“The very existence of libraries affords the best evidence that we may yet have hope for the future of man”
― T.S. Eliot
There was once a time when libraries either didn’t exist or were so dismally stocked, they provided virtually no help to their visitors whatsoever. Or, in the case of Newton County, the libraries were separated by great distances. This doesn’t sound like a huge obstacle, but consider this; these libraries weren’t able to share their books and resources with each other. If someone in Porterdale needed a specific book, they would have to travel as far away as Brick Store to find it. The libraries also had no means of supporting the upkeep of buildings except for the occasional fundraiser or book fair. One fall day in 1944, a group of local women sought to change all that.
These women came together to form The Newton County Library on September 29, 1944. Representatives from Brick Store, Oxford, Newton, Pine Grove, and Starr’s Mill all met to discuss the possibility of joining the local, self-running libraries that were already in place across the county. These women wanted to create a joint library system, where each library branch could be represented.
They decided that the headquarters for this system would be Newton County Library and housed in Covington, Georgia. These ingenious women created research forums and elected chairwomen for the proper running of the assembled libraries. Did you know that in 1944 the cost of running a library was $100 dollars a month? The founding ladies of the Newton County Library did and they detailed all of this in their committee notes.
If you’re looking for more information on the women who founded our library system, you can visit this website to browse over the first inaugural meeting notes from 1944. Learn more about the women who changed the face of Newton County’s library and educational system and how they still influence us today.