The Norwood Public library was originally set up in 1925 at the American legion Post 507.
Some years later, Mrs. W. Rees Dutton, Chairman of the Women’s Auxiliary of the Legion,
led a group of concerned and energetic women in organizing a public library using the
legion as a nucleus.
The School Board allowed the Library to use a large basement room in the elementary school
building at the corner of Winona and Mohawk Avenues, with an outside entrance of its own.
Many people today may not realize that this building was ever a school. Preparing the room
and moving all the books was a big project. Everyone made an effort to help. Husbands repaired
and painted the room and then built shelves for the books. The American Legion, the Century
Club and interested friends gave money and books. Borough Council appropriated $350.00 a year
to support the new library. The school provided the heat and light. The women worked to catalog
the books. Norwood’s first public library opened on January 5, 1939, with 1800 books. Very few of
the books from the original library still exist.
Mrs. Alfred Crooks was the first president of the Library Board. Mrs. Rees Dutton, Mrs. Carl Leech
and Mrs. Herbert Glass were members of the first board. Mrs. Dutton presided at the election of
officers as late as 1967. In the days before there was an official librarian, these women gave their
service: Mrs. David Holmes, Mrs. Harmon West, and Mrs. Bradford Hipple.
In about ten years’ time the school and the library had outgrown each other. Plans for a new
library were begun. The library was moved temporarily into the Borough Hall, and in 1951 the
new library on Welcome Avenue was completed.
The Norwood Public Library has a vast supply of material, and receives an allotment from the
borough to help function. The American Legion and the Ladies Auxiliary have supported the
library for years, as well as the citizens of the Borough of Norwood and other borough organizations.
(Taken from the Norwood 100th Anniversary book)