Sunday, September 24, 2006

Calhoun County Library & the WPA

It looks like we need some remedial reading courses. We thought the sign read " NO BARKING " since libraries require quiet for their readers. We're also here on the wrong day, Saturday.

The Calhoun County Library is one of the more charming buildings we've seen put to this purpose. Calhoun County Library is located in the County Seat at St. Matthews, South Carolina. It receives its funding from the county and from the S. C. State Library, with some grants and private funding.

In Calhoun County public library service began in 1912 with the organization of the Calhoun County Public Library by the St. Matthews Literary Society. The library operated from 1913 to 1926 at which time it was absorbed into the library of a newly completed public school.

In 1935 the Works Progress Administration ( W.P.A.), a cornerstone of President Franklin Roosevelt's despression recovery strategy, set up a library project to demonstrate over a five-year period what a free public library would mean to rural communities. This project provided the opportunity that the people in Calhoun County were looking for to revive the Calhoun County Free Public Library. The Calhoun County Public Library was reopened on June 1, 1936.

We will follow the W.P.A.'s " Guide to South Carolina " in future postings as well as taking a look at some of the more unusual library buildings.


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