FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 1, 2018
MATTOON – An expanding, reworked local history room, a milestone anniversary for a long-time industry and first floor reading area upgrades are the focus for an open house from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Mattoon Public Library.
The library is recognizing the 50th anniversary of LSC Communications/RR Donnelley with a 3 p.m. program on the Lakeside Classics. The classics are an annual bound, pocket-size book going back to 1903 that Donnelley uses for promotion and as gifts.
The library will display each of the Lakeside Classics dating back to 1966, representing all the years of a LSC/Donnelley plant in Mattoon. Jim Lanman, vice president of manufacturing, will discuss the history of the classics and the plant in a 3 p.m. presentation on the first floor.
Also featured are two recently restored Paul Sargent paintings, the faux-painted fireplace, recently refinished tables and new furnishings designed to make the reading area more comfortable and welcoming.
In the basement, volunteers Chris Suerdieck and Barbara Krehbiel have spent months updating and upgrading the local history area, making it user-friendly and welcoming. The reorganized files include items on more than 1,000 people, organizations and events.
The readily-searchable material includes photographs, programs and articles. An expanding area is the drawers on former and current local businesses. Other features include various local maps, cemetery records, personal histories as well as city directories, Mattoon High School yearbooks and an assortment of history books, framed photographs and related memorabilia.
“Chris and Barbara regularly help people find information they are looking for, and often find things about which the patron was unaware,” said library Director Carl Walworth. “A growing number of people enjoy just coming down and browsing a section of the material, going down memory lane and leaving with a smile and information they value.
“We recently found a copy of the first Mattoon City Directory from 1894. Uncovering interesting items occurs most every week, sometimes daily, and people in the community regularly add to our collection.”
Long a community cornerstone, library usage continues to increase.
“People choose to spend time here with our multiple information sources,” Walworth said. “A growing number of groups gather here to utilize our comfortable and accessible meeting places. And some stop by just to see friends and neighbors. The Open House is a way for both regulars and those who don’t know the library well to get a feel for some of the interesting things we see most every day.”
The Open House is part of the library’s ongoing Event Series that has featured programs on Religions of the World, on how to enhance your lawn and, most recently, featured a classical guitarist.
The next event is set for June 10 when historian Don Chamberlain presents on railroad history.