Syracuse Public Library
480 5th St.
Syracuse, NE 68446
Phone: (402) 269-2336
Sue Antes - Librarian
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Syracuse Public Library is a Public library. This library is the central facility for the library system that serves Syracuse, Nebraska. The collection of the library contains 8184 volumes. The library circulates 17887 items per year. The library serves a population of 1762 residents.
The Syracuse Public Library holds numerous genealogical holdings within its facility. To view the complete index of all their genealogical holdings, please open the Syracuse Public Library Genealogical Holdings file located on the left side of this page.
"A reading room was established on the upper floor of the fire hall by Maurice C. Joyce. This was Syracuse’s first library. Joyce solicited all of the books which his friends had finished. He assumed all responsibility for lending the books until he was elected County Judge.
Joyce had great interest in books because he was a self-educated man. He had come to Nebraska in 1881 from Massachusetts, and moved to Syracuse in 1883, as a harness maker. In fact, Joyce and his partner, W.W. Bell, lost their harness shop in the fires of 1893 and 1894, the only merchants to sustain a double loss. During these busy years when the community was rapidly growing, he took a great interest in politics and “read” law, which was still a common practice then. He was elected and served as Otoe County Judge from 1898-1901 and 1904-1905. After his tenures as County Judge, he returned to Syracuse, in partnership with Charles Shrader, and combined his harness business with hardware and farm implements.
At the time Judge Joyce left for Nebraska City to assume his office, the Women’s Club undertook the task of running the library. They gave programs to buy new books. Their programs were sometimes ambitious. One time they put on a current play for which they had to pay a royalty. With this expense they only had five dollars left for the library’s fund. Rather than admit their small profit, the members of the committee made a donation.
In the Syracuse Journal of November 20, 1900, there was this notice, 'The reading room which has been opened in the lower room of the Odd Fellows Hall is open Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday evenings from 7 to 9:30 o’clock and the public is cordially requested to make use of it.' In 1901 the management of the library passed from the Women’s Club to the City of Syracuse, which raised a half mill for its support. In 1934 the Congregational Church was remodeled, under the direction of William Klingenberg, to become the present library." (1)
(1) Masters, Margaret Dale. For the Record; the Centennial History of Syracuse, Nebraska. Syracuse, Neb.: Maverick Media, 1972. 56-57. Print.