The History of the Library
In the latter part of 1972, a new release appeared in the newspaper describing the Instant Library, which was available through the West Virginia Library Commission for areas without library services. In April 1973, the Parsons City Council appointed a five member board consisting of H. Dale Ridgeway, Francis “Fitz” Wagner, Mrs. Mary Shiflet, Edward McDonald, and Standley Hehle. It was the duty of the board to secure the library. After nearly a year of investigation, planning and fund raising the official ground breaking took place on April 18, 1974 at the corner of Third and Walnut Street in Parsons, site of the new 1200-square-foot carousel library. Shortly after the ground breaking, Mrs. Joseph (Helen) R. Gilmore, Sr. was name librarian.
On May 10, 1974 the Woman’s Club donated their library books to the new library. The Parsons Public Library had been housed on the second floor of the Parsons City Hall and was operated by members of the Woman’s Club as a community project. The library building was completed in July 1974 and officially opened September 3, 1974. The building, initial furniture, and books were furnished by the West Virginia Library Commission, who also provided the library with audio-visual equipment and access to over 1,500 films on request. It was name The Five Rivers Public Library for the county’s five rivers: Cheat, Black Fork, Shavers Fork, Dry Fork, and Blackwater.
A few years later in 1984, under the direction of George A. Smith, Jr., the president, a building fund was instituted to add an additional room, 850-square-feet, the back of the existing carousel to expand the total footage to 2,050 square feet. In June 1985, the new addition was ready for patron use. In November of 1985 there was a devastating flood that hit the town of Parsons, the library had several inches of water.
In 1999, the old part of the library, the carousel, received an updated ceiling, where it was lowered, insulated, and painted with new lighting fixtures. On September 12, 1999, the library celebrated its 25th anniversary and honored their past and present board members and staff. Refreshments were served and bookmarks which commemorated the 25th anniversary were given out.
The current Director is Nancy L. Moore, the Assistant Librarian is Kathy Phillips. Library staff is Ellouise Smith. In June of 2013, Stephanie Fitzwater was hired as a new staff member, she worked until December 2013, when she left to take a new job. In January of 2014, Angela Johnson was hired to replace Stephanie and is here to present. Ellouise Smith is no longer employed. In July 2016 Lynnette Adams was hired as a new employee.
A new 1600 square foot addition was added onto the existing library building and was opened to the public on October 16, 2011, with an open house reception to the public. The new addition consists of a Reading/Stack room, Foyer, ADA bathroom and a Meeting/Conference Room. There is also an ADA ramp outside the building for wheelchairs and disabled persons. The exterior of the building was also remodeled with new siding, new roof and a new updated entrance to the front of the building.
In 2013 the older part of the inside of the library was newly painted and new carpet was installed. 2014 the library had a new library sign designed and installed in front of the library. On September 7, 2014, the library celebrated 40 years of service to the community since it’s opening on September 4, 1974. In celebration there were refreshments, a slide show and gift bags were giving out.
Since its opening date, the library has loaned several thousands of books to its patrons. Other services provided by the library include faxes, copies, laminating , Accu-cut, VITA (Free tax assistance for the public), DVDs, Audio books, exchange books, Summer Reading Programs for children, Pre-School Story time class starting in the fall and running through spring. Internet access computers, inter-library loans, wireless internet access, meeting/conference room available for public use. In spring 2015 four e-book readers were added to loan out to adults.
The library has this website, a Facebook page online and email, email@example.com
In the new age of computers this is a way for libraries to keep up with the growing technology, to promote the library and also communicate with our patrons and our community.
The library also offers downloadable e-books, audio e-books, e-magazines for e-book readers, computers, cellphones, I-pods and tablets of all types.