Some members of our community have asked why the Vernon Township Public Library continues to remain an independent public library. The library and Board of Trustees have created this FAQ to help answer some of those questions.
Origins of VTPL
The Vernon Township Public Library has a long history of serving the people in this community. The Fortville Public Library opened on July 3, 1918, on the corner of School and Church and was one of the last Carnegie Libraries to be built. In 1953, the library merged with Vernon Township to provide library services to the entire township. The present library was opened in 1986 and is located at the corner of Broadway and Madison.
If we merged with HCPL, would we have access to more items?
No! In fact, you would lose access to millions of items. VTPL is a member of Evergreen Indiana, which allows our patrons access to dozens of libraries across the state and almost 8 million items. If we left Evergreen, our patrons would not gain access to anything they cannot already access, and would lose access to all Evergreen libraries. Residents of Vernon Township can receive a reciprocal card at Hancock County Public Library, which allows them access to that collection. Our library also has a reciprocal borrowing agreement with Pendleton Community Public Library that would end if we merged.
Would we have access to more programs and services if we were a county library?
Not necessarily. Residents of Vernon Township are already able to receive an HCPL library card and make use of their programs/services. Hancock County Public Library has a much larger budget than VTPL, however, they are responsible for serving the entire county. The benefit to remaining an independent library is that we can focus our entire budget on Vernon Township. We can respond to the wants and needs of Vernon Township residents, which allows us to tailor our programs and services to this community. There is also a benefit to being the ‘main’ library, as opposed to a branch. 100% of our budget is used for the benefit of Vernon Township. VTPL is working diligently to expand our service and program offerings.
VTPL is governed by a board of seven residents from Vernon Township. This means that policy decisions and long-range planning are done by members of this community who have the best interest of this community at heart.
We want a nicer building.
So do we! We are aware that our current facility is too small for our rapidly growing population. VTPL is working to find a solution that will allow us to have a facility that will enable us to better meet the needs of this community. Merging with HCPL does not guarantee that a new building would be erected in Vernon Township.