On July 10, 1934, in the middle of the Great Depression, a small library committee met in the East Ward School Library on Union Street under the leadership of Mrs. George Butz. Using the slogan "A Book from Every Home ", the group collected 800 volumes from townspeople to start the library. With a supply kit furnished by the state government under the Educational Emergency Relief Act, and $20 worth of additional materials, the citizens prepared the books for circulation.
On July 30, 1934 the first official meeting of the newly formed Schuylkill Haven Free Library Association was held in the high school auditorium. Mrs. Butz was elected as president, Mr. Paul Christman as vice president, Mrs. Norman Neuin as secretary; and Mr. Harry Reber as treasurer.
On August 31, 1934, the library facility in the East Ward School held an open house following a parade led by the high school band. "Tea and wafers" were served at an expense of $1.57. Starting with $7.10 worth of donations and dues in the treasury, the library circulated 1473 books during the first month of operation. After the first year more than 21,300 items had been borrowed by a grateful public.
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