Tyler Sawyer/Herald-Chronicle
Lyndon Carnegie Library’s 100th birthday provided an opportunity to clear out old and donated books in a fund raising book sale. Old-fashioned clothes were provided for children and adults to dress up for photographs.

The Lyndon Carnegie Library celebrated its 100th birthday Saturday with a community gathering that included old-fashioned games, a book sale and birthday cake.

The library was built in 1910 with $8,000 received from Andrew Carnegie at the request of Lyndon’s then-mayor Lewis Hussey. Hussey was considered a progressive thinker who not only secured the library for Lyndon, but also updated and modernized the city during his time as mayor.

According to information compiled by librarian Sarah Walker-Hitt, the Valley Brook Township agreed to maintain the library at a cost of not less than $750 per year, in exchange for the funds.

The resulting library is said to be the smallest Carnegie library ever built. According to Walker-Hitt’s research, Carnegie’s philosophy was, “The best means of benefiting a community is to place within its reach the ladders upon which the aspiring can rise.”

Over the years, the library has enjoyed much community support in the form of volunteers and donations. In 1983, a $185,000 grant was received from the Jones Foundation for renovation of the grounds and building. In 1987, the building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, due to efforts by Harold Dalrymple. In 1996, the downstairs was renovated for a children’s department. In 2002, $13,000 was received from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which provided computers, a server and laser printer. Last year, a Kansas Heritage Grant of $65,000 was used to repair the building’s roof. The library is a member of the Northeast Kansas Library System and part of a large shared automation system.

In addition to a book sale and children’s games of marbles, jacks, jump rope, and coloring, decorated cakes and lemonade completed the celebration. Also available was 1910 era clothing for patrons to dress up and have old-time photographs taken.

Library board members present included president Kim Sprecker, Martha Gregoire, Kay Jones, Carrol Niles Henderson, Donna Davis, and ex-officio member Kevin Payne, also trustee of the Valley Brook Township, which is the library's governing body.

Raffle tickets had been sold for the American Girl Doll “Samantha” and autographed book; Samantha was created by Lyndon native Nancy Niles Lusk. The winner of the raffle was Patti Thomason, Lyndon.

Those who assisted with the celebration included Samantha Sparks, Trey Todd, Jessica Burnett, Gabe Clark, Gage Brecheisen, Jordan Oakley, Shawna Bitts, Kathy Sandstrom, Dennis Hitt, Marty Feltner, Sharon and Kevin Culley, Karen Jones, Dianne Throop, Caitlin Hitt, Smana Hitt-Conser, Hagen Conser, Colleen and Ken Kirsop, Peggy Clark and Fran Richmond. Ben and Kelly Miles transported books left over from the sale to the VA Medical Center, in Topeka