The Rockcastle County Bookmobile Library

In 1953, several businessmen and influential citizens of Rockcastle County considered the possibility of obtaining a bookmobile to serve the small county schools that had no access to a library.  In June of 1954, this became a reality.  A bookmobile was donated to the county from Parker Seal Plant in Berea, Kentucky and books came from personal donations.  In addition, Mr. John Lair made an appeal on the radio for more books to furnish the bookmobile and a small library.  Edna Grace McKenzie was hired as the first bookmobile librarian and in September 1954, the bookmobile went out on the road.

Mt Vernon’s L&N Depot by Mark Mc Ferron

About the same time, a small room was acquired at city hall to house the library.  It was named The Rockcastle County Bookmobile Library and it was open for a few hours, one day a week.  Later on, the library was moved to a room at the railroad depot. By 1956, the library had grown and there was a need for it to be open more than one day a week.  Mrs. Alleyne Davis was employed as librarian; a position she held until she retired in October of 1990.

In 1957, the first library region in Kentucky was formed and the Rockcastle County Bookmobile Library became a member of  The Valley of Parks Regional Library.  The Regional Library later joined the state system and the library began receiving books from them.  After a few years, the library’s name was changed to The Rockcastle County Public Library.

The Rockcastle County Public Library

In 1960, the library was again moved, now housed in three small rooms in the basement of the Mt. Vernon Hotel.  It remained there until 1974, when it was relocated to the present facility on Ford Drive. In 1970, The Valley of Parks Region was joined by two other small regions to become The Cumberland Valley Regional Library with David Wilder as the regional librarian.  Rockcastle County Public Library and ten other counties make up this region.  In 2000, Mr. David Wilder retired as regional Librarian and Mrs. Ruby Henson became the new Cumberland Valley Regional Librarian in March of 2001.In March of 1972, Geraldine Robbins was employed as bookmobile librarian and she remained in this position until 1990.  After Mrs. Davis retired, Mrs. Robbins became the library director and held this position until her retirement in June of 2000.In 1990, Pamela Chaliff became the new bookmobile librarian.  The library and the Senior Citizen’s Center shared the same building until the Center was relocated in 1995.  A complete renovation of the building was completed in the spring of 1996 to include a children’s area and new office area.In July of 2000, Kristiana Burk became the Rockcastle County Public Library Director until her resignation in August 15, 2001.The services have continued to grow over the years and the number of books available for circulation now total more than 30,000.  The newest enhancement to the library is the addition of several computers that were donated by the business people of Rockcastle county.  In November 1996 The Rockcastle County Public Library went ‘online’ on the Internet and added to its collection several computers that were donated by the business people of Rockcastle County.  The latest accomplishment and enhancement to the Library has been the complete conversion of the Library’s system.  The Rockcastle County Public Library is now fully automated, has a brand new circulation desk, a new Career Center, and 11 computers accessible to the public with Internet access and other software.

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