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The City of St. Marys had no library service at the turn of the 20th Century. A group of women interested in cultural improvement named The Literary Circle was formed in St. Marys in 1909, and one of its projects was the foundation of a public library. The first public library in St. Marys was opened on July 2, 1912, and was housed in the Town Hall along with the City Council chambers, the police department, and the jail.
In February of 1921 Dr. Eben Russ and his wife presented their former house on Center Street to be used as a library, upon completion of construction of their new house across the street. with the impetus of the Library Service and Construction Act of 1964, plans for a new library were developed. The new library was built on the old Center Street site and was constructed from Federal government funds, as well as money from the Stackpole Foundation and generous local support. Library service continued from a temporary location on Lafayette Street in St. Marys during the construction. The present library building was dedicated on April 17, 1966.