937, Myrle Bloom 1937-1944, Elona Marsh (pro tem) 1942-1944, Mrs. Selma Dusenberry 1944-1959, Miss Ruth Deem 1960-1963, Mrs. Inez Stack 1963-1973, Elaine Parker 1973-1974, Mrs. Judy Abruzzo 1974-1976, Mrs. Anna Kramer 1976, Ms. Rebecca Stephens 1976-1977, Mrs. Barbara Hutchison 1977-1992, Ms. Dana Kesling 1993 -1994, and Ms. Phyllis Bennett 1994-