Strategic Plan 2012-2022
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About the Library

This Timeline is a work in progress. Please feel free to submit information regarding notable events and people who have contributed to the history of the Library. Email contributions to:

1894: Lila Ripley Barnwell donated some books and persuaded the Town Commissioners to give "The Library Club" a room at the newly completed City Hall.

1897: Hendersonville Town Commissioner gave another room at City Hall to be the Library Reading Room.

1899: Miss Mary Sample was appointed to be in charge of the Library Room two or three afternoons a week.

1904: The New County Courthouse was completed and the Library moved to a room in it.

1908: Col. Sylvester Everett of Columbus, Ohio, traded favors with Charles French Toms, local lawyer. Toms helped Everett (a new property owner in Western North Carolina) get to the National Republican Convention and in exchange, Everett got Andrew Carnegie interested in funding a library for Hendersonville.

1911: Toms persuaded his father, Captain Marion Columbus Toms to donate the lot at the corner of King Street and 4th Avenue as the site for the new library. The Town Commissioners agreed to hire a librarian and a janitor and financially support the library once built. The commissioners adopted the following resolution:
Whereas, Andrew Carnegie has agreed to give $10,000 to erect a free public library building on the condition the Town furnish a lot; and, whereas, a suitable lot has been made available by Capt., M.C. Toms, the offer is accepted and a tax will be levied to raise $1,000 annually.

1913: The building on the corner of King Street and 4th Avenue is completed. The Town Commissioners appoint a committee comprised of two women from each church to purchase books for the new library.

September, 1914: The new Hendersonville Library opens it's doors to the public with 3000 square feet and approximately 600 books. The basement contained newspapers, magazines and the furnace.

1915: Town Commissioners hired the first librarian, Mrs. Norma Sandifer at a salary of $25 per month.

1916: The first annual report of the library reported the following:
Total Volumes: 1,412
Total Circulation: 7,795
Total Number of Borrowers: 557
Librarian's Salary: $300
Total expenditures for the year: $611.97