1900

Dothan’s original library was formed when the Village Improvement Club donated $75.00 and formed the Dothan Library Association. The very first library was located inside the store owned by Mr. Buck Baker, located at 205 East Main Street. A short time later, the library was moved to Ed Nix’s Drug Store, located at 101 East Main Street, the present day historical First National Bank building.

 

1900

When the library first formed, it was a subscription library. This meant that anyone who wanted to borrow books had to pay a fee. Originally, that fee was $2.00 per month, or $25.00 for a lifetime membership.


1905

Shortly after Houston County was formed in 1903, a courthouse was constructed. The library moved into the courthouse in 1905 due to a rapidly growing collection. Miss Mabry was hired as librarian for a $5.00 monthly salary.
1915

Dothan built a new Opera House, located at 117 North Saint Andrews Street. The library once again moved due to the unpopularity of women inside the Courthouse. The library was relocated to the second floor of the Opera House, and the librarian’s monthly salary was increased to $25.00.

 



1936

The sons of the former Alabama governor, senator, and congressman George Smith Houston donated $4,000.00 to Houston County as a memorial to their father. Dothan and Houston County equally matched this donation, which is then followed by a Federal Works Progress Administration grant, bringing the total to $16,000.00. The George S. Houston Memorial Library was born.

 

1939

Mr. George H. Malone generously donated a lot located at 206 West Troy Street for a new library to be built. The library’s first building had a community room that was widely used.


1949

The library was reorganized and began transitioning from a subscription model to a true public library. Any resident of Houston County or the City of Dothan could now borrow materials without paying a fee. The library’s first Bookmobile was established by the Dothan Service League, and expanded service to rural areas of Houston County. The vehicle above was the second Bookmobile operated by the library. To date, the library has operated five different Bookmobile vehicles.

 

1965

The library expanded once again, and moved into the old Minnie T. Heard Elementary School located at 212 West Burdeshaw Street. The Troy Street location was sold, and a federal grant funded the $135,000.00 renovation to the old schoolhouse.


1968

A new branch of the library was opened at 305 6th Avenue in Ashford, AL.
1983

The library was rechristened in honor of Gerald Wayne Love. Mr. Love was hired in 1956 as a Bookmobile driver. In 1963, he earned his Master’s degree in Library Science. In 1964, he took over as Library Director and served for 19 years until his death in 1983.

 


2014

The library opened two new buildings in Dothan, AL. The Burdeshaw Street location was replaced by a new 23,000 sq. ft. building located at 445 North Oates Street. The other was opened near the Westgate Recreation Center at 535 Recreation Road.

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All branches of the Dothan Houston County Library System are closed today for the Thanksgiving holiday.
We will reopen on Saturday, November 28th.