Where it all started.


It's been nearly 70 years since Adams County’s first public library opened. Although the way we access and use information has completely transformed during that time, our mission remains the same: to provide residents with materials and information services for formal and lifelong learning, enrichment and pleasure.

1822: Library Society adopts its constitution.

1921: Citizens vote to hire a librarian for Central Library, and 11 smaller towns are to have branches with reading rooms and volunteers.

1945: Adams County Public Library Association is incorporated, rents 135 Carlisle Street as its first library site, and appoints Kathryn Oller librarian.

1946: Library opens January 7, and the bookmobile begins as well.

1949: Library purchases and moves into the jail building on 59 East High Street.

1959: Friends of the Library is organized.

1960: Adams County Public Library Association changes its name to Adams County Public Library.

1979: Adams County Public Library and East Berlin Community Library unite to form Adams County Library System.

1987: Rotary Club initiates plans for a new library location in the Gettysburg Federal Building, which formerly served as a post office.

1992: Gettysburg’s library moves from 59 East High Street to the Federal Building. New Oxford Area Library opens.

1995: County Commissioners approve a half-million-dollar dedicated real estate tax for library use, scheduled to begin in 1996.

1997: Littlestown Reading Room opens.

2003: Fairfield Library opens.

2008: Harbaugh-Thomas Library opens.