By Paige Asberry
When she said she planned to return to Hutchinson, she did not disappoint. She just came back in a little different form than when she left.
Ida Miranda Day was born in the small Kansas of Colony in 1888, and began her work at the public library in 1916 while the library was still located in the Carnegie building at 427 N Main. Day was revolutionary in her work – while the library was closed for remodeling, she and her assistants fully cataloged and classified every book, which had never been done before. In 1918, Day had also helped to collect books to send to soldiers during World War 1, and coordinated magazine deliveries, a service that the library still offers.
Day left the library in 1925, and returned Ida Day-Holzapfel in 1946. She was involved in the planning and discussion regarding the new building at 9th Avenue and Main Street. Holzapfel served as the library director twice, from Jan. 1916 – Jan. 1925, and again from October 1946 – Feb. 1954.
Ida Day-Holzapfel resigned from the library in 1954, explaining that she wished to be relieved of administrative duties. She planned a move to become the head of the catalog department at Tulare county library in Visalia, California, but stated that she planned to retain her Hutchinson residence, and eventually return. Tragically, on her first day of work, Ida fell victim to a freak car accident and died of her injuries. Complete details of the accident are unavailable.
She did return to Hutchinson, to the place where she had the strongest ties. Holzapfel has taken up residence in the library, and word is, she makes herself known quite frequently. Day was a proper lady – she had tea every day with her employees at exactly 3 p.m. – and she mostly makes her appearances when she feels that the library is not being run the way that she would like it to be.
Employees have long said Day’s spirit is not mean or vengeful, but rather nice, even mischievous.
Stories of missing jewelry returned days after it was lost, intense feelings of being watched, and even feelings of being pushed down the basement stairs are commonly shared by new and old library staff alike.
Ida Day Holzapfel can be experienced anywhere in the library, but is primarily found where her office used to be located – in the processing center in the basement of the Hutchinson Public Library.