Library History

Wyomissing Public Library's history is almost as long as that of Wyomissing Borough. In 1911, twenty women were invited to plan an organization promoting public spirit in the Borough. From this beginning the Civic League was born. The league realized that a library was essential.

Each woman was to ask ten friends for two books for the new library: the appeal resulted in a collection of one thousand books, housed in the home of Mrs. Howard F. Fry. As the number increased, the books were moved to the public school building. Mrs. Gustav Oberlaender, the first chair of the Library Committee, asked Town Council for space in Borough Hall.

In 1913 the "Library" was opened to the public; the books remained in this area until 1920. At that time Mr. Ferdinand K. Thun and Mr. Henry Janssen donated a house at 1118 Penn Avenue.

The Women's Club of Wyomissing never lost sight of the Library. Their members undertook fund raising for its support. By 1926 they had $2,600 invested and were using the interest for book purchases.

By 1930 the library needed more space. That year Mrs. Ferdinand Thun, Chair of the Library Committee, offered to donate funds for a new library building. At this time, the Wyomissing Public Library Corporation was formed and the Women's Club ceased its era of library management.

This new building, situated at the corner of Penn Avenue and Reading Boulevard, was a completely Wyomissing undertaking. Mr. Charles Muhlenberg was chosen as architect and Mr. Edward A. Reider, Jr. was selected as the contractor. On April 16, 1931 a pre-opening inspection was held for invited guests, and the following day marked the formal opening of the third (and current) home of the library.


For more information on the early history of the Library, consult Wyomissing Public Library : a history (1911-1976) by Ruth Sinclair MacRae, available in our nonfiction and reference collections.