On January 27, 1942, Editor Robert Lasseter’s column in the Rutherford Courier began with this sentence: “It is a sad commentary that a city of schools such as Murfreesboro, a city supposedly of education, knowledge, culture and breeding, should have no public library.”
His efforts were instrumental in the creation of the library system that we know today. Henry T. Linebaugh, a Florida resident and Murfreesboro native, read the column and was inspired to make a $5,000 donation toward the creation of a public library in his hometown. His only stipulation was that it be named for his mother, Mattie V. Linebaugh. The Linebaugh Public Library was established in the winter of 1947, and formally opened on April 1, 1948, in the old Hale Home at Central Memorial Park with Myla Parsons as the librarian.
This makes April 1, 2023, the 75th Anniversary of the opening of Linebaugh Public Library and the beginning of the Rutherford County Library System. The library which began with one library and 6,000 volumes, is now a system of six branches and bookmobile and over 223,000 items for circulation.
To celebrate this historic milestone, Linebaugh Public Library is hosting an anniversary event on Wednesday, April 5, at 11 a.m. in the 1st floor Children’s Area. We will be hearing from local and state government officials, including our new State Librarian and Archivist James Ritter. This event is free and open to the public.
In association with the 75th Anniversary, we will be debuting the inaugural book of the history of the Rutherford County Library System, authored by long-time RCLS employee Lisa R. Ramsay. The book is entitled, Books and Our Town: The History of the Rutherford County Library System, and will be for sale through our Friends of Library groups at all locations for $10 each. Lisa has worked over seven years, gathering stories, reports, and pictures to compile this beautiful book. Rutherford County residents and friends of public libraries will treasure this historical work.
Join us in celebrating seventy-five years of Rutherford County Library System serving everyone through materials, programs, and services. The work of RCLS is invaluable, as we provide access to information and technology which improves lives and empowers our communities to explore, imagine, and engage.
Linebaugh Public Library is located at 105 W. Vine St. in Murfreesboro. Smyrna Public Library is located at 400 Enon Springs Rd. West in Smyrna. Eagleville Bicentennial Public Library is located at 317 Hwy 99E in Eagleville. MGL Library is located inside Patterson Park Community Center at 521 Mercury Blvd. in Murfreesboro. The Technology Engagement Center is located at 306 Minerva Drive in Murfreesboro. The Historical Research Center (HRC) is located at 435 Rice Street in Murfreesboro. Explore, Imagine, Engage through RCLS. For more information, call 615-893-4131 or visit rclstn.org.