Public library service in McCormick County owes its existence to the interest of the McCormick County Council of Farm Women. Prior to 1953 the Council had worked towards the goal of a bookmobile and library for McCormick County. Miss Matilda Bell who was then the County Home Demonstration Agent called on the South Carolina State Library Board for advice and help in solving the problem of library service for the county. After a careful review of county resources it was reluctantly concluded that a bookmobile would be prohibitive in cost. Not discouraged by this setback, the County Council of Farm Women decided to set their goal and work towards "library facilities for the county." The help of the County Delegation was enlisted and the late Senator H. L. Hester became an arch supporter of the library.
In 1953 everything was ready to start public library service except for a suitable place to house it. In this emergency the County Home Demonstration Agent offered the use of her secretary's office until more appropriate space could be found. The State Library Board made a large deposit of books to serve as a nucleus for the new library's book collection. Mrs. B. H. Langley was appointed first custodian of the library. Substantial gifts of books were received from many interested McCormick citizens.
In 1954 the library began to receive a direct appropriation in the county supply bill and each year the appropriation has been increased.
The library was housed in the county office building. In 1970 an area in the building was completely renovated and furnished as the headquarters of the McCormick County Library system.
In order to provide library service to the people in the county who could not get to the headquarters library, a contract was signed with the Abbeville-Greenwood Regional Library to provide bookmobile service to the major communities in the county. This service, which tapped the resources of a large library system for the use of the residents in rural McCormick County, was a great success and has done much to strengthen the determination of the McCormick County Library Board to eventually provide a good level of service to the entire county.
Mrs. W. L. White, McCormick, 1954-55
Mrs. C. K. Epting, McCormick, 1955-57; 1959-67
Mrs. E. F. Gettys, McCormick, 1957-59
W. M. Schumpert, McCormick, 1967-72
Helen Brown, McCormick, 1972-76
Mrs. John A. McAllister, McCormick, 1976
Mrs. D. H. Langley, 1953-56
Mrs. J. E. Strom, 1956-63
Mrs. Margie Richardson, 1963-64
Mrs. W. K. Conner, 1964-67
Marian Sturkey, 1967-69
Mrs. George Henderson, 1969-71
Mrs. Sara Morgan, 1971-72
Mrs. Margie Whelchel, 1972-73
Mrs. Gale Collier, 1973-74
Mrs. Dianne Purdy, 1974
Estellene P. Walker,
" So Good and Necessary a Work": The Public Library in South Carolina, 1698-1980
(Columbia: South Carolina State Library, 1981), pp.38-39.
A note on the text