The Pope County Library System (PCLS) started with humble beginnings and a superhero’s effort from the community and the County to corral resources to offer library services to the citizens of Pope County.
The 2015 Summer Reading Program theme “Every Superhero has a Story” reminds me of the grassroots effort of the community to build the four county libraries.
A Community Effort: The library collection started as a collection of books in the front window of the Wiggs Drug Store in Russellville which was later moved to the San Souchi (no worries) Women’s Club Room until funds were raised. Later, the Central Presbyterian Church found room for a small library building on the corner of their land on Main Street. In 1936, the Deaton family donated the land for the first brick and mortar library at 114 E. Third ST and with much fundraising, donations, and a Works Progress Administration (WPA) grant, the facility was built. The Pope County Library received a Library Services & Construction Act (LSCA) grant in 1975 to build a new library, but after the community had donated everything from the Perc test, loads of dirt, gravel, plumbing, concrete; many fundraisers were held: pennies from area children were collected to purchase the 86,000 bricks in the Pope County Library; cake walks, auctions and other fundraisers put on, only to be contacted that the LSCA grant was no longer offered. With the help of the Senator, Judge, and Board, the promised funds were granted. We are still grateful for this heroic effort.