An open house on Sunday, September 24, 1967, was the culmination of two years of hard work and determination by a group of Huntsville citizens united as Friends for a Huntsville Public Library. Over 1600 held membership in this organization, successfully mounting a campaign to obtain state matching funds to build a 7,000 square foot facility which exists today as the Huntsville Public Library. The opening of a public library for Huntsville was a dream come true for those who worked so diligently founding Friends for a Huntsville Public Library. The Temporary Board for Building and Planning appointed by Huntsville City Council was composed of:
Dr. Mac Woodward, Chairman
Mrs. Gloria Pickett, Drive Chairman, Friends
Gerry Taylor, Technical Adviser
C. E. Allen
A. J. Beckham
Mrs. Don Reid
Mrs. Helen Wheat
1st Library Board
Langwith, Wilson and King were the architects for the facility to house Huntsville's first public library at 1216 14th Street. Huntsville Public Library's first librarian was Linda Olsen Peters. She organized the initial collection and excelled at promoting the library's services to the community. She resigned in 1970 to continue her education and was replaced by Linda Landtroop.
Mrs. Linda Landtroop was at the helm for approximately one year before resigning to rejoin her husband who had just completed his military service overseas. In 1971, Judy Hunter was hired as librarian and remained at that position until she retired in 2002. Linda Dodson was hired as librarian to replace Mrs. Hunter and remains in that position today.
In 2009, the feasibility committee, with the support of City Manager Bill Baine, recommended to City Council the development of a preliminary design for a larger facility. On November 4 of that year, over 80% of Huntsville voters approved funding to renovate and expand the library. The $3.5 million bond more than tripled the size of the current building, increasing the square footage to 22,000.
Other benefits of the expansion include a dedicated teen space, study rooms, a community room, space for a larger collection, more seating, and additional parking.
In 2017, the Huntsville Public Library celebrates its 50th anniversary as a beloved and essential touchstone of the community. Click here to find out more about the Anniversary Carnival and Gala, as well as more photos.