History of the Autauga-Prattville Public Library
A brief history of the Autauga-Prattville Public Library
Historical Information (author and date of writing unknown)
The Prattville Public Library was formed by a group of interested citizens and the City of Prattville on October 12, 1956 when the population of Prattville was 5,652. The library opened its doors on January 25, 1957 for 12 hours a week in the Women’s Club Building located in Pratt Park (now the site of the City swimming pool). During the first year 5,318 books were checked out.
In 1963 the Prattville Public Library became a member of the newly formed Cahaba Regional Library System serving Chilton, Autauga and Bibb Counties. The Regional headquarters was in Clanton. The library was now open for 20 hours a week.
By 1968 the population of Prattville was 13,000 and the library was open to the public for 36 hours a week and checking out 44,000 a year.
In 1972 the Prattville Public Library moved into a newly built 12,500 square foot library building adjacent to the old Women’s Club/Library Building. The old building was torn down and replaced by a new City Swimming Pool.
In 1974 Autauga County separated from the Cahaba Regional Library System to become the Autauga-Prattville Public Library System with the main library in Prattville and the branches located in Autaugaville, Billingsley and Marbury.
The Autauga-Prattville Public Library was formed by a Joint Resolution of the Autauga County Commission and the Prattville City Council on December 17, 1974. The Joint Resolution "acknowledges the advantages of providing public library service to the citizens of Autauga County and whereas excellent physical facilities exist to provide the headquarters for such service in the newly constructed building known as the Prattville Public Library-Autauga County Reference Center, in Prattville, Alabama….”the city-county system was formed.
At the time of the formation of the City/County library system it was decided to depart from the usual procedure of having separate buildings and separate staff personnel for the County System headquarters and combine all positions with the Prattville Public Library, thereby saving money for both the City and County. Therefore, the Autauga-Prattville Public Library became one of the few libraries in Alabama having one director serve both the City and County. The library director was Mrs. Beatrice McGough.
By 1985 the population of Prattville was approximately 20,000 and the library was circulating 96,500 books in Prattville and 113,000 county wide with a Prattville Library attendance of 46,5000 and a county wide attendance of 52,570. The Prattville Library was now open 50 hours per week.
In October 1985, a computerized circulation control system and bibliographic control system was put into operation. The system was shared with the Montgomery City-County Public Library and the Alabama Public Library service. On January 2, 1986 the Prattville Public Library began opening 60 hours a week with a staff of 15 county-wide.
In 2013 the Autauga-Prattville libraries are alive and well and serving more people than ever. The four locations are open 6388 hours per year and last year served over 130,000 patrons. The library has a staff of seventeen with six of those being full-time staff.
1975 - Beatrice McGough
1977 – Shirley Laseter
1981 - Judith Rickerson
1986 – Marianne Lovell
1991 – Margie Mullins
2001 – Kim Wilson Owens,
2005 – Janice Yates Earnest, MLIS