Our front doors located on Cherry Street are open. Patrons who require handicap access may enter the library using the back door located behind the book drop. Our doors on Rankin Avenue are not open at this time.
The second floor and genealogy room are also currently closed to patrons.
The Dunlap Community Building was built in 1939 and finished early 1940 by the National Youth Administration (NYA). The NYA was part of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) as part of the New Deal sponsored by Franklin D. Roosevelt during his presidency. It focused on providing work and education for Americans between the ages of 16 and 25. Architects include: Horace Reynolds, Jack Lockhart, Hershel Brock, and Grover Elliot.¹
On September 20, 1959 the Sequatchie County Public Library opened. It filled only one room of the Dunlap Community Building with 1,000 books under its first Librarian – Wanda Long. Other rooms in the building were for human services personnel, the forestry office, the Federal Housing Administration, a dentist, and others.²
On April 4, 1962, Wanda Long retired and Betty Worley took over as the new Librarian. She served Sequatchie County faithfully as its Librarian for nearly the next 60 years. During her tenure, the library grew to encompass the entire Dunlap Community Building with around 25,000 books today. She also kept the library up to date in terms of technology – transitioning from physical card catalogs to catalog computers and now to an online catalog database. The library’s collection grew to include books on tape and VHS movies; and – when those grew outdated – ebooks. online audiobooks, and DVDs.
In 1992 the Dunlap Community Building underwent a timely renovation. It was renamed the Frank S. Barker Community Center.
In 1994 the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
This past year, Ms. Worley decided to retire. Robin Burgin became the Director of the Sequatchie County Public Library in February, 2022. Ms. Worley will continue to serve as a consultant until April, 2022.
¹Middle Tennessee State University Center for Historic Preservation. (1994, May 5). National Register of Historic Places Registration Form. National Park Service. Retrieved March 7, 2022, from https://npgallery.nps.gov/GetAsset/d33912d2-213e-4c09-a3fa-e045fda54da9
²Sisk-Casson. (2012, March 16). Sequatchie County Librarian Celebrates 50 Years of Service. Chattanooga Times Free Press. Retrieved March 7, 2022, from https://www.timesfreepress.com/news/news/story/2012/mar/06/county-sequatchie-librarian-celebrates-50-years-of/72325/