Smithfield citizens have been dedicated to library service since pioneer days when a library was formed by the ward Sunday School in 1868. In 1917, a library commission was formed to further develop library services. A temporary reading room was set up in the 2nd ward tithing office building on west Center Street in the fall of 1917.
During this time the commission was in contact with the Carnegie Corporation in New York. A local architect, Fred J. Hodgeson, gave an estimated cost for a suitable buidling at $20,000. The Carnegie Corporation made a grant of $12,000, with the city pledging the balance. A prominent site for the new building was chosen at Main and Center, a piece of ground which carries many cherished memories down through the years for Smithfield citizens.
The spirit that prompted a Sunday School library has never dimmed in our community. From those modest beginnings we have moved steadily forward in providing library services for the community. Besides the many reading materials available, in 1932, Smithfield City acquired the art collection of the pioneer artist Mary Teasdale, which is housed in our library. The collection consists of 32 oils along with many other paintings of noted artists.
Many names of individuals and groups of people could be listed who have given considerable money and many hours of service towards the growth of the library. Thanks to them all, and may we continue on with their noble tradition.
photo credit: Jaren Thayne Photography
SMITHFIELD PUBLIC LIBRARY, 2015
SMITHFIELD PUBLIC LIBRARY, 2005
SMITHFIELD PUBLIC LIBRARY, date unknown