LIBRARY HISTORY The Wornstaff Memorial Public Library was dedicated in August 1928 to Albertus Wornstaff. Chesley and Elsa Wornstaff were inspired by a memorial library they had visited in Florida, and made provisions in their will for a similar memorial in Ashley. The Will at the reading in 1914, provided $10,000, with $7000 towards the building and land for the erection of "a building of stone and brick". The remaining funds were used for books and supplies. The original endowment of the Wornstaff house provided $40,000 of the $70,000 needed for the 1980 addition. Another expansion occurred in 1990, doubling the size of the original building. Their forethought and generosity in creating this legacy has been a gift to the Village of Ashley for 90 years.
Furniture and other equipment were obtained from the Mansfield Reformatory. Inmates built, delivered, and installed shelving which was a common practice at the time. Foundation bricks bear the legend Ohio State Brick 1927 convict made. The circulation desk and library tables are still in use today.
The library was also given a few antique pieces of furniture from the Wornstaff home.
The landscaping was completed by the Vocational Agriculture Class. Books were purchased and donated by local residents. Miss Mary Barton, a teacher and librarian, volunteered her time preparing the books for use. High School students, assisted by teachers, acted as librarians during the first few years. Mrs. Daisy Haughn was the first paid librarian, starting in 1930. State money became available for the support of public libraries.
In 1952 the Delaware County District Library proposed that the Wornstaff Library consolidate but a resolution was passed to remain an independent library. The Wornstaff is an association library with its trustees established by the will, rather than law.
In 2012 the library joined the Consortium of Ohio Libraries (COOL). COOL is currently comprised of 12 independent libraries, which strive to provide high-quality library services while being more efficient and prudent with diminishing public resources. The COOL App allows patrons to access the catalog as well as information about library events. The advantage to being part of COOL is access to over 300,000 items, while still maintaining our independence.
In 2019, the building underwent a minor renovation with the addition of new carpet and paint throughout the interior, painting exterior roof eaves, and the replacement of the front door.
LIBRARY FUNDING comes from the Public Library Fund, private endowments, as well as levies from the Village of Ashley and Oxford Township. In March 2018, the library held 28,559 print and Audio/visual materials for circulation. The Wornstaff Library, like other public libraries in Ohio, is funded by a designated portion of state‘s general fund. The Wornstaff library's service area is the Village of Ashley and Oxford Township. In 2010 a levy was passed in both areas to compensate for a 35% reduction in state funding. The funds are administered and the library is governed by a five member Board of Trustees. The Trustees meet the second Monday of each month. The public is encouraged to attend.