The Independence Public Library ushered in twenty years in its current location earlier this week with a community-wide celebration that included sweet treats, raffle prizes, historical photo binders, former library employees, and remarks from Mayor McArdle and Library Director Patrick Bodily. Over 150 people came to the event.

“It takes great people to make a great place,” said Mayor McArdle. “This is an example of what Independence is: a warm, welcoming place.”

Legally established in 1909 and originally housed in a storefront on Main Street, the Independence public library location saw much movement prior to its current resting place. In 1929, they moved to a new building at 311 Monmouth St., the current site of the Ash Creek Arts Center and where the Friends of the Library hold occasional book sales. In 2000, residents approved a bond for the current library location. With additional support from vigorous fundraisers, the new library opened in 2003—providing almost five times more space and a reservable meeting space. In 2022, the Independence Public Library had over 74,000 visitors and checked out over 72,000 physical items and over 11,000 digital items.

“I firmly believe that the library is the cornerstone of any community,” said Bodily. “I’m so proud that the Independence community has not only used and supported us over the past 115 years but that they continue to do so every day.”

To learn more about the Independence Public Library, visit: