A photo of Bicentennial Art Contest winner Rebecca Mueller's drawing held in front of the Friends of the Library bears.

In 2020 we turned 200! Although our year-long birthday bash didn’t go exactly as planned, we still have many achievements to celebrate. 

Bicentennial Staff Picks

To kick off our birthday celebration, we shared some of our personal favorite books. We solicited recommendations from staff working in all areas of the Library and came up with 200 of them! Though our interests are diverse, the list reflects our shared love of reading. Some staff members highlighted beloved books from their childhood, while others chose books that shaped their adult lives. From classics to comics, memoirs to picture books, there’s something for everyone on this list! 

Bicentennial Art Contest 

In early 2020 we invited you to submit original artwork with the theme “Imagine Monroe County Public Library in the Year 2220” to our bicentennial art contest! Winners were crowned from four age categories; Éowyn Eve Legler (6 and under), Quincy Morwick (7–11), Hina Zulkoaski (12–19), and Rebecca Mueller (20 and up). The winning pieces were so fun and creative! They were featured on bicentennial bookmarks and distributed throughout the year.

Bicentennial Book Bracket

Adult, teen, and childrens books faced off in our March showdown! Our Bicentennial Book Bracket was stacked with classic and new titles. Over 4,000 votes were cast on the road to choosing a winner. The final four featured heavy-hitters––Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone vs. To Kill a Mockingbird and Little Women v.s The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. No upsets here, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone took down Little Women to take the championship!

ornamentBicentennial Gifts 

Founded in 1965, the Friends of the Monroe County Public Library Foundation, Inc. has provided crucial support to our programs, collections, and resources for over fifty years. In honor of our birthday, the Friends produced two special gifts, a bicentennial mug and bicentennial ornament. Show your library love by shopping the virtual bookstore for either item––you can even pick up your purchase during curbside hours!

Bicentennial Birthday Song

How many years? 200! We dare you to listen to our Bicentennial Birthday Song and not sing along! Since 200 years is a pretty big deal, we thought a personalized birthday song was the perfect way to commemorate the achievement. The song lyrics, recording, and music video were a library-wide collaborative project, with multiple staff members contributing lyrics and participating in recording and filming.

Bicentennial History

In preparation for our big 2-0-0, we did some research into our history! Check out our timelines for the Downtown Library and Ellettsville Branch Library to learn some fun MCPL trivia. In 1830, our one-room Library housed 800 books and served around thirty families. We’ve come a long way! You can also read more about our 200th year in Bloom Magazine! In 2021, we look forward to building on this rich history as we plan for our new Southwest Branch Library