In July of 1969 the Articles of Incorporation for the Northumberland Memorial Library (the name chosen for the Library) were created. On September 8th, a twelve member Board of Directors was elected and in October, a call for book donations appeared in the Northumberland newspaper.
An Open House was held on February 22, 1970 to coincide with George Washington’s birthday. The Library was open for business on March 9, 1970. By April, the Library was open 21 hours a week and it was staffed entirely by volunteers. There were 3,400 books on the shelves including 400 children’s books. Throughout its early years, the Library was supported solely by private donations. On July 16, 1978, the Library moved from its second story location in Heathsville to the Claughton Building in Lottsburg.
The Library moved once again to the School Board Building in Lottsburg in July 1982.
Procedures began in September 1984 to change the name of the Library to Northumberland Public Library, Inc. and that was accomplished on March 12, 1985. Discussions began on April 3rd to replace the volunteers with a formal organization and the Friends of the Library was created.
A literacy program was established for adult education and in 1987 the program known as Northumberland Adult Basic Education, Inc. supported 25 students that received basic reading instruction or GED preparation. The Library provided 15 tutors and a pilot program for below-grade-level readers in the middle and high school was initiated.
By 1990, it was obvious the Lottsburg location would soon be outgrown and a new Library needed to be built, in a central location. Howard Straughan, Jr. and his sister Cora Straughan Simpson, donated land for the library. Ben R. Humphreys graciously donated an adjoining piece of property, and the Northumberland Board of Supervisors deeded additional land.
The new library was built, and the Dedication of the Northumberland Public Library in its current location was on June 23, 1996.
The library has experienced many changes through the years, including new technology (upgrading to an automated ILS, computer internet stations for the public). Through all the years and changes, the library has maintained its primary focus: to be a center of learning for the community and to provide library services of high quality to all persons who wish to use its services, programs and facilities, regardless of race, religion, origin, age, sex, economic status or personal or social views.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
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