Comedy of Errors Book Club
Collinsville Library plays a vital role in the history of what was once a little pioneer town in Indian Territory. In 1903 a group of women formed the Comedy of Errors Book Club (COE). Their first order of business was to adopt the project of founding a library for Collinsville, Oklahoma. Their first books were donated from a Methodist Church organization and were kept in the home of COE founder, Mrs. J.A. Tyner.
The books were moved to several locations in downtown Collinsville until 1911 when the books found a permanent home in a room on the second floor of the new city hall. Members of the COE club and The Women's Council operated the library for the public. The members of the COE club held teas, talent shows, and benefits to purchase books for the library. They even had a 'book shower" which brought in books from women's groups all over the state.
In 1913 Clyde Bollman and J.B. Potter went
back east to secure funds from the Carnegie Foundation. The City Fathers went east, but the City Mothers sent them, and they were granted $7,500 to erect a building on land furnished by Collinsville. The new building was started in 1915 and at the dedication on July 20, 1917, the members of the COE Club were given a glowing tribute for starting and keeping the project alive, and for the 1,500 books they gave to the library. The new library, located on a 100 by 140-foot lot on the corner of 13th and Main, was a one-story building with a basement, built of brick and stone with a tile roof, and made fireproof throughout.
The New Library System
In 1962 a countywide vote decided that a new city-county library system would be adopted. The Carnegie Collinsville Library closed on June 30, 1962, and the Collinsville Branch Library of the Tulsa City-County Library System opened its doors on July 1, 1962. In 1999 the collection from the library was moved to a small storefront on Main Street, back to one of the first homes of the CV-Library, while the entire building was renovated and expanded.
Amenities of the New Library System
On April 6, 2000, the Collinsville Library once again opened its doors and showcased:
- 11 computers
- A children's corner with a bay window
- An expanded collection
- An increase in square footage from 3,260 to 7,860
- A neon teen center sign
- The only elevator in town
- A stained glass window
The budget for this library renovation was over $800,000. The renovations maintained the historical integrity of the original Carnegie Library. The library still proudly displays the inlaid stone that designates it as a Carnegie Library.
A Good Place for Youngsters
In a Tulsa World article dated Sunday, May 26, 1940, The Librarian, Mrs. Ollie B. Howell, states that the library is the headquarters for many youngsters every day after school. In 2002 the same holds true. As soon as school is out, the youngsters from the middle school walk to the library to read, visit, use the computers and complete their homework.
Parents bring their youngsters throughout the day. The high school students rush in to complete reports and homework assignments in the evening. Each year the library hosts a summer reading program for the children and teens and a winter reading program for the adults.
A long list of programs has entertained children and adults in the meeting room as well as:
- American Indian storytellers
- Will Rogers
- Woody Guthrie
The Patchworkers, a library quilting group, was formed in 2001. The Friends of the Collinsville Library host a membership gala each December with a live band, dinner, and a silent auction. Summer evenings resound with music during Concerts on The Library Green.
What Holds True Today
The citizens of Collinsville have always loved their library. That care, concern, and love has held true since 1903 when the COE first met and made the library a priority until today when the current COE Club meets once a month to discuss the book of the month. As well as being an integral part of the community, the library's goal is to provide the opportunity for many happy memories for our customers and to continue the tradition started by a handful of pioneers in 1903.