The public library in Hettinger has been a part of the city since 1913 when the city was six years old. According to an article in the 1913 edition of the Adams County Record, a public library, sponsored by the Twentieth Century Club in Hettinger, was opened in February of that year in the O. T. Peterson’s office building. The director was Miss Leota Shaw. It was open for three hours on Saturdays and the members took turns as librarians.
In a compiled history of the library in one of the archives, it was noted that the library was moved to city hall some time in the 1930s. Another article in the 1945 edition of the Adams County Record stated that the library had been moved to the enclosed part of the Community room of the courthouse formerly occupied by the Red Cross.
In 1945 a library association was organized by the Twentieth Century Club. The civic clubs of Hettinger were invited to join, and fifteen members representing these clubs made up the organization. The library was open one evening in the week and the usual Saturday afternoons from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Mrs. Josephine Kirby was the active librarian. At that time the inventory showed there were 1,200 books in the library. Mrs. Claude Marion, trained in a library science at the University of Minnesota, started the cataloging of the books that year.
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