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Allegany County
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Cumberland Public Library, 1924-1934

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In 1923 Mary Walsh, a teacher at Allegany County High School, was approached by municipal leaders to start a public library for Cumberland. She then undertook a course in library science at Columbia University.

Prominent in supporting Miss Walsh and the first Cumberland Free Public Library, were the late Judge Albert A. Doub and Mayor Thomas W. Koon, president of the first board of trustees. As with many local projects of beneficial nature to the citizens of Cumberland, impetus to the library was given in the City Council by Mayor Koon.

The initial appropriation of $2,000 from the city set the library into motion.

The city provided the first library building at 72 Greene Street, in what was the former office building of the Water Department. The partitions were removed by city workers and furniture was obtained

The $2,000 from the Mayor and Council was augmented by $5,000 collected by the board of trustees.

The first library opened March 1, 1924, with 1,650 books, half of them gifts. Miss Walsh began her famous "Story Hour" on Christmas Eve 1924.


Photograph used with permission of Allegany County Historical Society, text from 1963 Cumberland Sunday Times article.

Collection Location:
Allegany County Historical Society

Public libraries, Maryland, Allegany County; Allegany County Library System (Md.), Anniversaries.

Allegany County (Md,), 1924-2010

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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