History of the Dadeville Public Library
The first recorded history of a public library in Dadeville was in 1909 when the ladies of the Worth While Club organized the Dadeville Library Association, a library for the general public with a yearly membership fee of $1. This organization collected, stored, and loaned books to members intermittently until 1938 when the outer room of Mr. Sam Oliver’s Law Office in the County Courthouse became equipped to house the library. Miss Clyde Baker, of the National Youth Association, was hired through W.P.A to serve as librarian.
In 1939 the library, consisting of 419 books was moved to the Masonic building. After W.P. A. discontinued their assistance in 1942, Miss Gladys (Judy) Berry was hired by the City of Dadeville to serve as a part time librarian with a monthly salary of $10.
In 1944, the Worth While Club started a library building fund with a $100 war bond. Other bonds were purchased from proceeds of rummage sales, card parties, dances, silver teas, and an open-air concert given by the Maxwell Air Force Band.
In 1945, the library moved from the Masonic building to the Farm Security Administration building which was located across the street from the Baptist Church. In 1945, the library was also noted as having the highest rate of readers in the state and was selected to be visited by other library supervisors. Miss Berry received a raise and was now receiving $15 a month.
The old grammar school building became home to the library in 1950 when Lee County joined Tallapoosa County to form a regional library. The city library remained separate but cooperated in book circulation. The first library board was appointed by Mayor –Council in 1957. Members included Mrs. Lonie Sewell, Mrs. Grace Hooton, Mrs. Marion Tucker, and Mrs. Jane Wilder.
Mrs. Mary Leach became librarian in 1958 and both libraries moved in 1960 to a store building on the south side of the Tallapoosa County Courthouse. Mrs. Eleanor Penny became librarian in 1961 and Mrs. Roy Lockett in 1963.
By 1965, plans for a new building to house the public library and Horseshoe Bend Regional Library were in place. With grants from the Library Services and Construction Act ($105,600.00), the Appalachian Regional Development Act ($22,400.00) and local funding ($32,000.00), the structure was completed in 1967 at a cost of $160,000.00.
Mrs. Louise Oliver became librarian of the new facility early in 1968 and soon started the first “Friends of the Library”. The Friends organization is instrumental in providing guidance, as well as supplemental funds for purchases and programs which might otherwise impinge upon the library’s city budget. Later a children’s Summer Reading Program was established. Salaries were raised to a minimum wage of $2.65 an hour in 1978.
Upon her retirement in 1985, the board appointed Mrs. Robin Foster as librarian until 1995. Then Mrs. Sharon Shaw served from 1995-1997. From 1997 until 2013, Mrs. Amy Guy Huff served as librarian. Mrs. Lois Reynolds served as the inter-library loan/ assistant librarian for 11 years.
In 2013, the Directorship fell to Ms. Abigail Mangarelli, who ably managed the library, instituting many pro-active community programs, bringing the library into the 21st century with fully integrated computers and Kindle-friendly services.
The library strives to achieve a well-rounded program, providing materials and services that enable community residents information for their personal and educational needs. In concert with the State Library System (A.P.L.S), our library is part of an organized effort to promote overall literacy. It still serves today as an activity as well as an educational center for all residents of the community. It operates now with 2,441 active patrons, an inventory of over 10,200 print volumes, 548 audio books, 1001 DVD movies and 10 public access computers with Internet and Wi-Fi accessibility. The library is open 6 days a week.
The Dadeville Public Library continues to grow and prosper with the tremendous efforts and hard work of a dedicated Staff, Library Board, Friends of the Library, Civic Clubs of Dadeville, the City Council, grants from the State of Alabama and the many faithful patrons, citizens and businesses of the community.