Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Library History

The library was first organized in 1934 by the Read-A-Book Club which wholly maintained it for two years. In 1937, the city furnished a room and utilities in the city building, and the Read-A-Book Club members continued to supervise the Library.

The groundbreaking ceremony was May 24, 1989 for the new building located at 120 N. Main. The most impressive feature about the new library was not the building itself, but the fact that there was not one single dollar of taxpayer money went into building the new facility. Funds were raised over a period of years from donations from both present and former residents of the community.

The library was dedicated on July 29, 1990.

The Read-A-Book Club

The decade beginning in 1930 was a dreary time for most people. The whole country was in a depression. Crops failed, the dust blew, and many businesses failed. Cimarron was no exception. People did not have the money to travel or buy things they usually did. A group of young women, some married and some just out of school decided to form a reading group. Each month, one of the group purchased a new book, reviewed it, and then passed it around for the others to read. Mrs. Erskine encouraged these young women, who called themselves the Read-A-Book Club. Soon the growing accumulation of books was left at the Methodist Church or the Courthouse for others to borrow. It was not long before the group was given the use a two-room building on Main Street just south of the Ford Garage. This was the beginning of the Cimarron Library.

The women kept the small library open two afternoons a week Often the patrons were greeted by the small children of the librarians, asleep in a playpen in the middle of the library floor. No effort was to great for these women to keep the library open and growing. The group held innumerable “Book Teas” in their homes where the guests donated a book in return for a pleasant afternoon. Everyone in town became interested and many small donations were made.

The library outgrew the small building, and the library was moved to the building where Dr. Penner was in his office, then later to the old Citizen’s Bank Building. By this time, the W.P.A. was making funds available for many projects in the depression-ridden country, and the Read-A-Book club was able to hire a full-time librarian. By 1947, the library was given to the City of Cimarron. As a free library, it was supported by a county and city mill levy.

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