Penn Wynne History
In 1929 an ambitious group of women collected 35 books and raised $7.00 at a Book Tea in Penn Wynne. These strong-minded women arranged to start a library in a local real estate office, getting their sons to mow the lawn, their husbands to paint the shutters and local merchants to repair the roof. They held card parties to raise money for new books. The library was open from 2-4 pm, 2 afternoons a week, and one evening from 7-9 pm. The building was so small that if a volunteer librarian had a baby in a coach – the coach had to remain outside. If it started to rain, the library closed, so the librarian could take her baby home out of the rain!
In 1932 the library board requested and received two hundred dollars from the Lower Merion School District to purchase materials for the school children of Penn Wynne. The township commissioners also contributed two hundred dollars to expand the collection, and the library was incorporated that year.
In 1933 the first trained librarian was hired and in 1935 the Lower Merion Library Association was formed, uniting the 6 libraries in the township. The formation of LMLA allowed the libraries to apply for and receive funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. After much local fund raising, the property on Overbrook Parkway was purchased in 1946, ground breaking was in early 1949, and the dedication ceremony was held on November 4th of that year. In 1959 the library doubled in size due to a large contribution by Martin Decker. This expansion paved the way for a more varied programming approach and a much larger book collection. The 1960’s saw the installation of central air conditioning and the latest in library technology. The most recent expansion was dedicated in 1989. With that effort, the library was completely renovated and a greatly expanded children’s room was added.