About the Brooke County Public Library
The Brooke County Public Library can be reached by turning onto 10th street, either from the North or South on Route 2.
It is a WV Tourism Site housing brochures and information about places and parks in West Virginia.
A Brief History of the Brooke County Public Library and Follansbee Branch:
The present Brooke County Public Library traces its ancestry back to the year 1897. Arrangements were made with the Chautauqua Lyceum Bureau of New York State to buy books and accept their offer to aid in establishing a library in the local Methodist Church. A building was furnished by Samuel George, Sr. of Wellsburg. Shares of stock were sold in the library and shelving and other equipment were purchased. When the old church building was converted into a private club, the library was moved to the Duval Building at 833 Main Street, Wellsburg. Around 1909, the library was again moved to the YMCA at 814 Charles St, the location of the present Elks Club. Later, when the collection of books was given to the local Boy Scouts, in 1929, the books were housed at the Gus Hall Building, North of the old Wellsburg Hotel at 716 Main Street. The flood of 1936 destroyed the entire collection.
Public library service was resumed in 1939 when Miss Ethel Charnock started a campaign to revive the one destroyed by the flood. After making many appeals to various clubs and organizations, the American Legion Auxiliary and the Wellsburg Woman’s Club came to aid the cause. Students at the high school helped collect books, and Library Club members cleaned and repaired the new collection. The Wellsburg City Council supplied a rent-free room on the second floor of the new city building. The revived library opened on June 28, 1941 with a collection of 1127 books. The name “Community Library” was chosen as the library name, and it was opened to all county residents.
Financial support of the Community Library came from the various clubs in Wellsburg. At the same time that the Community Library in Wellsburg was being developed, a small library was established at Hooverson Heights during the early 1950’s. Interested citizens contributed many books. Miss Ethel Charnock was in charge of library operations in Wellsburg from 1928 until 1956. When Miss Charnock retired in 1956, the library’s collection contained 3,340 books.
In 1955, Judge Ralph E. Pryor, prepared a charter for a non-profit corporation to be known as the Brooke County Public Library Association. The library was incorporated under the general incorporation provisions of the West Virginia Code. In 1956, the library moved to the Baker property at 722 Main Street. Through annual increases granted by the Court, the Board was able to employ part-time employees and expanded the open hours to the public at both locations.
In 1968, the library received financial support at the federal and state level. A new board was established by the Brooke County Court on May 16, 1968. A bequest from Mrs. Celeste Worthen Paull, at the time of her death in 1962, granted a portion of her estate to the Board. At the time, contracts were awarded for the present building site at 945 Main Street. A portion of the original bequest was used to purchase the two lots for the new building. The total cost of the Library was $267,000. Dedication of the new Brooke County Public Library took place on March 5, 1972 in Wellsburg, WV.
Establishment of the Follansbee Branch of the Brooke county Public Library began in October, 1992 when the mayor and city solicitor approached the Brooke County Public Library Board to discuss library service in Follansbee. City Council selected and purchased the WesBanco building at 844 Main Street as the site for the Branch. Follansbee City employees carried out renovation. On January 26, 1995, there was a dedication ceremony of the Follansbee Branch with Gov. Gaston Caperton in attendance. Dedication of a new addition to the Follansbee Branch occurred on May 7, 2000. The new addition houses a meeting room, complete with Follansbee High School memorabilia. Guest speaker included David M. Price, Executive Director, West Virginia Library Commission.
Update: Dedication of the new addition of the Brooke County Public Library was Sunday, April 6, 2003. Funding was made available through state, local, and private sources. The new addition provides additional shelving for non-fiction; children’s room; genealogy room; two adult literacy rooms; director’s office; meeting room; rest rooms; kitchenette; and storage cabinets. Various rooms were dedicated to the following individuals for their promotion of library services in Brooke County: Elmer H. Vincent; Dr. William Young; David & Nancy Hubbard; and Dr. William Booher.
The new addition of the Brooke County Public Library was “officially” named the “Givens Ennis Wing” on Saturday, April 14, 2012. The celebration honors two local legislators from Brooke County who were instrumental in securing funds for the project back in 2002-2003: Delegate Roy Givens (D-Brooke) District 2 and Delegate Timothy Ennis (D-Brooke) District 2. Their support of library operations and services continue to the present day. The members of the Board of Trustees of the Brooke County Public Library chose to honor Delegate Roy Givens and BC Commissioner Timothy Ennis on April 14, 2012, to acknowledge the 115th anniversary of the Brooke County Public Library and the observance of National Library Week.
Library Directors from 1972 to the present: Pearl Baker; Camille Leslie; Dolores Antigo, Amy Kastigar; Mary KayWallace; and Alexandra L. Eberle (current).