From a small beginning as an "emergency" library unit in 1935, the Monessen Public Library continues as, not only a community institution, but a regional one as well. On Feb. 3, 1934, the library opened to the public in the Monessen High School Library with 650 volumes donated by organizations and individuals. Miss Martha Jane Bloom, a secondary school teacher, with no library training, was the first librarian. On Jan. 8, 1936, a group of interested citizens and representatives of organizations presented a formal petition to City Council that sufficient funds for the installation and maintenance of a free public library be included in the municipal budget. Council voted an appropriation of $1,000.This volunteer committee then acted through a town meeting to form a permanent library association. A charter was applied for and the Monessen Civic Library Association was incorporated. Through a public subscription campaign, the Library Association obtained the remaining money to found a library.Today the library continues to grow under the leadership of Director S. Fred Natale and his staff. The library now has holdings which total approximately 120,000 volumes.
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