Pineville Public Library has a new home. The library moved into the former Wyoming County Board of Education central office building and re-opened to the public March 28.

“We are pleased with the new location of the library,” said Jason Mullins, County Commission president. “We hope it is more accessible to the public.”

The new space offers services in a Main Street location, across from the Pineville Volunteer Fire Department.

The commission and the county Board of Education exchanged the old central office building and the former Riverside School properties recently, with no money involved – an even trade, Mullins noted.

Also moving into the old central office location are WVU Extension Services and the Day Report offices.

Pineville Library opened to the public Oct. 29, 1973, on the second floor of the courthouse annex – nearly a half-century ago, according to officials.

Located in the county seat, the new facility would serve as the center of the county library system. Branches had opened in Oceana in 1966 and in Mullens in 1967. There was also a plan, at the time, to provide bookmobile service to outlying areas of the county.

Initial plans to make library services available to Wyoming County began in 1959 with Mrs. Paul Viers of Pineville, Dr. W.W. Wells of Mullens, and E. Frances Jones, a West Virginia Library Commission consultant, appointed to a committee.

With assistance from the Oceana and Pineville Women’s Clubs, a bookmobile toured the county for six days as a demonstration. The club members served as hostesses and provided publicity.

In 1963, a second bookmobile tour was conducted and was as successful as the first, according to historians. Another committee was formed by the Wyoming County Court, today known as the County Commission.

The following year, for the first time, the court/commission provided $4,320 for bookmobile services in its budget.

The Flying Book Express, through the West Virginia Library Commission, provided eight hours of service in Pineville, the county seat, every three weeks. This was a “national first” and initially occurred Oct. 28-29, 1964 — 57 years ago, according to historians.

The Flying Book Express and the Read-O-Rama were part of a statewide bookmobile program designed to provide library services in West Virginia, particularly in the southern counties. The program came through the Ralph Blasingame recommendations for improving services across West Virginia.

The General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC) are responsible for the creation of nearly 80 percent of all libraries in the United States, according to historians.

In 1965-66, the county court/commission provided $10,500 for library services in its budget and appointed a five-member library board.

In Pineville, as in Mullens and Oceana, the major funding came through the county budget with other support provided by the city and assistance from the Women’s Clubs.

Additionally, in Pineville, the Lions Club provided financial assistance.

In 1972, the state Library Commission provided $5,000 for the purchase of book stock in the Pineville Library.

In 1984, the Pineville Library was awarded a $77,400 Community Partnership Grant to fund a portion of the work needed to renovate Jimmy’s Place, a tavern, into the library and move it from the courthouse annex. Total cost for the construction was nearly $100,000.

In 1986, when the work was completed, the library moved into the Castle Avenue location.

In 2014, the county Board of Education provided use of the former Riverside School building to the county commission and the commission moved the library from the decaying old tavern building into the former school building, along with several other county agencies.

In 2020, the school system’s central office was moved into the upper portion of the Riverside building.

Late last year, the board of education and commission exchanged the properties, with the board taking possession of the entire school building property and the commission taking possession of the old central office building.

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