Roann Paw Paw Township Public Library

240 South Chippewa Road
P.O. Box 248
Roann , IN 46974

ph: 765-833-5231
fax: 765-833-5231

About Us

Martha Van Buskirk

Our History

An unsuccessful attempt was made around 1880 by George Gunder, then superintendent of the school, to establish a circulating library in Roann. Very little is known about this and it did not endure.

Then, during 1912, the need for a public library was again felt by this community. Mrs. Daniel (Martha M.) Van Buskirk inquired as to the requirements for securring a grant from the Carnegie Corporation for a library building. She discovered there were three principle requirements which had to be met before a grant could be obtained, namely;

1. That the land must be available for the building.
It was purchased by community contributions and   the deed was recorded on
July 22,1915.

2. That a library be established and operating within the c ommunity.
The library was started in a room at the school house with
books donated by the community in a book shower. Other books were

borrowed  from the State Library and the library was open each Saturday afternoon. The high   school class of 1914 built shelves to accommodate the books.

3. That assurance was given by the town and township that
taxes would be collected for the maintenance of the library.
These agreements were obtained.

The State Library Law of 1901 required that $77.50 be subscribed to secure the   organization of the library with not more than 2% of the amount being subscribed by any one person.

This was accomplished, and on the 16th of January, 1914, the Wabash Circuit Court legally determined the establishment of a public library in Roann. The community had met the state requirements of the Carnegie Corporation under the ardent leadership of Martha Van Buskirk, who was made President of the first Library Board with Dwight DeBois, Trustee, Wilson H. Weber, Mrs. Wiley (Lessie) Wirt, and Miss Jesse Harris, completing the Board.

A grant of $10,000 was made by the Carnegie Corporation and the cornerstone for the new building was laid in 1916, with completion of the building following. Prior to 1918, Mrs. Martha M. Van Buskirk served as volunteer Librarian most of that time. Currently, one of Martha's Great Granddaughters is on staff, and one of her Great Great Granddaughters sits on the Board of Trustees. The legacy of service lives on.

In 2003, the Library secured a grant from the Mary K. Peabody Foundation for a building project to address compliance with ADA standards. The 2500 square foot addition was completed in the summer of 2004.

Mission Statement

The Roann, Paw Paw Township Public Library is a township-tax supported facility available to all people of our community. Our mission is to enhance the quality of life within the community by providing information, advancing knowledge, stimulating thinking, and encouraging recreational reading.

Board of Trustees

Max Gaston

David Doud

Ken Grandstaff

Barb Burdge

Sue Bennett

Holly Kendall

Ann Tysinger


Joy Harber - Director

Ellie Draper

Krsyton Eckelbarger

Nancy Carson

Copyright 2009 Roann Paw Paw Township Public Library. All rights reserved.

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240 South Chippewa Road
P.O. Box 248
Roann , IN 46974

ph: 765-833-5231
fax: 765-833-5231