York Town Square

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Part III: York, Pa.’s, Martin Library observing 75 years in the reading business

John E. Baker, J.E. Baker of York County, Pa., quarrying fame, was an early supporter of Martin Memorial Library. The library, now Martin Library, is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. Also of interest: Part I: York, Pa.’s, Martin Library observing 75 years in the reading business and Old Martin factory to become housing complex and York’s Martin Library’s old doors tell a story and York County libraries offer serendipity – and have done so for decades.

Five generations of the J.E. Baker family have made their mark on Martin Library.
On this 75th anniversary of the library, here’s a look at those generations, as outlined in a library news release:

William H. Baker, John E. Baker’s son, led Martin Library from 1968-1971.
Generation 1
John E. Baker: President 1916 – 1940: First president of the Martin Library Association, John E. Baker held that post the longest, serving well over two decades. Baker was the leading force in the construction of Martin Library and hired its first librarian, Katherine Shorey, as director from 1935-1970. Baker’s endowment supplied funds to purchase books, and he secured additional support from the family of Martha Landes, Milton Martin’s wife. The Brownstone Building, now part of the Martin Library facility, was home to David E. Small who was in business with the Baker relations.
Generation 2:
William H. Baker: President 1968 – 1971: In 1955, William Baker and his sister, Salome Baker Stauffer, honored their father John E. Baker, first president, by supplying the funds to establish a Children’s Wing of the Martin Memorial Library. Plans for the much-needed addition included a 50-by-60 foot structure extending from the original building north along Queen Street. Surrounding the bronze statue. The new Children’s Library proved immensely popular, serving 4,500 children its first year. William H. Baker was appointed to the Martin Library Board of directors and served as its president from 1968 to 1971.
Generation 3:William and Rebecca were the parents of Mary and Beppy Baker who married two brothers, Bill and Don, respectively. Their last name was Baker as well. Bill and Don helped support the last two library Capital Campaigns.
Generation 4:Frank Baker, son of Mary and Bill Baker, has served on Martin Library’s board for more than 20 years.
Generation 5:
Andrew Baker, son of Frank and Michelle Baker, worked as a graphic designer for Martin Library and the York County Libraries for around four years.
Another handoff:
Bill Dize apprenticed with Fred Dempwolf and took his qualifying exams to become a registered architect. He held the role of supervising architect, creating all of the plans for the new children’s library being built by William, Rebecca, and Salome Baker. When Martin Library CEO Bill Schell arrived in 1981, Dize was the senior member of the board. Overall, he served on Martin Library’s board for about 40 years.

Handoff 2:
About a week before Dize passed away, he met with Schell and Architect Rob Kinsley to review Kinsley’s design and plans for the library’s next renovation and expansion, completed in October of 2005. Dize was impressed and supportive of Kinsley’s vision for the library to which he had dedicated so many years of his life. According to Schell, Kinsley was careful to marry the past with the future, preserving and restoring areas of the library and the then-attached Brownstone.
Also of interest:Part I: York, Pa.’s, Martin Library observing 75 years in the reading business
Part II: 75 years in the reading business. Also:
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