History

Heritage Hall

It was always Mrs. Louisa Jemison’s dream that one day Talladega would have a library. This dream came true on Sept. 15, 1908 when The Talladega Public Library opened its doors to the public. This was made possible by a grant of money from the Carnegie Foundation. Mrs. Jemison, herself, donated land and $10,000 to ensure that the library was completed as designed. The Talladega Public Library was the first publicly funded library in the state of Alabama. The well-known Alabama architect, Frank Lockwood designed the building. The first book checked out that day was by an 8-year old girl named Gentry Parsons, who arrived early and patiently sat on the top step of the library to be certain that she would have the very first book. Gentry Parsons later became an author herself and sent many boxes of books to the Talladega Public Library. Miss Eva Wrigley organized and cataloged the library’s initial collection of 3000 volumes and 1000 government documents. The Talladega Public Library quickly grew and became more popular.

Due to Mrs. L.M. Jemison’s continued financial support, The Talladega Public Library was able to survive the crash of 1929 and the following Depression and to continue its steady growth. Mrs. L.A. Jemison died before the onset of WWII leaving the bulk of her personal literary collection to the Talladega Public Library. The permanent book fund she started with the initial $10,000 in 1908 carried the library through many rough years.

In 1979 the Talladega Public Library moved into its present location. The Talladega Public Library is now behind the Carnegie Building. The old library now houses the Heritage Hall Museum. A new addition to the library was added in 2006 and the name was changed from The Talladega Public Library to The Armstrong-Osborne Public Library.

In 2008 the Talladega Public Library celebrated its 100th anniversary and plans to keep serving Talladega County for many years to come.