History of Louisa Library
A Branch in a Former Barber Shop
An early attempt to establish a library in Louisa County took place in 1953,when the Virginia StateLibrary delivered books with a van. There did not seem to be enough interest or willingness to fund this endeavor longer than one year.
In 1971, 50 people turned out for a meeting with Raymond Williams, the Director of Jefferson-Madison Regional Library. From this event, a campaign was launched to create a branch in Louisa.
Within a year, the dream became reality. The Louisa County Branch Library opened to the public on November 27, 1972, in a former barber shop on Main Street. This 440-square-foot space was rented by the county for $100 a month and was open to the public 22 hours a week with two part-time staff persons. During the early years an occasional story hour was held in local churches. During the last year in the building, story hours and other children's programs were held in the branch, but during hours closed to the public, due to severe space limitations. The library remained in those cramped quarters until October 1979.
In 1979, Louisa County purchased the charming Girl Scout house on West Street, a 2,252-square-foot building with a 305 square-foot meeting room. When this was the location of the library, it was open to the public 48 hours per week and had a staff, including the Branch Manager, of 3 full-time and two part-time people. The collection grew from 714 volumes in the first year to nearly 30,000 volumes with an annual circulation of over 116,000 items.
In 1987, the Louisa County Board of Supervisors created a Library Advisory Board with representatives from each voting district. This board would examine and study the County's library service and facilities and make recommendations to improve them. In October 1988, this Board encouraged the County Supervisors to establish a Library Foundation for the purpose of acquiring a library site and constructing a larger, more modern library building.
More than ten years of working, planning and fund-raising resulted in a plan for construction of a new 15,000 square-foot library to be located on Highway 22/208 adjacent to Louisa County Middle and High schools. Plans for the new branch included significantly larger collections, many computers with Internet access, a historical and genealogical collection room, a large meeting room, and space for tutoring and a law collection.
Ground was broken for the new Louisa Library in March 1999, and, on December 12, 1999, the branch was dedicated. Staff and community greeted the opening of the new building and the opportunity it affords for expanded services to the citizens of Louisa County.
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