The Chickasha Public Library Celebrate 115 years
The Chickasha Public Library will celebrate its 115th birthday with a weeklong celebration in March and everyone is invited to attend! Pat Cunningham, the director of the Grady County Historical Society Museum, will give a presentation about the early history of the Carnegie Library building on Monday, March 23rd. Library staff member Michelle Skinner will speak about the history of the current library building on Thursday, March 26th. Both events will start at 6:00 p.m. at the Chickasha Public Library. Finally, there will be a birthday party on Saturday, March 28th, at 3:00 p.m. at the Chickasha Public Library. The Library is located on the corner of 6th and Iowa at 527 W. Iowa Ave.
During the birthday party on Saturday, March 28th, Mayor Chris Mosley will speak at 3:00 pm, followed by Melody Kellogg, Director of the Oklahoma Department of Libraries. There will be historic photographs and items on display during that week and people are invited to share their stories and memories of the ways in which the Library has impacted their lives. In addition, a history of the Chickasha Public Library’s first 115 years has been written by Library staff member Michelle Skinner and the book will be available for purchase.
Library Director Lillie Huckaby would like to invite the community to celebrate their past, present, and future by highlighting the Library’s positive influence for the residents of Chickasha and Grady County.
The history of the Chickasha Public Library began in 1905 when several women’s organizations who were active in Chickasha saw the need for a public library. They applied for a $10,000 grant from Andrew Carnegie, (Carnegie funded some 3,000 libraries) secured the land on which to build the library, and solicited donations of books and furniture. The Carnegie Library, which was named for Andrew Carnegie, had 465 books at the time of its dedication on March 23, 1905. It was the first free public library in what was then Indian Territory. The first person to receive a library card was Mary Smith of Chickasha, who had a free library at her home and served as volunteer librarian while the Carnegie Library was being built. The first librarian of the Carnegie Library was Sallie Thompson, who served as director from 1905-1907, 1910-1916, and from 1923-1929. There have been a total of 15 library directors during the past 115 years.
The Carnegie Library building was torn down in 1963. The following year, the new Chickasha Public Library was built on the same location. Over the years, the Library has expanded its services to adapt to the community’s changing needs. The first computer was installed in 1986, public Internet access arrived in 1996, and e-books became available to check out through the Oklahoma Virtual Library in 2012.
Today, the Chickasha Public Library contains over 50,000 volumes, including books, audio books, magazines, newspapers, and DVDs. There are a variety of both educational and
recreational programs for all ages, as well as access to technology and resources.
For more information, contact the Chickasha Public Library at 405-222-6075 or email Lillie Huckaby at firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope to see you there!