A Brief History of Our Library

The Calhoun County Library is located in Grantsville, the county seat, which is situated near the center of the northern half of the county on the right bank of the Little Kanawha River.  Calhoun County Library was a part of the Alpha Regional Library system from 1950-2001.  The Library is now part of Parkersburg/Wood County Library, and has been since Alpha Regional dissolved in 2001.

According to the “History of the Development of Libraries in Calhoun County” by Irene Jarvis Gunn, the present public library began in the 1930’s as a part of the Grantsville Senior Women’s Club.  It consisted of forty or fifty volumes shelved in the Barr store and later moved to the Jeffry Hotel.  It was this already organized public library which made it possible for the state library commission to take over control, hire a librarian, and move the collection to the county courthouse where it occupied a small room on the third floor.  In 1945 that room was taken over by the county court for use by the county surveyor and the library was moved to the second floor of the courthouse.

The library is currently housed in a brick building at 250 Mill Street. Designed by Emory N. Mick, the library was opened in July 1968. Federal funds supplied eighty percent of the cost.  The other twenty percent was raised locally.  The total cost, including furniture, was $59,191 of this amount, and $15,845 came from Appalachian funds. The local share of $20,665 was obtained from contributions and borrowed from the Calhoun County Bank with many local citizens acting as surety.   

The Library board began the major work of adding a second story and renovation of the library in 1994.  The three room upper addition includes a Genealogy room, children’s room and a public meeting room. It is now complete and in use.   The Calhoun County Public Library is more than a book depository.  It is a resource and information center with over 20,000 volumes serving the 7,658 population of Calhoun County.