The 1938 Book Drive Collection
On cold and rainy December evening in 1937, the Hennessey branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) met in the home of Burla Snyder and, after the meeting, lamented that Hennessey did not have a public library. Dr. Violet Sturgeon, club president, commented on how much the children were enjoying the few books she kept in her waiting room. The ladies decided to gather more books for the waiting-room library. The results went far beyond the simple concept originated that night.
Tuesday, March 29th, the newly formed Hennessey Library Association began the book drive that would surprise everyone, both at the community and state level, with its success. A benefit matinee was held at the Ortman Theatre, and downtown merchants gave away haircuts, lunches, shoe repair, quarts of oil, and other items in exchange for a book. On that first day, 361 books were collected. Before summer, 1,300 books were collected. A space was provided in the remodeled town hall, and Hennessey had a library.