In 1945 Elizabeth Holbrook Thomas called a group of women together in her home to organize the Owen County Woman’s Club with their main project to be establishing a library. After much diligence, their goal was met and in 1946 the Owen County Public Library came into being.
The library’s first home was located in an upstairs room in the old Peoples Bank building and was shared with the Red Cross. Books were acquired by donation and checkout was based on the honor system - a person would bring in one book to trade for another. Women’s Club members took turns working it.
Eventually, two part-time librarians were hired and a larger space was needed, so the library moved to the back of the Kroger Grocery Store. Growth continued and the next move was into four rooms over the First Farmers Bank and City Hall at which time our first full-time librarian, Frances Beverly was hired.
In 1968, after much petitioning, the library became a special taxing district and in 1973, a building was constructed specifically to house it on Main Street. Revenues came primarily from local property taxes.A complete interior renovation of the building took place in 2001. Its comfortable interior and inviting exterior were matched by new, innovative programs and services, including installation of an automated circulation system. Over time the needs of the community have changed, but the library’s main goal hasn’t, so in 2012, a new larger library opened at 1370 Highway 22 East. We are located near our schools and the new facility enables us to provide better library service and enough space for all to enjoy.
We are devoted to Owen County, its people and their needs. We strive to bring knowledge, opportunity and hope to all. We will always be here. We will always be -- Your Door to Lifelong Learning!