Charles City County opens first public library

Charles City first public library now open

CHARLES CITY, Va. (WWBT) - Charles City County is no longer Virginia’s only county without its own library.

It took 14 years, but county administrators gathered earlier this month for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new library on Courthouse Road.

First-time Charles City visitor Lisa Jones said she was surprised at all the library had to offer.

“It’s gorgeous, it’s awesome, it’s beautiful,” Jones said.

Charles City County has been established for 400 years and residents finally have their first ever standalone public library to call their own.

“When we were growing up here, we didn’t have a library," Jones said. “I’m sure we had one in school, but we didn’t have a second library.”

The new library replaces a 2,000-square-foot space that was open inside the county’s courthouse 17 hours a week.

It’s a branch of Heritage Public Library, a regional library system that serves both Charles City County and neighboring New Kent County.

“Every citizen who voted for it has to take a bow because the they deserved the credit," library director Chadra McPherson said. “The citizens deserve the credit because they made this happen. The oldest county is the last county to get a library branch. That stands apart - that’s a big deal."

The 8,200-square-foot facility is home to books, a teen and children’s area, history center and a meeting room.

“They are going to have the whole world at their finger tips once they cross into this building,” McPherson said.

McPherson said the library was designed by the community for the community.

“In Charles City, it’s very hard sometimes to get WiFi and so where I am I can’t get any WiFi, so I always have to come out to use their wonderful services,” Jones said.

The library was a mere dream 14 years ago and now residents like Jones plan to take full advantage.

“F-r-e-e, a free resource, so if you need books, if you need to get on the internet and if you don’t have a computer, this is the place to come,” Jones said.

The library is also home to the Richard M. Bowman Center for Local History. The center named after the man known as “Mr. History” in Charles City before his 2014 death.

Previously it was located in a separate building , but the new library puts the history center under one roof.

For more information about the library, click here.

Copyright 2019 WWBT. All rights reserved.