Origin and Development of the Library System
Until the 1990s, the Hancock County Public Library System had three branches: the original and main Bay St. Louis branch begun in 1934 by private citizens, the Waveland branch begun in 1969 as a bookmobile, and the Kiln branch begun temporarily in 1977 and permanently in 1980. The system was chartered as a city-county one in 1952 and was funded by donations until county and city agreed to take it over as a public library system in 1965.
Between the 1990 and 2000 censuses, the population of Hancock County increased 35.3% and per capita personal income rose from $13,285 to $22,233. As part of a long range plan to provide service to the county’s future population, expected to increase in the unincorporated areas, the system renovated Bay and Waveland branches, built the Pearlington branch, and began construction on the new Kiln Public Library. With four branches the system had 75% more overall square footage than the average of other Mississippi libraries serving same size populations.
This expansion was due to a shared
belief of residents, businesses, and elected officials that an excellent library system serving as many people as possible was a worthy asset for residents and wonderful economic development tool for a county containing Stennis Space Center, good schools, and the third fastest growing population in the state. Funding drives for the expansion were enthusiastically supported, and surveys showed that residents considered the system an essential government agency and a matter of pride to a Mississippi county where library card holders had risen from 60% to 82% of the population. As one survey respondents proclaime
d, “The word is out. In Hancock County, the library is a cult!”
Electronically Sign the Petition
By entering and confirming your email address then clicking the button marked “Sign Now”. You will receive an email to confirm your submission. When the system receives your confirmation your message will be sent directly to the city of Diamondhead’s Mayor Tommy Schafer to tell him you wish to have the city supply the funds necessary to keep East Hancock Library open.
Fund the Diamondhead East Hancock County Library
Read or edit the petition