History of the Community Library of Castle Shannon
The library was started in 1949 when a group of Castle Shannon women recognized the community’s need for a public library. Because of this the Women’s Club was formed. The club’s founding members were C. H. Bost, J. E. Brown, C. W. Dotters, J. M. Gardill, W. C. Leigh, J. D. Sias, G. E. Thornton, F. J. Trance and J. A. Woystek. These devoted women organized and found funding for the library. They also ran the library.
In 1954, the first library was founded in Myrtle Elementary School. Once established, it was soon realized that the library needed more space. In 1958, the Borough of Castle Shannon bought the historic railroad building, which has served as the borough building since a 1958-59 renovation, and set aside 714 square feet of space for the library.
Over the years fundraising by groups such as the Friends of the Library and the Women’s Club provided needed revenue to purchase books. Further donations from the community helped to expand the collection and services. As the collection expanded once again the area of the borough building allocated to the library became too small.
A founding member of the Women’s Club and Friends of the Library, Hazel Bost was a major force in setting up the library and helping to fund the library’s move to its own site, where the building stands today at 3677 Myrtle Avenue. Bost went to Washington to seek funds for the library. In the early 60’s, she obtained information on a special act of Congress, the “Library Services and Construction Act” and applied for a grant. The grant was structured to match
borough contributions with the U. S. taking 49% and the borough contributing 51%.
Bost served as the library’s first President of the Board of Trustees. She established the form of the board. This original board was made up of seven members, with one from each of the following: the Women’s Club, Rotary, borough council, fire department, PTO, and St. Anne’s School. Bost today is remembered in a memorial garden and compass dedicated on the right hand side of the building in 1991.
The Friends of the Community Library of Castle Shannon recorded and received their charter on February 28, 1966, which remained in effect until 1978. In September of 1978 a group of residents, under the direction of Patricia J. McComis, activated a new organization that became known as “The New Friends of the Community Library of Castle Shannon”.
In 1992, the remaining members of the original Friends group tendered their resignations and turned over the charter to the new Friends group. With this change, the new Friends group became known simply as the Friends of the Community Library of Castle Shannon.
Today, the Friends of the Library are still very committed to raising additional monies to expand the collection and services of the Community Library of Castle Shannon. The flea markets and book sales are still very popular annual fundraising events that attract many inside and outside the community.