Judge John Handley of Scranton, Pennsylvania left $250,000 in his will to “ . . . open a Public Library for the free use of the people of the city of Winchester forever.” The Handley Library opened in 1913. An addition was added to the building in 1979 and a complete renovation, designed by Dennis Kowal Architects, was completed in 2001.
In 1979 the library became a regional library when Frederick County and then Clarke County joined system. The library in Clarke County was a privately-run facility until it became part of Clarke County. It is currently in an old house on Main Street in Berryville.
The Mary Jane & James L. Bowman Library opened in July 2001. Designed by the architectural firm of the Lukmire Partnership in Arlington., Virginia, the Library is named in memory of James and Mary Jane Bowman. Mr. Bowman made his donation in 1999 to honor his wife, Mary Jane, a well-known nurse and community supporter, who died in 1991. James L. Bowman died in December 2001.