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History of Library Service in Currituck County

In 1930, philanthropist Joseph P. Knapp bought a Model A Ford for Currituck County to use as a bookmobile.  Books were stored in the rumble seat and distributed to schools around the County.  Mr. Knapp also provided funds to hire the County's first librarian, Eloise Ward, in 1931.

Miss Ward's first job was to organize and run the County's two high school libraries in Moyock and Poplar Branch.  In the summer she drove the Model A to Moyock, Sligo, Shawboro, Barco, Coinjock, Currituck, Maple and Poplar Branch each week, a trip of around 300 miles.  Every two weeks, she alternated between Knott's Island and Corolla Beach.  The books were provided free of charge by the North Carolina Library Commission and approximately 500 books a week were borrowed.  Bookmobile service lasted until 1935 when the bank failures of the Great Depression brought an end to support from the Knapp Foundation.

Independent of the bookmobile, The Moyock Women's Club was starting a library in the north end of the County.  On May 25, 1933, the Club voted to accept a gift of ten books and create a bookshelf in the club room.  Over the next several years, members donated books, magazines and money to grow the collection.  By the middle of 1935, 118 books were available for members to borrow.

In the fall of 1938, Miss Lillie Grandy informed her fellow club members that if they could get 300 books and open to the public three days a week, the W.P.A. (Works Progress Administration) would provide funds to hire a worker.  Club members began collecting books and by the summer of 1939, Mrs. Maud Murray was hired to operate the library which was open five days a week from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Problems with W.P.A. funding caused staffing problems over the next year, but in February 1941, word came from Raleigh that the state's first Library Appropriation Bill would give funding to counties to provide county-wide library service.

A Library Board was appointed and by December of 1941, the Moyock Women's Club library had moved to R.E. West's former auto repair shop and the County Library was formally established with a budget of $1,298.35 received from the state and $300.00 from the County.  The library in Moyock became a distribution center from which books were sent to community centers in other parts of the County.  Books were rotated every six weeks.  Towards the end of the decade, in 1948, the County once again offered mobile library service when they purchased a bookmobile.

In 1950, the County hired its first certified librarian, Miss Josephine West.  She was paid $150 a month.  In 1957, the library left Moyock and moved to a room in the Historic Courthouse, then was moved again in 1961 to a store adjacent to the Courthouse.

In 1964, Currituck County became part of the East Albemarle Regional Library System along with Dare, Camden and Pasquotank Counties.

On September 12, 1968 the Currituck Friends of the Library was started.  This group was instrumental in raising the funds to consctruct the original portion of the current library in Barco which was dedicated in April 13, 1975.

By the early 1990s, it was recognized that a larger library was needed in Barco.  This expansion and renovation was completed in the fall of 1994 and dedicated on November 6.  It currently houses the main library of the Currituck County Library System.

In 1996, a computerized circulation system was installed to automate the loaning of library materials.

In 1997, the bookmobile was retired and replaced with a library in Corolla, a library station at the elementary school in Moyock and a books-by-mail service to Knott's Island.  A dedication ceremony for the Corolla Library took place on November 16, 1997.

Ten years later, the Corolla library was expanded when the County took over the space in the Corolla statellite building that had been occupied by a physician.  This gave the library a dedicated children's area and a large meeting room with two small adjacent meeting spaces.

After a ten year effort to secure a library building for Moyock, the County committed to building a new facility which was opened on October 28, 2009.  This brought to three the number of library facilities in Currituck County.