In recognition of Women's History Month, the Harney County Library honors the group of women who established the first chartered circulating library in Burns.
In 1903, twelve local women joined together to form the Ladies Library Club. Each member initially contributed one book and paid yearly dues of twenty-five cents which went toward the purchase of additional books. The books were housed in the home of Phebe Geary, who also served as the librarian. As club membership expanded and the book collection grew to over 600 volumes, the group changed its name to the Burns Library Club and sought out new quarters in the Burns City Hall, then located at 90 W. Washington Street.
On the occasion of the library's twenty-fifth anniversary Cornelia Marvin, Oregon State Librarian, sent a gift of the book "Westward Ho" and a congratulatory letter recognizing the Burns library as one of the oldest circulating libraries in the state. In 1953, the surviving six members of the original Ladies Library Club were honored with a Golden Jubilee celebration. Pictured are Lela McGee, Phebe Geary, Clara Hanley, Mabel Biggs, Katherine Buoy Keeney, and Estella McConnell.
Learn more about the history of the Harney County Library by reading oral history interview transcripts by former librarians Genevieve Slater, Jolyn Wynn and Phyllis Zreliak. The entire collection of transcripts are available to read online under the Oral History Collection of the Western History Room.
Authored by the staff at Harney County Library!