The Pottsville Free Public Library opened its door for the first time November 9, 1911, in a three story building at 208 West Market Street. On the upper floors were eight small "dormitories" the fledgling library planned to sublet for $1.50 to $3.50 a week, depending on room size, and a meeting hall to be used free by townspeople.
The Library was located in a first-floor area, 14 by 41 feet, formerly the site of a saloon. At the rear were the Librarian's office and a storage room. In the street-side windows, that for years had been kept shuttered to conceal bar patrons from the curious gaze of passerby, were samplings of the Library's 3800 books.
By 1914, the book collection had tripled. Books were everywhere. The space problem was so acute that some volumes were stored in a cast-iron oven left over from the building's saloon days. However, it wasn't until 1922 that the Library was able to move to new and larger quarters at the southeast corner of Third and West Market Streets, its present location.
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