Celebrating over 100 Years of Service
Opened October 1899
The nucleus of the Morley Library
Phelps Street was provided by the local Women's Christian Temperance Union, which
established a temperance library and reading room in 1878. After librarian Mary Dean's
death in 1898, friends set about fulfilling her dream of a free public library. Other
groups donated more books, the Village of Painesville agreed to provide tax funds, and
businessman Jesse Healy Morley bought the land and erected the building. It was named in
honor of his parents. Morley Library opened its doors in October, 1899, with Julia Erwin
Additions to the building were made in 1937
and 1978. The first bookmobile started running in 1957. Morley Library automated its
catalog and circulation in 1984. With the passage of the first operating levy in 1988, an
Audio-Visual Room, a new bookmobile and Sunday hours became possible. Internet access was
introduced in 1997 through OPLIN, the Ohio Public Library Information Network.
The November, 2001
General Election saw the passage of Morley Library's Bond Issue. A
groundbreaking ceremony on May 14, 2003 marked the official start to
construction of a three story library designed by Meehan Architects of
Cleveland, OH. The original Library closed to the public at 5:00 PM on
Sunday, October 17, 2004.
The new Morley Library building
opened to the public on November 7, 2004, with a Ribbon Cutting. The
Building was officially dedicated on Sunday, February 13, 2005.
Dedication Day included speeches, music, door prizes, and other
Today, the dedicated staff, under the
directorship of Mary Frances Burns, allows Morley Library to continue to flourish as one
of the Painesville area's most vital community resources.
Page last updated 19 May 2005.