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Gaston County Public Library History


          21 January 1973

  • The newly expanded Cherryville Library formally opened to the public. (The Cherryville Eagle, 5 May 1976)


          June 1973

  • New Main Library building in Gastonia approved by the Gaston County Commissioners with an allocation of one million dollars of revenue sharing. (GGZ 19 June 1973)
  • Gaston County voters approved an additional tax to provide matching funds for a $1 million federal revenue sharing project, which included $1.75 million for the construction of a new Main Library facility.



  • Funding began for a new Lincoln County Public Library building.
  • “The Lincoln County Commissioners allocated $200,000 in addition to $100,000 set aside from last year. This together with a $150,000 appropriation from the city of Lincolnton enabled the library to qualify for an LSCA grant, which will culminate in a new, modern facility within the near future.” (Lincoln Co. Public Library Report of Progress 1973-74)



  • Newly established position of Outreach Librarian filled by Dorothy Guthrie.
  •  The North Carolina State Constitution amendment authorizing the use of tax monies for public libraries replaced the 5-cent library tax passed in July 1957. The 1974-75 Gaston County budget started an annual appropriation to support the Gaston County Public Library. (Gaston County Public Library 1905-1981)


          May 1975

  • All government agencies accepted location on East Garrison and Churchill Drive for the new library site. Library Sites Committee had recommended the site as their number one choice. (Gaston County Public Library 1905-1981)


          September 1975

  • Property was obtained for the erection of the new library building. Gastonia City Council authorized the purchase of 5.45 acres of land from the Owens Co. for $82,500. In addition, the J. C. Owens family agreed to donate 3.32 acres of land. (Gaston County Public Library 1905-1981)


          November 1975

  • Gastonia City deeded to the county 4.22 acres for the new library site in exchange for the title to the property and library building on Second Avenue. (GGZ 9 Sept 1975) (Gaston County Public Library 1905-1981)


          January 1976


          January 1976

  • Lincoln County Public Library moved to the newly-constructed 18,000 sq. ft. building at 306 West Main Street.
  • The facility was designed by architect James L. Beam. The building contractor was Beam Construction Company of Cherryville, N.C.
  • Total cost of the project was $579,185, plus $40,000 for the site, paid for by grants from the county, the city of Lincolnton and the federal government. (Lincoln Times News, March 31, 1976, p. 1B)


  • The Library was previously in the Academy Street School building. (Dedication and Formal Opening of the Lincoln County Public Library, 306 West Main Street, Lincolnton, NC, April 4, 1976, 2:00 pm.- brochure) (Lincoln Times-News, March 31, 1976)
  • The Lincoln County Historical Society donated materials, including a microfilm reader-printer, to the local history room of the Lincoln County Library. (Lincoln-Times News, March 31, 1976, p. 1B)


          9 February 1976

  • Lincoln County Public Library opened to the public. (Lincoln Times-News, March 31, 1976)


          4 April 1976

  • Dedication and formal opening of the Lincoln County Public Library, 306 West Main Street, Lincolnton, N.C. (Dedication and Formal Opening of the Lincoln County Public Library, 306 West Main Street, Lincolnton, NC, April 4, 1976, 2:00 pm.- brochure) (Lincoln Times-News, March 31, 1976)


          June 1976

  • Gaston County Public Library, Gastonia Main, had microfilm reader-printer available for research. The cost per copy was 15¢ for an 8 ½ x 11 sheet. (GCHB 1976, Vol. 22, No. 2, page 5)


          15 September 1976

  • The Board of Trustees of the Gaston County Library System approved the final architectural plans for the new Gastonia Main Library. (GGZ 16 Sept 1976) Architect James C. Stewart of the firm of Stewart & Cooper Architects designed the new library building. (GGZ 17 Nov 1976)


16 November 1976

  • The Gaston County Board of Commissioners approved bids for contracts in construction of the new library building. (GGZ 17 Nov 1976; CO 10 Nov 1976)


          16 December 1976

  • Mrs. T. A. Belk of Mount Holly, a member of the Gaston County Library Board of Trustees since 1937, sank a ribbon-covered shovel into the mud to officially begin construction of the new library building. The City of Gastonia provided the land. (GGZ 17 Dec. 1976)


          26 January 1977

  • During the Gastonia Centennial celebration, officials decided a Time Capsule was to be buried with instructions to be opened fifty years later in 2027 A.D. The burial of the Time Capsule was delayed until the new Gaston County Public Library building was completed in 1979.

          February 1977

  • Lincoln County Public Library received a new bookmobile. The new mobile library had a public address system, a record player, film projection facilities, and shelf space for nearly 2,400 books. Clara Freeman was bookmobile librarian. (Lincoln Times,18 February 1977)


          October 1978

  • The old Gaston County Public Library on W. Second Avenue closed its doors, as the transfer of books to the new library on E. Garrison began.

          3 November 1978

  • The new Main Library building on 1555 East Garrison Blvd. in Gastonia at the corner of Churchill Drive opened for service to the public. The new 60,000 sq. ft. facility had initial shelving that would hold 250,000 volumes. (GGZ 20 Aug 1978)



  • The Gaston County Public Library received a gift of $1,749.33 from the United Daughters of the Confederacy for the purchase of materials relating to the Confederacy. (75th Annual Report of Gaston Co. Public Library 1979-1980)


          12 January 1979

  • The Gaston County Public Library, in cooperation with Gaston College, opened the Garrison Center “walk-in” mini-branch library after 42 patrons register to use the facility. This mini-branch provided limited library services to persons who lived and worked in the downtown area. (GGZ, 28 April 1980) Martha Brown was director for this library located at Gaston College’s Garrison Center on 201 South York St. (GGZ 23 Jan 1979)


          25 February 1979


          11 March 1979

  • Junior League presents sculpture to the Gaston County Public Library in dedication ceremony. The sculpture is a two-figured work of cast aluminum with pewter finish, titled “The Storyteller” by Frank Creech, the former director of Gaston College’s art department. (GGZ 9 Mar 1979)


          8 April 1979

  • Time Capsule containing packet from the library was buried at the front of the Gastonia Main Library in celebration of the 1977 Gastonia Centennial. Time Capsule will be opened in 2027 A.D. (Gaston County Public Library 1905-1981) The capsule contains 38 pictures (Staff – Main Library, exteriors of branches), Post card of library exterior (1940s), leaflets (Business services, Summer Reading Program 1977, Black History Month, Reading List 100 Years Ago, Outreach Service, 101 Things to do at the Library, Home Library of Paperbacks, Bicentennial bibliography ) Librarians Meeting, Annual Report, Library Service Bulletin, History of Gaston County Public Library, National Library Week Bulletin, Monthly Report, Budget, Book Selection Policy, Cost info. New library, State Aid Grant, Circulation procedures, 11 sheets of Community Analysis.


          30 June 1979

  • When the North Carolina Orthopedic Hospital closed, the Gaston County Public Library received more than 3,800 children’s books from the hospital’s library. (75th Annual Report of Gaston Co. Public Library 1979-1980)


          31 July 1979

  • Barbara Eaker Heafner retired as Director of the Gaston –Lincoln Regional Library. (GGZ 22 July 1979)


          1 August 1979

  • Pamela Anne Millard became Director of the Gaston-Lincoln Regional Library.
  • Dial-A-Story service, a gift of the Freightliner Corporation, began in August and averaged 8,000 telephone calls a month. (75th Annual Report of Gaston Co. Public Library 1979-1980)

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