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Photograph of a old card catalog

Blowing Rock Community
Library Association

The Community Club of Blowing Rock officially began in 1923 with a group of ambitious women determined to improve the lives of the local citizens through better medical care, education and civic improvement.  One of the first projects for the Club involved the Blowing Rock School; as in 1923 the public schools were poorly funded.  The Club organized a School Betterment Committee which raised money to purchase musical instruments, maps, globes, books, sewing machines, typewriters and furniture. In the 1930’s, the Club funded wiring the school house for lights, supplemented teachers’ salaries, had a lunch room built at the school and provided free lunches to needy children.  Later the Club funded croquet and tennis courts, and expanded the school building. Early Community Club records mention the actions taken by the Relief Committee.  The Club members identified individual cases of medical needs of residents. Efforts were taken by the Club members to secure assistance from area doctors and hospitals for surgeries, medicines, tonsillectomies, and dental care.   Other responsibilities which came under the Relief Committee included providing groceries, clothing, rent and coal to needy families. In 1924, the Civic Improvement Committee of the Club organized a “Clean-Up” Day and in subsequent years the Club paid for the maintenance of local trails and parks From the beginning, the Community Club has solely supported the establishment and maintenance of a Library in Blowing Rock.  In 1914 a reading room had opened on Main Street known as the “Lend-a-Hand” library.  It was destroyed by fire in 1923 and over the next 25 years the Club relocated the library to numerous buildings on Main Street.  At the end of 1948, the Club established a Building Committee and by 1950 the existing library on Main Street was completed. To accomplish these projects and efforts, the Community Club needed funds.  Individual donations were solicited from residents of Blowing Rock, but the club members also rolled up their sleeves and created several big Fund Raising events.  The Community Club played a vital role in the early Blowing Rock Horse Show handling programs, advertising and a refreshment shack.  In 1933 and until the early 1940’s, the Community Club held an annual Carnival. Today For more than 100 years, the Community Club has supported the Blowing Rock Community Library.  As other organizations assumed most of the Club’s initial relief, school, and civic efforts, the club has concentrated on the library.  To reflect this, the Community Club adopted a name change in 2019 to the Blowing Rock Community Library Association.  The Association members raise the funds needed to maintain the library building, pay all overhead and staffing expenses, and purchase the books.  Fund raising events include hot dogs sales, used books sales, luncheons and raffles.  Many of the Library Association members volunteer to staff the library donating approximately 1500 hours in total each year. The Association is always open to full and part time residents of the Blowing Rock community who are interested in supporting the library.

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