In 1897, eight young women formed a club that evolved into the Thursday Study Club. One of their early goals was to establish a reading room for Gadsden. In 1900, after several fundraising events, they opened Gadsden's first public reading room above a store in the Moragne building on Broad Street. In 1905, the Carnegie Foundation awarded a $10,000 grant to the City of Gadsden to construct a new library building. When the new library, at the corner of Forrest Avenue and South 7th Street opened in December of 1906, a total of 456 volumes from the Thursday Study Club's reading room formed the nucleus of the new collection. Lena Martin, a charter member of the Thursday Study Club, became the first librarian and, for 49 years, nurtured the library through a depression and two world wars. Although the library moved to a new building and location on South College Street in 1964, some believe that Miss Lena's spirit still inhabits the library's 3rd floor even today!Over the past 114 years, the Gadsden Public Library has seen the arrival of the telephone, desegregation, scores of award-winning authors, been the site of protests, and has moved well into the digital age. What started as a small reading room by a group of young ladies has become a 40,000 square foot state-of-the-art library that is a gathering place for special programs and even famous people. Celebrities, ghosts, and Civil Rights demonstrations GPL has seen it all! Through the very active Childrens department along with our newly expanded "Hive" for teenagers, new generations of readers continue to grow and influence our mission. The library is more than just books. It's about people. It's about enriching lives, inspiring ideas, and creating a common community for all. Come be a part of our history! Thanks for supporting our very first GPL Foundation auction!
The Gadsden Public Library Heart of the Community Since 1906
Enriching Lives ~ Inspiring Ideas ~ Creating Community