More than 100 years ago, the dedicated Progress Club began the process of bringing a truly public library to Ripley. (According to early Ripley Bees, Ripley had variations of libraries as early as the 1850s, some were subscription based, some were just for specific organizations, but none in a building specifically built to be a library, and none that were for everyone, free of charge to use).

First was to have a location, and to purchase a plot of land upon which the library could be built. The Progress Club began raising money in creative ways, one of which was holding ice cream socials. The library wishes to give back to the community that has supported us throughout the years, and we are going to hold an ice cream social just for fun, not fund-raising. The event will be in late September with more details to come, but what I am asking for today is for your memories—your favorite books or library experience, a chance to copy a picture or two of you or a family member reading a book, or being at the library, or some old picture of Ripley. We’ve got 100 years of being part of this town, and we are in a reminiscing mood.

The next two weekends will be very busy for Ripley. First, the Ohio Rural Heritage Festival Aug. 21-22, and then a fundraising concert for the flood victims on Aug. 29. While I love our address on Main Street, when the events come and close down Main, it makes it a bit difficult to be open effectively, so we will be closed the next two Saturdays. We will also be closing an hour early this Friday so that everyone can get a good seat for the Heritage Festival parade.

We will have our branches in Russellville and Aberdeen open both days, so if you need a library fix, please visit them. Ripley’s meeting room will be open for the Quilt Show from 12-4 p.m. Saturday, but the library itself will be closed.

By Alison Gibson

Director, Union Township Library