First Public Library, 1948
ONEONTA PUBLIC LIBRARY'S HISTORY
In 1948, Oneonta Public Library started as a project of the Oneonta Garden Club Council in the old pump house on Jefferson Avenue with 200 books. On January 16, 1949, a formal opening was held. It became a city library on February 4, 1949, and affiliated with Alabama Public Library Service.
Oneonta Public Library moved to a large office room on the ground floor of the new Oneonta Civic Center in 1954. To accommodate a growing service, the library moved upstairs in the Civic Center in 1960 into an area containing five rooms of approximately 1,300 square feet of floor space. On December 8, 1970, the Oneonta City Council voted to move the library to the Civic Center auditorium.
In 1972 the move to the Civic Center Auditorium was completed. A formal opening and dedication was held. An additional room was added to the same location in 1986 to accommodate a large workroom and office space for a county library in the future. This added room gave the library a total of 3,372 square feet for the entire facility.
On November 11, 1990, a Historical marker was dedicated at the site of the first public library.
In 1995 a Library Assessment by an independent consultant confirmed the library must move to a larger building in order to better serve the community and house a collection totaling almost 45,000. In 1996 the City of Oneonta purchased Oneonta Worship Center to renovate for a new library.
In 1997, “Investing in Knowledge’’ fund raising campaign headed by the Library Board successfully raised over $540,000 for a new library. Renovation of the building began in October. The library moved from the City Hall building into a new 8,000 square foot library facility and opened on June 1, 1998. Official Open house was August 2, 1998.
The library went into full automation in April, 2001. This was the result of receiving a LSTA Grant in FY 2000 through APLS.
In March, 2004, Oneonta Public Library was selected as one of four libraries in Alabama to receive the prestigious Alabama Library Association Standards Award. OPL was awarded the Gold Star Award at the Association Public Library Division’s Awards Breakfast at the ALLA Convention in Montgomery, 2004.
In March 2007, Oneonta Public Library was selected to receive the Alabama Library Association Blue Ribbon Standards Award. OPL will receive the Blue Ribbon Award at the Public Library Division’s Awards Breakfast to be held in Mobile, April 19, 2007.
Only ten Alabama public libraries have attained the Blue Ribbon level in Standards Award achievement.