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History

In December of 1983 the Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors resolved to establish a free public library for the use and benefit of its residents.  The first organizational meeting took place on March 12, 1984, and on April 23, 1985 the Shenandoah County Library opened.  On July 1, 1993 the Basye/Orkney Springs Library began operation as a station of the County Library. In 1996 Kenneth E. Pruett succeeded Gary Casteel as Chairman of the Board of the County Library and initiated two successful initiatives: the drive for a new County Library building and the establishment of a library system.

In 1997 the County Library Board established the Shenandoah County Library Foundation to raise money in support the Shenandoah County Library System.  That same year the Mount Jackson Community Library (1967), the New Market Community Library (1974), and the Strasburg Community Library (1958) signed an agreement to join the Shenandoah County Library system.  The next year the Fort Valley Community Library joined the system.  On January 1, 1999 the Library Corporation’s integrated automation system went live, making the system a reality.  The new County Library building was dedicated on September 10, 2000, having opened in July.

David L. Steinberg, who had served as Director of the County Library since its inception, resigned in September 2001, and Robert L. Pasco succeeded him in December 2001. In August of 2001 the County Supervisors recognized the Shenandoah County Library Board of Trustees as an independent political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Virginia with all management and control vested in the Shenandoah County Library Board of Trustees.  The Strasburg Community Library completed a major renovation of and addition to its King Street home in January 2003.   Mt. Jackson moved in its new facilities inside the Town Center in September of the same year.

Judith G. Stough succeeded Kenneth Pruett as Board Chairman in 2003, and Susan M. Koller replaced her in 2005 and served as Chair for one year.  Ed Hoole suceeded Koller in 2006 and is the current Chair. During 2004-2005 Basye/Orkney Springs Station began renting the major portion of the Airport Building at Bryce and completed extensive renovations, including a new bathroom and handicap ramp.     Early in 2005 the Fort Valley Community Library merged with the Community Center and acquired title to their building from Shenandoah County.   In December of 2005 New Market Area Library obtained land next to the Municipal Building for a new library building and is raising funds to complete the project.

In the spring of 2005 the County Library celebrated its twentieth birthday.  The staff currently consisted of seven full-time and five part-time employees.  In 2004 two part-time catalogers assumed responsibility for processing and cataloging all material in the system. The Country Library System had over 10,000 active patrons, owned over 126,000 volumes, offered 52 public access computers and runs Library*Solution version 3.3.5 as its automation system.   In FY2007 circulation reached 172,993 with over 75% of that taking place at the County Library.

In 2007 the County purchased from Farmers & Merchants Bank the two-acre tract adjacent to the Counthy Library for future expansion of the Library.  F&M Bank donated $25,000 for repairing the Stone House.  With additional funds from the Libray Foundation's 2007 Annual Fund Drive, the Stone House was remodeled for library use.  Starting in July of 2008 all processing and cataloging of materials for the library system moved to the Stone House.  The Golden Meeting Room was dedicated the next month(in memory of Richard A. Golden) and provides the Library with a much needed second meeting room.

In the winter of 2008-2009 material in the Truban Archives had to be moved to the Library  of Virginia's storage facility due to serious leaking in the roof.  The roof has leaked since shortly after the building was opened in 2000.  In June 2009 the materials in the Archives were returned to Edinburg upon completion of a new roof.  On April 26, 2009, Strasburg Community Library marked fifty years of service to the area.

The County Library celebrated twenty-five years of service on Saturday, April 17, 2010.  The last week of June in 2010 the library system went live with a fiber optic network replacing its antiquated system of DSL lines thanks to E-Rate and the Gates Foundation funding.  Ed Hoole completed four years as Board Chair the same week with Hank Zimmerman replacing him.

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