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The Perham Library: 25 years in its building, 100 years in its community

The Perham Area Public Library may feel like a permanent fixture in the community, but it hasn't been around forever. In November, it will be celebrating its 100th birthday.

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The Perham Area Public Library is located at 225 Second Ave. NE. (Elizabeth Vierkant/Focus)

The Perham Area Public Library may feel like a permanent fixture in the community, but it hasn't been around forever. In November, it will be celebrating its 100th birthday. On the evening of Thursday, Sept. 23 — in commemoration of its creation — the library hosted an open house, where it shared its history with members of its community.

In 1921, the Women's Club of Perham adopted a resolution to begin a library, and a few months later in 1922, it opened as a single bookcase in the old City Council rooms. Eventually, in 1929, they moved into the old stone Episcopal Church where they shared the space with the American Legion, who owned the building.

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The Perham Area Public Library has been part of the community for 100 years, and its building has been a part of it for 25 years. (Elizabeth Vierkant/Focus)

The library struggled to survive throughout the Great Depression, but as members of the community would know, it's still alive today.

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Years later, in 1996, major changes came to the library as it celebrated 75 years. Its operations were computerized in the wake of new technology. A long plan to construct a new building also began, and construction started in October of that year.

This new building, which opened in September 1997, is the one at 225 Second Ave. NE that residents and visitors alike are still able to visit and check out resources today.

Elizabeth (she/her), 23, graduated with a degree in Journalism and Communications from the University of Wisconsin–Stout in 2020. Elizabeth has always had a passion for telling stories about people and specializes in community features, which she uses for her Perham-centered content.
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