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Current Director

The current library director is Alan Engelbert.

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Former Library Directors

  • Miss Mabel Delle Jones
  • Mrs. B. Von Schlechtendal
  • Charles Butler
  • Miss Isobel P. Lynch
  • Robert Simonds
  • Robert North
  • Mark Crum
  • Nicholas Winowich served as director from October 1956 to November 1986.
  • Linda G. Wright

First Librarian

portrait: Mabel Delle Jones

Seen seated in front of the first Library at the YMCA in 1909 is Mabel Delle Jones, the first librarian for the then Charleston Public Library. Miss Jones was recruited from Gallapolis, Ohio by the local committee charged with founding a library back in 1909. The committee had been advised to get a trained librarian to get the library up and running. However, they found her indispensable and she stayed at the two room library until 1913. Miss Jones ran a library of 1,200 volumes, many of which had been donated by the community. The first book ever to be checked out of the library was Sir Walter Scott's "Lady of the Lake".

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Linda Wright

portrait: Linda G. Wright

The previous Director of the Kanawha County Public Library, Linda Wright is seen introducing the computer catalog to the public. The Library recruited Ms. Wright from Northwestern Regional Library in North Carolina, where she had been Director. As with Miss Jones, the committee was looking for a candidate whose training and experience would help the Library face the same kind of growth opportunities it had at the turn of the century. After earning her Masters at Florida State University, Ms. Wright had worked at the Broward County Library in Florida, and the Gaston-Lincoln Regional Library in North Carolina before going to Northwestern.

Ms. Wright came to lead Kanawha County in 1986. The Library has grown since 1909 from two rooms into a system with nine libraries, one affiliate and a bookmobile, which criss crosses the county. The system serves the county and the state with over 608,600 items, a computerized catalog, the Internet and more. And we still own Scott's "Lady of the Lake."

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