History of the GVPL

Mrs. S.E. Hall Prior to 1902, Mrs. S.E. Hall served as a volunteer librarian and organized the private Home Circulating Library above her millenary shop in Orwell, Ohio. Members of the private library each paid enough to purchase fifty books in total which were loaned and borrowed by the members.

In 1903, Calvin Reeves, founder and president of the Orwell Library Association, established a public library in a room provided by the Town Hall located on South Maple Street. Mr. Reeves asked and received from the community enough cash donations to purchase three to four hundred books and added the fifty volumes donated from the Home Circulating Library. The Orwell Library was open on Saturdays, and Fay Williams, the librarian, was paid by the township at the rate of 75 cents per week.

During the years between 1916 and 1931, the library had relocated a few times and a building was purchased. In 1932, the library building at that time was moved to the corner of North School and East Main Streets. The Orwell Library Association paid for a permanent foundation and moving of the building. In 1954, an addition was added to that building which doubled the size of the library.

During the 1980s, the property directly north of the library was purchased to house some of the overflow materials. In 1988, plans were developed to erect an entirely new building. A temporary facility was rented across the street to house the library while the old structure was torn down and a new 4,000 sq. ft. building was erected.
After almost 30 years in this lovely building, we are in the process of developing plans to expand the library again.