History of the Dyer-Schererville Branch

The Dyer-Schererville Branch wasn't always one library. Before the Lake County Public Library even existed, the Dyer and Schererville libraries were separate branches of the Gary Public Library. After the formation of the Lake County Public Library, they remained different branches (occupying various buildings!) until 1994 when they came together into the Dyer-Schererville Branch we know and love today.

The first Dyer branch was in the Dyer Town Hall.
Ruth Berg (center), Roscoe Protsman (far right)

Dyer Branch at 226 Shulte Street: the Town Hall

In 1919 the Gary Public Library extended service to St. John Township which includes both Dyer and Schererville communities. In 1952, St. John Township, Calumet, and Hobart were combined into the Lake County Public Library district, though they still contracted services from Gary. On January 1, 1959 the Lake County Public Library district became an independent library system, separate from Gary.

When LCPL began independent operations, the Dyer Library was located in rented facilities in the Dyer Town Hall.

Dyer Branch at 2005 Hart Street: 1963 - 1994

Dyer Branch at 2005 Hart Street.
Gwen Boyer, Dyer Branch Head 1959 - 1969

The first permanent branch was built in 1963 on Hart Street. The building was furnished with tables and desks built at a state prison. The branch sported a small patio garden outside the back of the building. Children's story hour programs were held in an open area at the back of the building where staff also had their lunch breaks. The floors were vinyl tiles through the life of the building. Patrons may remember the noisy teletype machine that each agency had. Teletype was the means used to request materials to be dispatched from one agency to another. Special messages were proceeded by the dinging of an alert bell. The library did not have a card catalog. Catalogs were published in book format with monthly print supplements. The book catalogs were replaced by a computerized catalog in 1981.

The Library Board purchased land in 1980 for a possible Dyer branch in the future, but it turned out not to be large enough to accommodate the size of the branch that would be needed.

Schererville Branch at 11 East Joliet Street

Dyer Branch at 2005 Hart Street.
This branch, moved from munster in 1953, was a 20'x20' building with a potbelly stove for heat. In 1957, the building received a 12'x20' addition.

The Schererville Library occupied space in the YMCA, but later paid rent at various locations until 1946. Mr. Kolling, St. John Township Trustee, offered to rent space in the front part of his house.

In June of 1953, the minutes state that St. John Township would get a building. Then a lot was purchased on 11 Joliet St. in Schererville. A frame building formerly used as the Munster Library was moved to the lot. Mrs. M.J. Wickhorst was the first librarian, followed by Bess Pozezaniac in June, 1954. The book stock was approximately 4,000 and circulation was about 10,000 that year.

Gary Public Library provided services for the township through 1958. On January 1, 1959 the Lake County Library Board formed an independent library system. In 1965, a new library building was started on 121 E. Joliet St. in Schererville. In 1965, the book stock was about 8,000 and the circulation was 28,000.

Some of the information in the preceding paragraph can be found in the Souvenir Book, Join us in Celebrating...'Century at the Crossroads' [1966]

Schererville Branch at 121 East Joliet Street: 1966 - 1994

Schererville Branch at 121 East Joliet Street.
This branch served Schererville for 28 years before merging with Dyer branch.

The new Schererville Branch opened to the public on August 15th, 1966. This would be Schererville's library until the merge with Dyer Branch in 1994 (this branch officially closed on May 1).

This building cost $96,122 to build. It was 4,000 square feet and could hold up to 22,000 volumes.

Branch Heads:
Bess Pozezanac
Dawn Mogle
Agnes Mygrants
Patricia Pulles
Virginia Maravilla
Pam Maud

Dyer-Schererville Branch at 1001 W Lincoln Highway, Schererville

Groundbreaking for the combined Dyer Schererville Branch library.
Front row: Bob Schumann, Angel Pabey, Irene Ketchum, Jim Reyome, Ron Soverly, Sophie Misner, [unidentified], Carol Derner, Nate Carras

The Dyer and Schererville Branches became one branch in May of 1994. After Merrillville Branch (which houses LCPL administration), the Dyer-Schererville Branch is largest branch in the LCPL system.

The individual branches in Dyer (Hart Street) and in Schererville (Joliet Street) were closed when this branch was opened.

This is the only branch that has a nickname. "Dyerville" was one of the names suggested for the branch when the public was asked for suggestions on naming the new branch. The name stuck among the library family and was added to a family of ducks that adopted the branch as their spring nesting grounds. The Dyerville Duckies visit in the spring each year to build a nest they attempt to hide. Staff have been known to bring water and oyster crackers (a duck favorite) to their nest.

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