Jefferson District Women's Club
The origins of the Aurora Hills Branch Library date back to May of 1926, when the Jefferson District Women’s Club organized a collection of about 500 books in J. Lee Price’s small real estate office, on what was then Fraser Avenue (23rd Street South). A spartan space lacking heat, the branch was open one afternoon each week and had an average circulation of just 22 books per week.
Nellie Custis P.T.A.
After the Women’s Club disbanded in January of 1928, the Aurora Hills Garden Club oversaw the library with Mrs. Charles Bohrer as chairman, in an arrangement which lasted until November of that same year. A decision was then made to give control of the library to the Nellie Custis P.T.A., and in June, 1929 the collection was moved from Price’s real estate office into “Miss Glasscock’s Room,” a vacant classroom at the Custis school. This space was officially named the Nellie Custis P.T.A. Library.
In order to accommodate their growing collection, the decision was made to seek a new location for the library. After a concerted effort by the Welfare and Library Committee of the P.T.A, and following a recommendation by County Supervisor Edward Duncan, a store building located at 23rd St South and S. Eads St. was purchased and refurbished.
Martha Morton Duncan Library
In March of 1930, the library moved into the building, sharing it with the Health Clinic. The library was renamed the Martha Morton Duncan Library in recognition of Supervisor Duncan’s mother. By late 1930, the collection numbered almost 1,400 volumes. With plans to expand the collection even further, hours of operation were increased. Despite these changes, the library was still staffed solely by volunteers.
In May of 1934 Mrs. Neil Hotchkiss, a professional librarian, assumed chairmanship of the Nellie Custis P.T.A. Library Committee. Together with volunteer Mrs. Gretchen Lohr, the two lent greater expertise and organizational skills to the library and it became part of the County library system in July of 1936. In 1949, the library occupied the entire building with the volunteers augmented by a limited paid staff.
From 1960-1961, repairs and renovations were made to the building, including a new interior, lighting, shelving and furniture. In 1969, a Bond Referendum allocated funding for a new library at 735 18th Street South.
Today's Aurora Hills Branch Library Building
The current Aurora Hills Branch Library opened on Dec. 12, 1977, sharing its location with the Aurora Hills Senior Center.