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DeMotte Library Celebrates 50 Years

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Photo of a building with signs for the Kanakee Valley Post and DeMotte Library.
Larger view of the first photo.

On Monday, Aug. 15, the DeMotte Library will celebrate its 50th anniversary. The first library, opened on Monday, Aug. 15, 1966, occupied a small room in a building just north of the railroad tracks.

Keith Robinson, who was the publisher of the Kankakee Valley Post News and owner of the building agreed to share his space with the library.

The DeMotte Business and Professional Women’s Club along with local contractors and volunteers, worked with the Jasper County Library to make this dream possible.

The Jasper County Library placed over 2000 books on the shelves and, with the help of individuals who volunteered to take care of it, the DeMotte Library was off and running.

The first volunteers to staff the library were Betty DeVries, Evelyn Griwac, Beulah Rockstroh, Mary Sue Tolley, Alberta Roorda and Gerald Kenning.

Mr. Kenning was hired in 1967 to be the Branch Manager and stayed in that position until 1972.  He shared the position with Betty DeVries from 1969-1970.  Mr. Kenning oversaw the move of the library to its downtown location on Halleck Street in 1968.  The DeMotte Library was growing and more space was needed!

Branch managers that handled that location were Bernice Schultz, Ethel Yoder and Jody Melton.  The library then moved to its present location in 1978 when the former Catholic Church was purchased.  The DeMotte Library grew rapidly over the years and it was decided to renovate and build a large addition onto the library.

In 1992, the DeMotte Library opened its doors in a brand new building with over 17,000 square feet.  Many changes have occurred over the years and the library continues to evolve with it and serve the needs of the community.

Come and join us as we celebrate our 50th anniversary on August 15 and see what we have to offer you.

On Monday, August 15, 2016, the staff of the DeMotte Library invites the public to share in a celebration of our fiftieth anniversary with food, drink, and the friendly service that has been our commitment to the community for half a decade. All ages, all day long, everyone in the community is welcome to share this special occasion with us. For more information, visit or call the DeMotte Library at 219 987-2221.