Library Building
Hayward Builds a Library

Hayward residents have boasted of a community library since 1881. Interested people developed a collection of Norwegian and Swedish classics and American-themed books in Main Street’s Clapperton Hall. In 1887, the Hayward Free Public Library was established above the old town hall where the Hayward Bakery stands today.

In 1903, President of the Free Public Library J.H. Helwig received a letter from James Bertram, secretary to Andrew Carnegie. The letter outlined Mr. Carnegie’s offer of $10,000 for a new library, provided the town would furnish a suitable building site and maintain it at no less than $1,000 annually.

The Carnegie building was the stately home of our public library for more than 100 years, and remains a beautiful landmark on Main Street. The 5,000 square foot facility served our ancestors well. But we needed more space for our growing, 21st century community. In addition to books and media, people expected the library to provide room for technology, public programs and to serve as an inviting community meeting place.

In 2001, research, community dialogue and fundraising began in earnest to bring a new library to Hayward and its surrounds. After several years of fundraising, former Hayward resident Larry Weiss contacted the Library Director to discuss how best to honor parents Sherman and Ruth Weiss and his family. Larry and wife Amy recognized that giving a major gift to the library was both a profound way to honor his parents and a long term investment in Hayward’s future. The Weiss’s gift and many others from individuals, organizations and businesses paved the way. In May 2007, the Library Board of Trustees proudly opened the doors of the Sherman & Ruth Weiss Community Library!



Future Forecast


Traditionally librarians have been viewed as the gatekeepers of knowledge, an essential and worthy vocation. However, libraries also must look to the needs of our current and future generations.

In the recent article, “Megatrends: Information Explosion 2.0,” author Stephen Abram describes upcoming trends in the world of information. Abram, also Vice President, Strategic Partnerships and Markets for Gale Cengage Learning, lists several library-related topics he calls “…critical to consider over the next twenty years.”

  • e-Learning – This academic strategy immerses the student in a blended learning environment such as the school, home, the library or coffee house. The instructor may incorporate math, science, literature and life skills into one lesson. This practice fosters a well-rounded education and lifelong learning skills in students.
  • Social Networking – Libraries respond to the growing need for spaces where people can meet, communicate online, & attend classes and programs. The staff has observed the escalation of this trend in our own hometown library.
  • Computer Applications and Tools – Teaching and learning aids help library staff and educators respond more quickly to informational requests.
  • Content Curation – Libraries manage the information overload to provide the best data for educational, business and research needs.
  • 24/7 Virtual Reference – This service responds to the rapidly growing need for “personal consultants” versed in technology, education, social networking and business.

You may play a part in helping the library respond to these new trends and developments with a gift to the Foundation.