Side A: In 1912, an endowment of $6,000 from Andrew Carnegie made it possible for the Bristol Public Library to become a reality. Four years earlier, the newly organized Bristol Library Association, headed and promoted by retired Judge Norman A. Gilbert, had established a subscription book service at the Congregational Church in Bristolville with books loaned from the state library. The Bristol Board of Education appointed a six-member Library Board of Trustees and a one mill levy provided financial support. Charles C. Thayer and Son designed the building in accordance with Carnegie’s recommendations and the local trustees’ suggestions. With Judge Gilbert’s unexpected death in November 1911, Board Secretary Dr. Edward Brinkerhoff was elected president to complete the vision of Judge N. A. and Mrs. Anna Gilbert for the library. (Continued on other side)
Side B: (Continued from other side) This library opened its doors March 10, 1913. A postcard campaign encouraged donations of books. Many local family heirlooms, curios, and relics became the basis for a local history museum collection. Gertrude Gardner, the first librarian, served from 1914 to 1940. In 1989, earmarked funds and savings paid for expansion of the library. Baker, Bednar & Associates were the architects for that addition. During its first century of existence, the library collection grew from 1,500 books to a varied collection of over 90,000 print materials and multimedia resources. As a school district library, the Bristol Public Library provides services to the Bristol Local School District, whose facilities have been located nearby since 1917. This library is one of three Carnegie Libraries in Trumbull County and one of 111 in Ohio.
Sponsors: Bristol Public Library, Bristol Historical Society, Friends of the Bristol Library and Library Patrons, and The Ohio Historical Society