Sutton Public Library first opened its doors on June 22, 1967. It was housed in a 17 by 38 foot room in the Sutton Community Building where it remains at the present time. It was open to patrons only nine hours per week--Tuesday, Thursday and Saturdays, three hours daily. In November, 1970, the time was expanded to twenty hours. The schedule was extended to thirty hours weekly, the minimum required by the West Virginia Library Commission, in 1974. Ten more hours were added in July, 1985, which brings it to the present forty hours per week.
Many facility improvements have also been made to Sutton Public Library over the years. Minutes show that a stove was purchased and vented in 1968. Our first copier was operating in May, 1971. Shelving was added in 1974. A phone was installed in 1979. A major face-lift was completed in 1983, in which the library was painted, the floor was tiled, the duct work was boxed in, a box return was placed in the door, and new furniture was purchased. The free-standing shelves were purchased in 1986.
Although most of our funding comes from the State, community groups have given Sutton Public Library financial assistance from the beginning as well. Community members and organizations contributed $1,000 just to get the doors open in 1967. The Sutton Woman's Club purchased the tables, chairs and a rug for the children's area of the library. The Sutton Merchants Association and Jaycees were generous in their support of the library. The Braxton County Board of Education continues to support the library. Individuals have always made donations over the years, also. Having enough money to provide the personnel, services and materials for the library is one problem that has never changed since 1967.
Of course, these changes did not come about without the direction of an involved library board of trustees. Much preliminary work had to be accomplished by concerned citizens to get the library established in 1967. The original trustees of the library were Mr. Ernie Harris, Mrs. C. F. Bosley, Mrs. Ilene Kniceley, Mrs. Mary Juergens and Rev. Harold Kuhn. Many other Braxton County citizens have served as trustees over the past 36 years and it was with their dedication and guidance that the library had been able to provide the best services possible for the citizens of Sutton and surrounding areas.
Even though the Sutton Public Library remains in the same location, the library has continued to grow. Throughout the years we have invested in building a larger book collection. In a statistical report released by the West Virginia Library Commission in 1968, Sutton Public Library served a population of 967 with total volumes numbering 1,959. In 1978, with Eva Barrett as Librarian, we served a population of 1,031 and had volumes totaling 5,052. In 1988, with Patricia Long, Librarian, and Mary Jane Stewart as her assistant, the population had grown to 5,141 and our volumes had increased to 10,955. In 1998, with a decrease in population to 4,833, we had increased our collection of materials to 14,000. Our latest annual report of June, 2002, showed the population had again increased to 5,467 and our materials collection to 14,547. We also have a public fax, still make copies for the public, and have four computers with internet connections for the public use. We have one older computer used for our online catalog and the West Virginia Library Commission Union Catalog, and one computer with internet connection used as a work station (checking in and out, adding patrons, cataloging, etc.). We have two available printers for downloading information from the internet also. As you can see, now our services have outgrown our less than 700 square foot room. With the assistance of the Board of Trustees, the Building Committee, Friends of the Sutton Public Library and the Librarians, we are building a new library.
Sutton Public Library is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media