The History of Silver Lake Public Library

A group of women from the United Methodist Church decided in May of 1973 to create a library in Silver Lake. The Topeka bookmobile would not stop in Silver Lake unless the town had an established public library. Therefore, they took matters into their own hands and a committee was formed to investigate how this could be done. The township population of 2,120 was significant enough to service the need for a library and the committee was dedicated to bringing books to the people of their community. 

Many fundraising events and projects were constructed to raise the money needed to rent a building and buy the necessary supplies. In April of 1974, dreams became reality when they were able to find a small building in the heart of Silver Lake. Volunteers showed up in droves to help catalog the books, build the shelves, paint, and install lights. The official opening date for the Silver Lake Public Library was April 6, 1974. The library was open 3 hours a day, 3 days a week : Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. 

In the beginning, the library was staffed completely by volunteers. As time went on and the library began receiving money from the township, they hired their first librarian – Jane Goeckler. With the addition of a librarian, service hours increased and programs boomed. The Silver Lake Library continued adding to their collection of books and programming until they outgrew the building they were in. 

 In March of 1981, the Library board found an available storefront on the Main street of Silver Lake and with the help of volunteers in the community, moved to a larger space. The Library continued to grow and expand and in 1995 was able to add a neighboring storefront in the same building. This is the current location the library still uses today.