In 1948, a group of women formed a service group called the Carthage Junior League. The Junior Service League wanted to improve the quality of life in their community by providing a library. Starting in 1958, these thirteen dedicated women raised over $10,000 through tireless effort and fundraisers and were finally able to purchase and open the Service League Library on a permanent basis in 1963.
The original Carthage telephone office was purchased by the Carthage Service League from the Chamber of Commerce at a price of $1,000, and in 1961 was moved onto the lot where it still stands today.
The original building covered 1,200 square feet and housed 4,000 books. After two additions and many improvements, the library is now almost 12,000 square feet and houses over 49,000 titles.
Most of the growth is attributed to the many generous donations from within the community. The most noteworthy contributor was the late Sammy Matthews Brown, a local businesswoman who generously gave both her time and money to make our library the success it is today. In 1991, before the death of Mrs. Brown in 1996, the members of the Carthage Service League unanimously agreed to rename the library in her honor.
Today, the Carthage Service League is still an intricate part of the library and its members play a vital part in the success of our library. Proceeds from the Service League Thrift Shop, located on the square in Carthage, directly benefit the Sammy Brown Library.
The cost of operating the library has increased over the years to the point where Panola County and the City of Carthage provide the majority of the funding needed to operate on a daily basis.
Despite the generosity of Panola County, the City of Carthage, and Carthage Service League, donations to the Sammy Brown Library are desperately needed and much appreciated. We offer a variety of donation opportunities.
General Donations. General donations are graciously accepted in any amounts and will be used to cover library expenses.
Memorials. Special donations are often sent to memorialize a loved one. Donations are used to purchase books, and a book plate bearing the name of the person being honored, as well as the person responsible for the donation, is placed inside. A notification card will be sent to loved ones of the deceased, along with an acknowledgement card bearing the name and address of the person making the donation.
Special Occasions. Donations may also be made for special occasions, such as a graduation, an anniversary, the birth of a child, birthdays, or any other joyous occasion you would like to celebrate. As with the memorials, a notification will be sent to the honoree and a bookplate will be placed inside a book in recognition of the person being honored, as well as the individual responsible for the donation.
Book Donations. Book donations are gladly accepted during normal business hours. Materials not placed into circulation will be placed in the book sale room.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank the charitable citizens of Panola County for their many generous donations. The Sammy Brown Library would not be what it is today without the support of our community.