It was in the year 1933 that the Woman’s Club of Ayden decided that the Town of Ayden needed a public library. Before this time the people could only borrow books by going to the school library two days a week after school was closed for the day. A literary department was formed by the Woman’s Club and members canvassed the town for books. After two hundred books had been collected, a building had to be obtained. In an old unused filling station on South Lee Street, the first Ayden Public Library held “Open House” on March 17, 1933. A formal opening speech was made by Mr. Roy Flannagan, then Mayor of Greenville. Mrs. W. D. Johnson, Sr. and Mrs. Helen Turnage were appointed librarians. Their services were voluntary and their only reward was bringing pleasure to others through books.
It wasn’t long before the two hundred books that the library had started with were not enough to meet the demand. The Greenville Library loaned books to the Ayden Public Library. Mrs. Helen Turnage carried the books back and forth between the two libraries. Many of the town’s civic organizations gave money to help take care of the expenses, while many of the citizens donated books of their own to the library.
Soon the library outgrew the small place where it was located. When the Community Building was completed in 1935, the front room of the building was used for the library. In 1943 the town took over part of the responsibility of the library. The town appropriated $360.00 for the library and increased the amount each year.
In September 1976, the Charlotte Hawkins Brown Library in South Ayden closed its doors and moved their books and equipment to the Community Building with the Ayden Public Library. It was felt that the public could best be served by combining these libraries and operating together as one library.
In 1970, Mr. & Mrs. E. W. Olschner gave a house in memory of Mrs. Olschner’s parents, Mary E. and Walter B. Quinerly to be used for the town library. Renovation work to make the house suitable for a library started in June of 1970.
The library at the old location in the Community Building was closed to the public at the end of July, 1970. Old books that were not in usable condition were cleared out and all remaining books were moved to the new library on Second Street.
The new library was named the Quinerly-Olschner Library and was opened to the public on November 16, 1970, with three rooms being used. The library remains in the same location today with ten rooms and many improvements added over the years.
Resources for Check-Out
- books in Spanish
- Audiobooks (CDs and digital)
- and more.
- public computers
- reference materials
- digital newspapers
- Online tutoring
- language learning programs
- citizenship prep
- library edition of Ancestry.com
- notary service by appointment
- magazines (digital and print)
- and more.
Activities at the Library
- adult crafting
- children’s crafts
- senior activities
- outdoor movies
- guest speakers
- Summer Reading Program
- Mutt Day Celebration
- Annual book sale