Starting a Community Library
On the evening of June 24, 1924, Cherrydale residents packed into the Cherrydale School auditorium, ready to be dazzled by performances from local musicians, singers, and dancers. Instead of purchasing a ticket for the event, attendees handed over a book to a member of the Cherrydale League of Women Voters at the door. Each book helped form the collection of the Cherrydale Community Library, to be opened in two weeks.
The idea for the Cherrydale Library began at a Cherrydale League of Women Voters meeting during the spring of 1924. Members worried that children in the community did not have access to enough books, so under the leadership of Mrs. Samuel F. Cooper, they began to raise funds, collect books, and arranged for a new library space in the east room on the second floor of the Cherrydale School.
Volunteers Step Up and Organize
The Cherrydale Community Library opened on July 15, 1924, offering over 500 volumes to residents. The Cherrydale League of Women Voters managed and operated the Library for the first 6 years (until the league disbanded), doubling the collection by 1926. Women from various civic organizations in Cherrydale then donated their time and energy to keep the library running throughout the late 1920s and 1930s.
The Cherrydale Parent-Teacher Association, made up of mostly female members, managed the library between 1931 and 1937 until a group of women decided to form an organization dedicated solely to developing and maintaining the library. They established the Cherrydale Library Association, in cooperation with other civic associations, including the Cherrydale Parent-Teacher Association and the Woman’s Club of Cherrydale. These women worked hard to expand the library collection to benefit adult patrons and agitated for a new space for the library.
Joining the County Library System
To help achieve their goals, Cherrydale officially joined the Arlington Library Association in 1937 and became part of the County-wide Library system. The following year, Cherrydale Library Association members obtained a new space for their branch at 3828 Lee Highway. At their Open House, members proudly showed off recently cataloged books, which represented the benefits the modern library system brought to Cherrydale residents.