ST. JOHN — For 50 years, the Ida Long Goodman Memorial Library in St. John has been serving the community and the school district.

To honor this achievement, the library is hosting an open house and re-dedication from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday at the library. The re-dedication ceremony will take place at 2 p.m. followed by a reception until 4 p.m. The library is at 406 North Monroe in St. John.

Construction on the library began in January 1969. Ida Long Goodman, who was the Stafford County schools superintendent, principal and a teacher earlier in her career, purchased the location and donated it, plus $300,000 for construction of the library. The building was dedicated on Dec. 7, 1969. An historical document states, in "An Appreciation" note from the original dedication ceremony, that "This library is an expression of her love, and her devotion to finer living."

Special legislation was passed to allow for a combination community and school library. The Goodman Library was one of the first in Kansas to take advantage of this legislation, said Laura Davis, current library director.

Davis said construction on the library lasted just a year from groundbreaking in January 1969 to dedication on Dec. 7, 1969. Bob Dole was the honored guest and dedicatory speaker. This year, at the remodel dedication ceremony, current USD 350 superintendent Josh Meyer will make the dedication speech, and Kansas State Sen. Mary Jo Taylor will be in attendance.

The library today looks much the same as it did in 1969. An elevator was added in 1982. Friends of the Library recently remodeled the courtyard, added a handicapped accessible curb cut, with new carpet for the entire first floor and updated decor.

"It's a testament to the quality of the building and the facility itself that it was so well planned out originally, that even today, it looks like a modern facility," Davis said.

The library has 38,157 books, periodicals, newspapers, computers, digitized images, prints, documents, genealogy research and microfilm.