From the 1938 centennial edition of The Times-Register
It is gratifying to residents of Salem that the town has erected and maintains a Public Library. It is also pleasing that tourists and strangers passing through town are making use of our small but attractive library building situated in the beautiful Younger Park on Main Street. Many out-of-town people who have a little spare time, come to the library to enjoy the magazines; to consult a map; to gain tourist information; and they are always enthusiastic about the ideal location, the attractiveness and the cozy atmosphere of the building.
While we are proud that our library is so much appreciated by the casual visitors, it is most pleasing that our entire community is backing the library project.
Started By Woman’s Club
The Salem Woman’s Club has had for many years as one of its objectives the founding of a public library in the town of Salem. But it was not until the purchase of the Younger Park property that it was possible for the Club to make any progress. Through the cooperation of the Council, the brick building in Younger Park is used for library purposes, and the town also contributes to the expense of maintaining the library. The Works Project Administration is likewise assisting in providing the staff at the library. Mrs. C. S. Phinney was appointed by the Woman’s Club to organize, catalog, and direct the operation of the library to act as chairman of the Library Board consisting of Mrs. Phinney, Mrs. G. V. Downing, Mrs. H. U. Butts, Mrs. J. B. Tanney and Mrs. A. D. Carson president of the Woman’s Club of Salem.
Opened Feb. 15, 1937
The library was opened to the public on February 15, 1937 and during the short time that it has been established has made splendid progress. Citizens have been generous in contributing books and sums of money. A large collection of books was purchased from the former Virginia College Library, and Traveling Libraries are received several times during the year from the State Library. So that we now have a library of approximately 3000 books with a large daily circulation. No charge is made to any borrower in the town of Roanoke County. Over a thousand people made use of the library during its first year. An attractive branch library has been established for the colored citizens through the help of the Council and the N. Y. A. program.
With the rapid growth of the library, already the need is being felt for larger quarters, and while nothing definite has materialized there is a preliminary effort being made to work out a plan to provide a larger building for library purposes.
-Prepared by Lisa King
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