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History of the Library

The Delphi Public Library was first organized at the end of the 19th century through the efforts of the Oracle Club, with the support of the Delphi City Council and the citizens of Delphi. The library was housed for a while in the old high school, and later in a back room of the A. T. Bowen Bank, which was located at the NW corner of Main and Union streets.

In 1904, the library was reorganized under the State Library Law. Later in the same year, the newly formed Library Board wrote to the Carnegie Foundation requesting funds for construction of a public library in Delphi. The City Council appropriated $2,000 for the purchase of a library site. In 1905, the Library Board received a Carnegie grant of $10,000 for construction of a library on the condition that the city appropriate $1,000 a year to maintain the library. The Library Board accepted the offer, and the city purchased the present site at Main and Indiana streets. Construction began in the summer of 1905.

In 1915, Deer Creek Township asked to be served by the Delphi Public Library and levied a tax to help support the library. Up until 1989, the Delphi Public Library was supported by the taxpayers of Delphi and Deer Creek Townships. However, at that time the residents of Jefferson, Adams, and Rock Creek signed petitions requesting that their townships merge with the Delphi Library district and receive free library service for their tax support. The Northwest Branch was established in the Yeoman area to help provide service to residents in the northern part of the county.

In dire need of space in 1984, the Library Board commissioned an architectural firm to review the physical condition of the library and to assess the practicality of maintaining the present structure. The study showed that an addition to the building was feasible. In 1989, the Library received a federal Title II LSCA grant for $271,116.00, approximately 1/3 of the funds needed for the addition. A fund raising drive was launched to supplement the building funds on hand. Starting from its earliest days, the library has had a long tradition of support. Many of the needed funds were quickly raised, with all sectors of the community contributing. The ground breaking for the new addition was in March 1990.

The 1990 addition and renovation project signaled a new era of library service to the community. In addition to providing space for many new services, the project made the entire building fully accessible per ADA standards. The Delphi Public Library is positioned to play an ever greater role in the education, entertainment, and well-being of the people of Carroll County.

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