Thursday, March 23, 2017 Text Size A A

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History

The Green Forest Public Library modestly began in January 1935 as a project by American Legion Auxiliary members who knocked on doors asking for book donations. The books were housed in the newly constructed American Legion Hut and soon the collection grew to 1000 volumes. The Works Progress Administration hired the first librarian.

She kept the library open two days a week and half a day on Saturday and was paid $19.00 a month for her services. The library was an immediate success. People from rural areas, as well as in town, welcomed the chance to check out books. One man who ran a small general store in an isolated area rode his mule in every two weeks and took home a “tow sack” full of books, which he circulated at his store.

In 1944 the Green Forest Public Library joined Berryville in becoming a member of the North Arkansas Regional Library System. The library stayed in the Legion Hut until 1945 when it moved to the City Hall on the Town Square. It then moved to Springfield Street, in a building that became the police station. Carroll County purchased a newly constructed building on Main Street and the library moved, again. In 1987 the library was renovated with new carpeting and shelving installed. The library continued growing in popularity and the book collections and services expanded.

In 1997 the Library Board of Trustees purchased the Green Forest Dry Goods Store, which was originally called Seitz Mercantile.  The Board deeded the building to Carroll County and completely renovated it for use as the library. Today the library is a spacious, airy, bright center of activity located on the Green Forest Town Square. From its green awnings in the front to its landscaped parking area in the rear of the building, the library is a shining example of the results of decades of community involvement.