The first public library in Albertville started in 1939, in a room where the Masonic Lodge had previously stored its coal. A handful of books and a part-time librarian, provided by the National Youth Administration, was the sum of the fledgling library’s content. Local citizens and a bookmobile supplemented the venture, but the library closed in 1943, due in part to World War II.
Judge Mack Kilcrease assumed responsibility for and stored the books while the library was hiatus. In 1953, Albertville citizens, the Jaycees, and the Junior Chamber of Commerce became interested in opening a library. The city granted permission for the use of a small room on the second floor of the Old City Hall and gave $15 per month to apply toward the salary of the Head Librarian, Mrs. Gladys Brannon.
In 1957, the library took over almost the entire second floor of the Old City Hall. In the years that followed, a new library was constructed at 200 Jackson Street in 1963 and opened for public use in 1964. Mrs. Brannon resigned as Head Librarian in March of 1963 and Mrs. Mona Fricks was named as her successor. The library experienced expansion with the construction of a new Conference Room, the Winston Walker, Jr. Civil War Collection and Rare Book Room and the Emily G. Rudolph Addition, dedicated on July 21, 1980.
Change of Responsibility
In 1994, Mrs. Fricks retired and Mrs. Lisa Rowell was named Library Director. Later that year, the library automated its holdings, approximately of approximately 80,000 items and received a gift from the estate of O.H. and Bob Finney. These funds were used as the impetus to construct a Children’s Section on the second floor and install an elevator.
In 2014, an Albertville citizen donated funds to build a custom oak circulation desk with granite counter tops. In 2015 the same donor contributed funds to purchase a 10-foot projection screen, projector, and professional sound equipment to use in the library’s meeting room.
As of October 2018, Lisa Rowell has retired as Library Director from the Albertville Public Library. She leaves behind an amazing legacy of bringing the library into the digital age. Ms. Reagan Bussells was named the fourth Library Director upon Mrs. Rowell’s departure.