April 22, 2021

LETTER: Donation appeal for Gibson Memorial Library

From Peg Anderson, Creston

The Creston Public Library was built in 1931, largely due to a gift from Frank and Jane Phillips. The Business and Professional Women of Creston, who were instrumental in securing the donation, named the library in memory of Mrs. Phillips’ mother, Matilda Jane Gibson. Hence our reference to Matilda in many of our discussions about the library.

Public libraries were a source of civic pride in the early 20th century — just as they are today. Despite the Great Depression, the hardworking people of Union County saved, sacrificed and added their donations to the Phillips’ family gift so that the project could begin.

On April 7, 1931, the doors opened with Miss Bella Alderson as the first librarian. For more history on the Matilda J. Gibson Memorial Library, please check out the library’s Facebook page.

The library you see today is the original structure, with additions to the main building in 1939 and the new foyer and west entrance in 1997.

The role our library plays is now compromised by space limitations. An extensive renovation and expansion of the original library will double the space for programming, technology and community events including cultural programming and the arts.

The Capital Campaign Committee is sponsoring a celebration in honor of “Matilda’s” 90th birthday. We invite you to design a card for Matilda’s birthday and send it to the library where it will be displayed. We encourage you to send a donation of $90 or any amount to help with the expansion/renovation of our library. Checks may be made to the Friends of the Library.

The Matilda J. Gibson Memorial Library has served five generations — a legacy of learning and literacy. Let’s make sure it is here to serve future generations.

From Creston’s Library Capital Campaign Committee members Peg Anderson, Aric Bishop, Ann Coulter, Connie Maxson, Kathy Ralston, Kay Raymond and Susan Weight.