Saturday, May 14, 2016

Parish Library History Begins in 1950

The St. Tammany Parish Public Library began in 1950 as the result of many volunteer leaders coming together, holding meetings, and making it happen. 

Children on the library front steps in 1956, checking out their books.

The first year all the books were borrowed from the Louisiana State Library. In the first five years, the number of books read went from 68,980 in 1951 to 88,130 in 1955. The number of readers climbed from 3,842 in 1951 to 8,089 in 1955, and the number of acquisitions went from 1,840 in 1952 to 11,194 in 1955. 

Here's a booklet, put out in 1955, that tells the story of the library's first five years. It's called "Library Memories." There are three pages. Click on the images below to see the pages full size.

Page One

Page Two

Page Three

Here's a photo of the first library building, which is located on Boston Street just west of Vermont Street. The building is now used by a couple of hair cutting establishments. 

The opening of the public library in St. Tammany brought many local and area dignitaries to the event. Among those attending were (from left to right front row) Ivy A. Champagne, Covington area police juror; District Attorney James T. Burns; Covington Mayor Emile Menetre, and Erwin J. Rausch, Abita Springs area state representative. On the rear row, from left, are Mayor Charles Koepp of Madisonville, Mayor John Leveson of Abita Springs, and Giles Pennington, member of the town council. 

Superintendent of Schools William Pitcher

The library visited children throughout the parish with a bookmobile. Here are some photographs from the early 1950's.

In 1972, the following article was written about the St. Tammany Parish Public Library in Pathways Magazine. Click on the image below to enlarge the text for better reading. 


 On December 11, 1987, the new Headquarters building and Covington Library was dedicated.

The Library Headquarters today



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