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Library History

About Smyrna Public Library   Library History   Floor Plan   Reference Department   GALILEO   Search Catalog

The Smyrna Public Library was established in 1936 and is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. Scroll down to learn about its history and growth over the years.
    

   
Circa Late 1930s - Note The Icicles

1936

The first Smyrna Public Library was opened in 1936 by the Smyrna Women's Club - with which it shared space. The initial collection consisted of 50 books on one shelf. Boy Scouts and other children went door-to-door with wheelbarrows collecting donated books to stock the shelves after it opened. By 1938 the collection had grown to 1,400 items - approximately 1% of the size of the overall collection today.

The picture above is circa the late 1930s. Look closely and you will notice the icicles from an ice storm. The library operated in this building that was located on Atlanta Road near the location of the present Village Green until a new facility opened in 1961.
   

1954 Bank Statement
(Click photo to enlarge)

1954

The photo above is of the official checking account statement from May, 1954. Balance - $159.19.
   

  
Circa 1961

1961

The 4000 square foot library building shown above was located at 2873 King Street. It was constructed during the first term of Mayor George Kreeger (1960-1961) for a cost of $54,000. Additions were made in 1969 and 1973.

When the new library on the Village Green was opened in August 1991, the Smyrna Fire Department converted the old library into a training center and fire prevention bureau. It also served as the Smyrna Museum until the new museum was built on Atlanta Road.

Smyrna First Baptist Church acquired the building and part of a city parking lot in a land swap that provided additional parking for the new City Hall, which opened in August 1996. The church used the facility for storage purposed until is was demolished in 2002 to construct additional parking space and a landscaping project.

The water tank in the background was constructed in 1927 at a cost of approximately $2,800. It was demolished in in the early 1980's for $10,000. The photo was taken from King Street looking northwest to what is now the Market Village.
   


1986

The Smyrna Public Library celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1986.

Click here to ready THE CONDENSED HISTORY OF THE SMYRNA LIBRARY© as it appeared in the 1983 issue of Lives & Times.
   

  
Circa 1989

The Mid to Late 1980s

In the mid to late 1980s, Smyrna government officials began laying plans for the Village Green redevelopment project. Unlike other city renewal efforts, Smyrna officials chose to have a new library, community center and green space as the project's centerpiece instead of the common retail center option. The picture above is of the 1961 library as it appeared in the spring of 1989 when those plans were being finalized.
    

   
Breaking Ground


Spring 1990

Ground is broken for the $15 million Village Green Project.
    

   
Early Announcement


Summer 1990

The Friends of Smyrna Library held their first organizational meeting April 5, 1990. Charter board members elected on June 19, 1990 were Barbara Bixby, Janet Cook, Diana Duell, Claudia Eisenburg, Donna Huemann, Corrine Schulzke, Liz Snow and Tim Vaughan . The news clipping above is one of the earliest announcements for the group as it was being organized.
   

   
Construction Photo - 1990

Winter 1991

The current Smyrna Public Library was constructed in 1990 and 1991 - photo circa early 1991.
    


Opening Day Fan  

August 3, 1991

The new library and adjacent community center were dedicated before a crowd numbering in the thousands at 5 PM on August 3, 1991. The picture above is of a commemorative fan that was distributed to all attendees. The ceremony was followed by a concert of leading bands of the time and a spectacular fireworks show. Click here to read the grand opening announcement and invitation to the public as it appeared in the July/August 1991 issue of Lives & Times.
   

 

 

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