Roswell Public Library

A Brief History of the
Roswell Public Library

Address: 301 N. Pennsylvania
Phone #: 622-7101
Hours: Sunday 2-6
Monday and Tuesday 9-9
Wednesday through Saturday 9-6

1891 Roswell was incorporated as a village, population was 400.
1895 The Roswell Woman's Club was organized by five educated women with the objective to secure good reading material for themselves and their families.
1897 The Woman's Club opened a reading room. It was also an attempt to bring local cowboys out of Roswell's 17 saloons and into an enriched cultural setting. No such luck.
1900 Population was 2000. The Woman's Club began work to obtain a grant from Andrew Carnegie to build a library. The first requirement to be met was to own a building site with a good title, free of debt. The second requirement was a guarantee from the town council of a maintenance fund of 10% of the amount donated for the library building. Undaunted by Carnegie's refusal to work with women, the women enlisted the aid of the town council. They told the town trustees that if they would write the letters, the women would do the ground work.
1902 On April 1, the male citizens voted to levy a one mill tax on the total valuation of property in the town. This would cover Carnegie's second requirement.
1904 The lot on the corner of Richardson and Third Street was selected for $700. The money was raised by donations, club dues, club entertainments, and a special issue of the Roswell Daily Record published by members of the Woman's Club. This money purchased the lot to complete the first requirement. All extra monies were to purchase furniture for the library.
1904 Carnegie granted $10,000 for the construction of a library building.
1906 On April 2, the Carnegie Library opened as the 5th Library in the Territory of New Mexico. Miss Marie McCain was the first Librarian and Charles E. Mason, manager of the Roswell Daily Record, was the first library card holder.
1940 A Bond issue in the amount of $30,000 was passed for remodeling the Library. A second Bond issue in the amount of %50,000 was passed in 1950.
1952 The re-modeling of the Carnegie Library was completed with 5,100 square feet.
1960 The building was already becoming obsolete to meet the needs of a city with a population of over 30,000.
1968 A Bond issue for a new library failed.
1970 A second Bond issue for a new library failed.
1976 The third Bond issue was PASSED.
1978 On July 17, the door of the new Roswell Public Library opened to the public. The new building was 22,500 square feet.

On August 27, the official dedication ceremonies were held.

1986 On April 2, a rededication of the Library was held to celebrate the 80th anniversary of library services.
1989 The Malone Room, an 1100 square foot addition to the children's area, was dedicated to the children of Roswell.
1990 On December 12, the contract with SIRSI Corporation was signed for an automation system.
1991 On September 3, the Library went on-line.
1995 The Library received a grant from New Mexico State Library for hardware to connect to the Internet.
1996 On July 8, Internet was made available to Chaves County citizens.

On August 8, a "Net Cutting" ceremony conducted with state legislatures, city officials and Chamber of Commerce Red Coats present.

Address: 301 N. Pennsylvania
Phone #: 622-7101
Hours: Sunday 2-6
Monday and Tuesday 9-9
Wednesday through Saturday 9-6.

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