History of The Library
The Harman School Senior Class of 1964 attempted to start a public library in Harman, West Virginia. Later Joe Mininger and Melvin Myers continued the effort. The Senior Class of 1964 had been unable to get donations of books, but Margaret Bucher succeeded in 1969, when the Kanawha County Public Library donated 1,500 discarded books.
Harman Pioneer Memorial Library
The Harman Pioneer Memorial Library, named as a memorial to the early pioneers of the area, was originally in a room specially built onto the Harman Fire Hall. It was staffed by volunteers two nights a week and on Saturdays. A book social raised $85.85 to purchase childrens books.
In 1977 the books were moved to Dry Fork Community Building, previously the Dry Fork School. Margaret Bucher and Mildred Goff catalogued the books. The library was open one day a month.
In 1984 a Board of Trustees was appointed by the Randolph County Commission. The members were Judy Bucher, Barbara VanDevender, Mildred Goff, Jill Snyder, and Victoria Bennett. Under the leadership of Judy Bucher and Lois Thompson, Director of the Upshur County Public Library, steps were taken to turn Pioneer Memorial into a legally incorporated library.
In August 1985, the books were again moved to a house adjacent to Bennett's Service Station in Harman. At this time, the library became an affiliate of the Upshur County Regional Library. Staffed by volunteers and part time employees, it was open 30 hours a week.
Ground Breaking for New Library
On July 5, 1988 a ground breaking ceremony was held for a new library building. In cooperation with the Randolph County School Board, the Randolph County Library Commission, Harman School and community volunteers, funds were raised and a brick building was constructed beside the Harman School. The new library officially opened its doors on October 18, 1988.
At that time, the Board of Trustees included Jill Snyder, President; Juanita Harper, Vice President; Faith Cragg, Secretary; Victoria Bennett, Treasurer; and Barbara VanDevender. Judy Bucher was an honorary board member, and Maureen Judy, head librarian.
The New Century
Today the Pioneer Memorial Public Library serves several thousand patrons in the surrounding community of Randolph and Tucker counties. We also serve as the school library for next door Harman School. (K-12) The library has expanded twice since it opened its doors and is getting ready for another expansion project to be completed by Spring 2013. We have ongoing library and reading programs for kids of all ages.